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.
Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.
A fictionalized account in four chapters of the life of celebrated Japanese author Yukio Mishima. Three of the segments parallel events in Mishima's life with his novels (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoko's House, and Runaway Horses), while the fourth depicts the actual events of the 25th Nov. 1970, "The Last Day".Written by
Nick Lopez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There are two versions of the film, one with English narration by Roy Scheider, the other with Japanese narration by Ken Ogata. The Ogata version also has scenes added by director Paul Schrader that were cut out from the original 1985 release. These scenes were added by Schrader to the Criterion DVD release: "We did quite a bit of work on it - [cinematographer] John Bailey and I worked a week redoing the D.I. [Digital Intermediate] and balancing the color. We did great work to the soundtrack. We added a short little scene that I had cut out featuring Chishû Ryû, the Ozu [Yasujirô Ozu] actor, that I always regretted cutting out - we found the original negative and I put that back in. I did some sky replacement at the end of [the segment] "Runaway Horses" because I wasn't really happy with the shots at the end. We were able to go back and replace the natural sky with an artificial sky. Then we went back to the original digital on Philip Glass' soundtrack and so the sound is much better on the Criterion version. We also put Ken Ogata's narration in, so now it finally has Japanese narration." 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 »
You have to promise not to kiss me... until after I'm dead.
See more »
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 »
Criterion's DVD (and the newly struck 35mm print of the film) add a brief deleted scene, from the "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" segment in which Mizoguchi talks to an old teacher, back into the main film. There are also changes to the shots leading up to the sunrise and seppuku in the "Runaway Horses" segment, in which the previously real sky is replaced by a deliberately artificial-looking matte painting. These changes are carried over to the Blu-Ray and 4K DCP release. See more »
Highly stylized, rewarding film for thoughtful viewers.
It has taken several viewings for me to fully appreciate this film. Initially, I was struck by the stylized sets, but found the rest slow going and dull. I thought that such a sensational subject needed the Ken Russell treatment to take it way over the top. I now find the enforced restraint (placed on the production by Mishima's widow) to be an asset. Some of the more lurid aspects of Mishima's life are reiterated and dramatized by corresponding themes from his novels. I think it helps to be familiar with the novels - that's what finally made the difference for me. Still feel the film overall could be a little tighter and warmer, but it's genuinely unique, and deserves serious attention. Love the fact that the Japanese characters speak Japanese - not English. The Philip Glass score is mesmerizing.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this