Prolific Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike will be the recipient of the 2014 Maverick Director Award at the upcoming Rome Film Festival, event organizers announced today.
The Maverick Director Award, the festival’s website states, “is dedicated to filmmakers who have contributed to the invention of a new, original, and unconventional cinema.”
Miike was already schedule to appear at the festival, which runs from Oct. 16-25 in Rome, Italy, to world-premiere his latest film, As the Gods Will (Kamisama no iutoori).
Artistic Director for the Rome Film Festival Marco Müller described Miike as “Arguably the least compliant of all the contemporary maverick directors.”
Müller added, “Always catching us unprepared … Every one of his films is a breakneck race through a uncannily poetic and surprisingly political imagination.”
Previous winners of the Maverick Director Award include Tsui Hark and Walter Hill.
The now 54-year-old Miike began his career in television before moving onto directing many straight-to-video (V-Cinema) films. Japan’s V-Cinema boom in the early 1990’s allowed for many Japanese filmmakers like Miike to create controversial cinema that were not as scrutinized by censors as bigger film productions were and still are. It was with this creative freedom where Miike began to create the taboo-breaking films that would soon amass him a large, worldwide cult following.
With an eclectic and often genre-defying filmography of nearly 100 films, Miike’s approach to filmmaking has certainly been wildly unpredictable.
Never willing to wear out his welcome in any giving genre of film, Miike has proven himself to be a versatile director. Whether it be his gritty and nihilistic take on the Yakuza genre (Shinjuku Triad Society and the Dead or Alive trilogy), Japanese Horror (Audition and One Missed Call), superhero films (Zebraman and Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City), samurai epics (13 Assassins and Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai), or the impossible-to-categorize (Visitor Q, The Happiness of the Katakuras, Izo and Ichi the Killer), Miike’s career has had one constant: never be predictable.