Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Review

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
The biography of twentieth century Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima. The film, in four parts, weaves the life of the author with segments of three of his best-known works, leading up to his death in 1970.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1985

Running Time:

121 minutes



Original Title:

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

A daringly original biopic, which flashes back from the famous novelist-movie star-traditionalist-gay bizarro's suicidal assault on a Japanese army camp. Between minimal black-and-white episodes of Mishima's earlier life and colourful dramatisations of scenes from three of his novels, this attempts to come to grips with the public and private faces of a real-life character, and finally reflects more upon the neuroses and drives of its creator than its subject. Schrader's obsessive-puritanical philosophising is at its purest here, as he channels his usual concerns into a meditation on Mishima's tussles with love, death, honour and the spirit.

An exceptional, original movie, ravishingly shot and with a hauntingly brilliant Philip Glass score.
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