Fireworks, Takeshi Kitano’s seventh feature, goaded Quentin Tarantino and Miramax into releasing 1his 1994 feature, the writer-director-actor’s fourth, after they’d sat on it for years. Takeshi plays an underboss ordered to settle a dispute between two warring gangs in Okinawa. After losing several of his regulars and then finding out that his services weren’t even necessary, he and his surviving stooges hide out and goof off on a remote beach. Like Fireworks, this becomes a movie about waiting. Even if you’re like me and find Kitano’s films relatively empty apart from his self-parodic macho stoicism and quizzical style, these qualities alone provide quite an eyeful and earful; preternatural quiet and stillness alternate with flurries of loud violence in a singular manner, and the colors and compositions are riveting. The deadpan humor is somewhere east of Harry Langdon and north of Jacques Tati, though far from humanist. Attitude is everything, and if you get into his moods—I do about half the time—that’s plenty.