Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters 1985 M

3.00PM Sat 23 Nov 2019 (2hrs)
GOMA | Cinema A | Ticketed

SYNOPSIS

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters will screen from a 4K digital restoration.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is an immense, operatic achievement that delves into the strange and fascinating life of Japanese author Yukio Mishima (1925-1970). Eschewing a traditional linear biopic structure, Paul Schrader (who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Leonard) instead mixes memories from Mishima’s childhood alongside scenes from the last day of his life and hyperstylised adaptations of his novels to present an extraordinary portrait of the enigmatic figure.

Yukio Mishima led a life so eventful and strange that the traditional bounds of cinematic biography would have been useless in trying to capture its scope. An acclaimed author, playwright and poet in Japan, Mishima committed himself to rigorous physical training and later in his life became involved with a militant brand of nationalism that sought to restore power to the Japanese Emperor. He was also rumoured to be homosexual, a theme that arises prominently in his work but a suggestion long been denied by his widow and children.

The intersection of sex, violence and obsessiveness that makes up Mishima’s life is ripe ground for Schrader, who splits the film into three distinct visual styles for each of its sections: stark monochrome for scenes from his sickly childhood, Costa-Gavras-inspired grit for his final day in 1970, and magnificent theatricality for the revealing depictions of three of his novels ‘In the Temple of the Golden Pavilion’, ‘Kyoko’s House’, and ‘Runaway Horses’. Almost inarguably Schrader’s greatest aesthetic accomplishment, the film is elevated by Philip Glass’s formidable soundtrack and Eiko Ishioka’s inventive production design.

Mishima is one of the most daring screen biopics ever filmed and perhaps one of the greatest achievements of its decade. Ken Ogata (who also starred in Shôhei Imamura’s Palme d’Or winning The Ballad of Narayama 1983) sizzles in the title role, delivering a performance that captures the intense physicality and internal violence so crucial to the film’s subject.

CREDITS

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, STEREO, 120 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, JAPANESE/ENGLISH (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: PAUL SCHRADER / SCRIPT: PAUL SCHRADER, LEONARD SCHRADER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOHN BAILEY / EDITORS: MICHAEL CHANDLER, TOMOYO OSHIMA / PROD CO: ZOETROPE STUDIOS, WARNER BROS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: FORTISSIMO FILMS / SCREENING FORMAT: 4K DCP