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 (... See full summary »
The true story of a rich girl who was abducted by American revolutionaries in the 1970's. Her time spent with her captors made her question herself and her way of life and she joined forces... See full summary »
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Two characters on a Noh stage dramatize the rite of love and death of Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. Takeyama was one of a cadre of young officers who staged a coup d'état ... See full summary »
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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
This is my favourite film and I think it is perfect. Unlike virtually any other film I can name, I never watch this film and think it would have been better if they'd changed this or that or whatever. Is this the definition of a work of art? I think so. Every brushstroke in Mishima is perfect and it all flows from the Schrader's script. I've always sort of liked Paul Schrader's work (you can't argue with Taxi Driver and Light Sleeper is an amazing film), but while his writing often seems to border on the bombastic, his directing style is usually non-existent. This is deliberate, I think, because his films usually deal with a search for redemption and are set in the real world; ugly and harsh. His style suits his themes as he presents his characters in a simple and realistic way, and lets them show the audience the truth of the situation. Imagine if Schrader had directed Taxi Driver or Bringing Out The Dead, instead of Scorsese. But like the protagonists of those two films, while Mishima the man was ideal Schrader material, right-wing, vain and at odds with society, his works were subtle and beautiful. In fact he had a secondary writing career as a woman's writer, churning out what can reasonably be described as romantic potboilers. So you wouldn't necessarily imagine that Schrader was the ideal man to capture that subtlety and beauty on film. I think the film shows that he was. The script he helped fashion splits Mishima the man into three parts; his life, his death and his mind. His life is represented in black and white, still camera, formal compositions. His death, for which he will always be best remembered, is handheld documentary style. And his mind is represented by the dramatised extracts from his novels, each one revealing the thought processes of this complex man, who hardly ever wrote a character that wasn't a reflection of himself. These dramatisations are beautiful to look at, thanks to Eiko Ishioka's remarkable production design and Schrader's imaginative staging. In all parts, the acting is superb, especially from Ken Ogata as Mishima, who captures the essential charm, arrogance and narcissism of the man. The photography is excellent throughout and contains images that the viewer will retain forever. Finally, the music is simply superb, perfectly matching the images, although written and recorded before shooting, adjusted during the editorial process and then re-recorded. How much the music influenced the shoot I do not know, but it bonds perfectly to the image. I have seen many ideas of what various people think the theme of the film is, what Schrader is trying to say. You know, the big stuff about life, death etc. But I do not think the film is saying anything. Mishima has already said it, the film simply repeats.
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