Directed by Paul Schrader, starring Ken Ogat and Masayyuki Shionoya
This film is a biographical treatment of the life of one of Japans’ most well-known writers, Yukio Mishima. It is structured in four chapters which interweave Mishima’s real life and his stories and novels. His early life as a boy is shown in black and white footage, his present-day life is shown in regular color and the scenes from his novels are shown in garish technicolor where the settings and action are highly stylized. The literary scenes are weirdly prophetic and presage things that are to come. The whole thing is brilliantly constructed and a marvel to watch. One of Schrader’s best works.
Mishima believed himself to be a Samurai warrior and created his own private army. He wanted to restore Japan to Imperial Rule. He also had peculiar ideas about beauty. He thought one should live until he reached perfection then destroy oneself before he decayed. Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) on November 25, 1970.
“The instant that the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up and exploded behind his eyelids.”