Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Directed by Paul Schrader
I have never read anything by Yukio Mishima, although I will eventually as he is represented on the 1001 Books List. Maybe if I had I would have appreciated this movie more. As it was, I was bored throughout the entire film.
The plot is relayed in a very messy way, so I apologize if this description is muddled. Basically, we are told the story of Mishima's life, which admittedly is a rather fascinating one. Interwoven in the narrative are adaptations of three of Mishima's novels. My favorite was the story The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, when a man is so intimidated by a temple's beauty that he sets fire to it.
This film is obviously gorgeous; you might even be able to tell from the above picture that the movie is a visual masterpiece. Still, I can't honestly say I like it. Mishima is clearly an intriguing man, so why I was so bored? I suppose I felt like the movie was a bit superficial. It was beautiful on the outside, but we didn't quite dive into Mishima's character like I wanted to.
I am not even sure that is why I didn't like it; that was just a guess. Maybe I will give "A Sea of Fertility" a try sooner rather than later and revisit it.
Mishima's family initially supported the film but withdrew their help when the director insisted on including the gay bar scene.