Dolls takes puppeteering as its overriding motif, which relates thematically to the action provided by the live characters. Chief among those tales is the story of Matsumoto and Sawako, a young couple whose relationship is about to be broken apart by the former’s parents, who have insisted their son take part in an arranged marriage to his boss’ daughter.
A Japanese Yakuza gangster’s deadly existence in his homeland gets him exiled to Los Angeles, California, where he is taken in by his little brother and his brother’s gang. This is the first English film by Takeshi Kitano.
As the police launch a full-scale crackdown on organized crime, it ignites a national yakuza struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West. What started as an internal strife in Outrage has now become a nationwide war in Outrage Beyond.
Zatôichi is a 19th century blind nomad who makes his living as a gambler and masseur. However, behind this humble facade, he is a master swordsman gifted with a lightning-fast draw and breathtaking precision. While wandering, Zatôichi discovers a remote mountain village at the mercy of Ginzo, a ruthless gang-leader. Ginzo disposes of anyone who gets in his way, especially after hiring the mighty samurai ronin, Hattori, as a bodyguard. After a raucous night of gambling in town, Zatôichi encounters a pair of geishas–as dangerous as they are beautiful–who’ve come to avenge their parents’ murder. As the paths of these and other colorful characters intertwine, Ginzo’s henchmen are soon after Zatôichi. With his legendary cane sword at his side, the stage is set for a riveting showdown.
The story begins with Sekiuchi, boss of the Sannokai, a huge organized crime syndicate controlling the entire Kanto region, issuing a stern warning to his lieutenant Kato and right-hand man Ikemoto, head of the Ikemoto-gumi. Kato orders Ikemoto to bring the unassociated Murase-gumi gang in line, and he immediately passes the task on to his subordinate Otomo, who runs his own crew. The tricky jobs that no-one wants to do always end up in Otomo’s lap.
Beat Takeshi lives the busy and sometimes surreal life of a showbiz celebrity. One day he meets his blond lookalike named Kitano, a shy convenience store cashier, who, still an unknown actor, is waiting for his big break. After their paths cross, Kitano seems to begin hallucinating about becoming Beat.
Brash, loudmouthed and opportunistic, Kikujiro is the unlikely companion for Masao who is determined to see the mother he has never met. The two begin a series of adventures which soon turns out to be a whimsical journey of laughter and tears with a wide array of surprises and unique characters along the way.
Kitano plays Murakawa, a Tokyo yakuza tiring of gangster life. Along with a few of his henchmen, he is sent by his boss to Okinawa to help end a gang war, supposedly to mediate between two warring clans. He finds that the dispute between the clans is insignificant and whilst wondering why he was sent to Okinawa at all, Murakawa’s headquarters are bombed and he and his gang are ambushed in a bar.