Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters (1985, Schrader, DVD).avi (Size: 696.77 MB) (Files: 1)
Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters (1985, Schrader, DVD).avi
This visually strong DVD on the life of Mishima was divided into three interwoven chapters; there is a black and white retelling of Mishima's life; a color version of the last day of his life; and then a super-saturated color version of three abbreviations of his novels. I think these three sections actually allow a good armature on which to review the film and to comment on the artist's life and gifts to literature.
The life of Mishima, filmed in black and white, reveals many of the themes that continue to haunt both his fiction and his personal interactions. As a child, Mishima is told by his grandmother that he is special, a fragile hot-house plant, and that his family is better than common people. As a pre-adolescent he finds a picture of St. Sebastian pierced with arrows, and says that 'this painting had laid in wait for me for 300 years' and that his 'hand began a spontaneous motion that it had never been taught'. Thus Mishima himself gives us the key to understanding much of his work and life; he becomes obsessed with idealized male beauty and martyrdom. He begins the creative process early and is very prolific. He begins writing every night at midnight for a specified period of time, and maintained this routine throughout his life. He marries and has two children but he also has affairs with men. As he ages he becomes more obsessed with his body and becomes a body builder. He is humiliated beyond description by the Japanese loss of World War II. Eventually he develops a circle of beautiful male followers and forms his own private army.