Sorry suckers, this isn’t a contest. But who doesn’t want a scarred, sardonic master filmmaker to adorn their living room? I’d take one. Even the pre-motorcycle wreck version of Kitano, just because he looked so damn nice.

Instead, this is to do with the Venice Film Festival — you know, it’s one of the famous ones. Festival organizers have established a new award called Glory To The Filmmaker! (exclamation point included) which is named after Kitano’s latest film, screening out of competition at the fest.

The award is intended to recognize career achievement and innovation. Guess that means Italy’s gangster ties led to a greater love of Sonatine and Zatoichi than we’d ever guessed, even if Hana-Bi did win the Golden Lion in 1997. Bet Coppola is fuming into his merlot right now. (He’s won only an honorary Golden Lion, which this new award seems sorta equivalent to, in part because the festival didn’t award it from ’69 to ’79, Coppola’s prime years.)

I haven’t seen the film, and based on the reception to 2005’s Takeshis’, called by some Shame to the Filmmaker!* and which never got US distribution, we might all have to wait a while. Unless, that is, you’ve got nothing to do next Thursday, in which case you should head over to Venice where Kitano will be on hand to acknowledge the fact that he’s fucking awesome.

* But not me. I really enjoyed it.