Kiyoshi Kurosawa's films are unique in the film world. They are genre flicks that seem to defy the confines of genre. They are philosophical treatises on the individual in society, often as brilliant as they are obscure, though they still manage to thrill, amuse, and entertain. Widely regarded as one of the most talented filmmakers of New Japanese Cinema (other such directors include Shinji Somai, Takashi Miike, and Nobuhiro Suwa), Kurosawa is a bold new voice in World Cinema.
Born in Kobe in 1955, Kurosawa (no relation to Akira Kurosawa) studied film under noted theorist Shigehiko Hasumi at Rikkyo University. An avid amateur 8mm filmmaker since high school, Kurosawa's short film Shigarami was selected as part of the 1981 PIA Film Festival, a prestigious showcase for young talent in Japan. From there, he landed a job as assistant director with Shinji Somai. In 1983, he directed his first feature, The Kandagawa Wars. He first garnered critical attention with his next effort, The Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl, starring actor-turned-director Juzo Itami. Though financed as a pink eiga -- the soft-core porn genre that dominated much of the Japanese domestic market through the 1970s -- the film defiantly skews hard and fast categorization. Sex scenes are intercut with extended discussion on philosophy. Stylistically, the film bares more commonality with Jean-Luc Godard and Seijun Suzuki than with mainstream pinku directors like Noboru Tanaka. Since then, he steadily gained cult recognition for his films, particularly for his Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself series.