A Noh dramatization of the suicides of Lt. Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. After participating in a failed 1936 coup and being ordered to execute his friends, he bids his wife an intimate farewell and commits harakiri.
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A fictionalized account in four segments of the life of Japan's celebrated twentieth-century author Yukio Mishima. Three of the segments parallel events in Mishima's life with his novels (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), Kyoko's House, and Runaway Horses), while the fourth depicts 25 November 1970, "The Last Day"... Written by
Nick Lopez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Paul Schrader claims that a substantial amount of the finance was Japanese but, the Toho studio and their partners have persistently denied this: "We had a Japanese producer who was able to raise half of the budget through his own money and from Fuji Television and Toho-Towa. Then, of course, the Japanese financiers tried to pull out at the last minute because of pressure from the widow. There was another drama involving that and the end result was that they gave us the money but claimed that they didn't. To this day, they claim that they did not finance the film." See more »
The word "country" written in Japanese kanji on the hachimaki is the simplified character. On the actual hachimakis, the kanji for "country" was the long traditional form. See more »
[after his mistress cuts him with a small blade]
A thought just occurred to me: "This is the woman I've been looking for. I've finally found her." For the first time I feel like I exist. I don't need a mirror.
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Yukio Mishima is acknowledged to have been a real person, but his acts have been fictionalized by writers. Other persons and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons and events is unintentional. See more »
A story told in four chapters and in three levels. Flashbacks of Yukio Mishima's life, dramatizations of his written works, and the events of his final day of life.
If Mishima was a fictional character, I doubt if anyone would believe or accept such a creation. But he was a real, flesh and blood, human being, which makes the film all the more incredible. Granted that some of the facts have been dramatized or "enhanced" for the screen, but the story is quite factual.
A man of many contrasts: A devoted family man who kept a gay lover. A writer who saw his words being "not enough". A patriotic man at home in the present who yearned for a return to Imperial Japan's past glory. A man who struggled to unite movement with action, and saw everything he strove for fall apart at the most critical moment.
The film is lovingly made, magnificently acted, painstakingly edited and the musical soundtrack by Philip Glass will stay with you for days. The film's tight budget doesn't show at all.
Now available on DVD, this film is a worthy addition to the collections of true cinemaphiles.
My rating: 10/10
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