Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Please definitely see this film: MISHIMA: A LIFE IN FOUR CHAPTERS
Released in 1985 (with Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas as executive producers) and filmed entirely in Japan (although never shown there to this day), Paul Schrader's dazzling, controversial film about Yukio Mishima, the legendary Japanese novelist and playwright, resembles few American films before or since. The filmmaker recently enhanced and retouched this masterwork, and MVFF offers the first US screening of his new 35mm print.

Structured around the day in 1970 when Mishima (played by Ken Ogata) famously committed a public act of ritual suicide, the film dramatically weaves diverse strands of biography, memory and the author's fiction to explore the complexity and contradictions of an artist obsessed with physical extremes and whose public persona was one of his most extraordinary creations. In collaboration with cinematographer John Bailey and designer Eiko Ishioka, Schrader creates a striking stylized collage-portrait of Mishima, underlined by Philip Glass' powerful music score.

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