Takeshi Kitano · 1995 · 110 minutes
The film that kicked off what Kitano considers the second phase of his career, the period following his “unconscious suicide attempt” motor scooter accident, is arguably his purest of works. Getting Any?, which features a career best performance from Dankan surrounded by Kitano’s revolving menagerie of performers, foreshadows all his films to follow including late career masterpieces such as Zatoichi, Kikujiro, and Hana-bi. But where Hana-bi was pre-occupied by the intersection of Beat Takeshi and Takeshi Kitano, Getting Any? uses minimalism for Kitano to assemble a work made up entirely of a series of gags, where he can experiment with the rhythm of expectation and execution.
A tale more classic than the yakuza tropes that have overshadowed Kitano’s career, this is the story of one man’s quest to get laid. After watching an erotic film where a guy is able to score sex thanks to his sleek car, Asao (Dankan) decides to recreate this tactic but first needs a vehicle of his own. Acquiring a car hot enough to pick up chicks for immediate sex turns out much more Sisyphean than it first seemed. His journey to purchase an expensive car takes him from scheme to scheme; bank-robbing, filmmaking, hit-man impersonating, and mad-scientists are some of the hi-jinks included.
All of Kitano’s obsessions are on display making this a film just as personal as the taciturn Kids Return that immediately followed. A flop both abroad and in Japan, Getting Any? is the work of a Kitano unconcerned with pleasing the audience. This sort of indulgence he wouldn’t return to until his “Artist Trilogy” of the 2000s and 2015’s geriatric yakuza flick Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen which bears the same structure of setting up an endeavor we know is going to be bungled by our hero, the entertainment is seeing just how it goes south. But none of these works could recreate the joyous stream-of-conscious and the film’s periodic bursts of chaos, both orchestrated and not.
Filmography: Violent Cop ('89); Boiling Point ('90); A Scene at the Sea ('91); Sonatine ('93); Kids Return ('96); Hana-bi ('97); Kikujiro ('99); Brother ('00); Dolls ('02); Zatoichi ('03); Takeshis' ('05); Glory to the Filmmaker! ('07); Achilles and the Tortoise ('08); Outrage ('10); Beyond Outrage ('12); Ryuzo and the Seven Henchman ('15); Outrage Coda ('17).