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Mishima: A Llie In Four Chapters (15) (Paul Schrader, US/Japan, 1985) Ken Ogota. 120 mins. Throwing aside the restraints oi the conventional bio-pic, i Schrader portrays his controversial subject, Japanese novelist Yuliio ! Mishlma, through an intriguing g inter-weaving oi ‘straight' biographical 3 narrative, stylised dramatisation oi excerpts irom his novels (where the i protagonists can be seen as substitues 3 iorihe author), and documentary i reconstruction oi his last day when he ’ essayed an abortive military coup. t These three strands are threaded through iour chapters - ‘Beauty’, ‘Art'. ‘Action' and ‘Hannony oi Pen and l Sword’ - charting Mishima’s obsessive quest to change the world through , literature then direct action. However i l
complicated it might sound, it works eiiortlessly on screen.
In the career at Paul Schrader, .l Mishima is really another Travis Bickle (the De Niro character in the Schrader-scripted Taxi Driver). Similarly his vision oi the Japanese
‘ (3’4 2'1. 1;.)
come oii. Even so, te rest oithe iilm is
g author is linked to his previous iilms as ; art at bringing about a society the transcendent expression oi seli he
i director; the Gere role in American i somehow purer and nobler, much more had sought all his lite. a ""0080 dismay. buzzing \t'tttt
‘ Gigolo, ior instance, orthe Kinslii part : in line with his own viewpoint. When he Which is precisely where the problem '"t°"'9°"°e and style. and he'd
' in Cat People. The uniiying theme is , moves to do the same by direct political lies-inst how do you communicate together by Ken Ooota’s quietly
‘ that oi the individual attempting to 1 action he is again irustrated. Yet, when this sort oi spiritual escape on iilm? impassttmed central DertOtmatice-
‘ transcend the constrictions oi society - committing hari-ltari at the iailure oi Mlshtma is a Series Otthfeads waiting scmdﬂ’s “3'3"” ambition tea'es . in a massive deﬁnition/proclamation at 1 his coup (intended to re-establish the to be tied together. but this HDtIWOOU Pabtum tat behind- A "awed L
' his or her identity. Here, Mishima ieels 1 noble Japanese Empire) he iinally quasi-religious ‘Harmony oi Pen and masterpiece. anYtiﬂe? (Ttetior '
' the constraint oi the inadequacy oi his 3 achieves the unity oi art and action in Sword’ is perhaps too ambitious to Jottitston)
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The List 1—14 November 31