Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
A fictional account of the life of Japanese author Yukio Mishima told in four parts. The first three parts relate events in three of his novels: The temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoko's House, and Ranaway Horses. The last part depicts the events of 25th November 1970.
What the hell... why would someone make an interesting biopic, which for once actually made me want to know more about the person it was about? How ridiculous...
In all seriousness though, it's so refreshing to actually see a biopic which is made in a creative way. I loved seeing the reenactments of Mishima's fictional works as we saw parts of his real life which paralleled the events of these works or were connected in some other way. And the music, oh good fucking lord, I loved the music. I had a constant orgasm in my ears (shut up, it's possible!) because of the wonderful score by Philip Glass, which, for some reason, made me really want to watch In…
Wow, a biopic that was actually interesting! This genre usually does nothing for me…but Mishima is done in a unique enough way that it manages to remain narratively unique while still roughly staying in biopic territory. The story of Yukio Mishima is told in an odd flashback format in which it alternates between his own life story and reenactments of his fictional works. The way it’s done is just really interesting, I found it quite fun to see parallels in Mishima’s young life being played out in the books he would later write.
The film is also without doubt a visual spectacle. What is so intriguing about that 80’s flavored color palette? It’s almost like everything leans towards pastel a…
"A man's desire to become beautiful is also a desire for death."
harmonizes actual events of Mishima's life, his nationalism, his persona as an artist, his fiction, and his own self-image, ultimately fully empathizing with his will to power and violent transcendence.
My takeaway from Mishima is basically "I want more". And what I want more of is theatre.
For each of the first three titular chapters, colourful recreations of Yukio Mishima's plays are woven into the fabric of an otherwise quite normal black and white biopic (itself framed by spare scenes from the last day of Mishima's life, which gets full play in the final, heartbreaking chapter). This is a brilliant film in so many ways, but in my mind, Paul Schrader and company's* biggest achievement is the way these stagey interludes work, in equal measures, to reflect back on the biographical story told by the rest of the film, as tributes to a brilliant playwright, as commentary on his life,…
"Words are insufficient."
Paul Schrader's incredibly unique film Mishima : A Life In Four Chapters, stars the talented Ken Ogata as Yukio Mishima, Japan's most celebrated twentieth century author. Instead of sticking to a traditional narrative that would show the audience Mishima's life step by step, Schrader decides to step out of the box and give the audience a biopic unlike any other that has been conceived. Brilliantly, Schrader decides to use Mishima's novels to carry the storyline. Divided into four chapters, ( Beauty, Art, Action, Harmony of Pen and Sword ), each chapter follows Mishima's life as well as the storyline in one of his novels. As we learn more and more about Mishima, we are also shown parallels…
A staggering achievement from Paul Schrader. Mishima is a beautiful film that will knock you out with it's sound and images.
"Mishima" is perhaps the only biopic ever made that essentially becomes its protagonist. Like the mythical real-life figure Yukio Mishima, Paul Schrader's masterpiece is full of life, full of artistic yearning, full of tremendous ideas. At the same time it is afflicted, almost haunted by self-destructive tendencies, by debauched narcissism, and ultimately, by the realization that art, through words or action, will never be enough.
I have seen the film three times already, and I cannot pick up on a single thing that should have been subtracted, added or otherwise changed. It is a flawless work of art; an aching, awe-inspiring and ever-ambitious line of poetry, written in blood. Long live "Mishima".
Hablar de «Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters» no es sólo hablar de un encadenamiento de artistas gloriosos —Paul Schrader dirigiendo y Philip Glass componiendo adaptando tanto la biografía como tres historias del propio Mishima»—, sino de una obra de arte total en el sentido más puro concebible: la palabra como acto que trasciende el mundo, el arte apropiándose del mundo. Una tragedia que no cambia nada, porque el mundo mismo ha debido amoldarse a él para que pudiera llegar a ocurrir.
Fondo y forma perfecta, con tres dimensiones diferentes que dan al conjunto una lógica preciosista. El presente, la muerte de Mishima, en color y siguiendo una lógica temporal; el pasado, la vida de Mishima, en blanco y negro…
Understand a life
By seeing the life in parts.
Genius film making.
A truly stunning film. Not only that, but a truly stunning film that was produced in the vapid, commercial, and apocalyptic wasteland that was 80's cinema.
While the score, set design, and photography are abso-fucking-lutely sublime, Schrader's writing proves itself to be the crowing achievement of the film. He morphs narrative, turning a biopic into a collection of past, present, and fiction. And while it's organized by chapters, this film is poetry.
Phillip Glass soundtrack saturates the whole movie and sounds quite unconventional when combined with Japanese styled movie. It takes time to get used to, but afterwards it begins to flow easily.
Story line could be very complicated - involving many chapters of Mishimas' life, excerpts from his books, all shown in non sequential line. Paul Schrader writing and timing makes this complex story easy to follow and enjoy.
Great use of colors to tell a story. Childhood shown in black&white, book scenes in vivid color and present reality in desaturated colors.
Art direction by Eiko Ishioka. This was her first film and she went on to work with many other iconic movie designs. Mostly filmed in Toho Studios…
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The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 159/738