Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1985]

  • SKU: 9020837
  • Release Date: 07/01/2008
  • Rating: R

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

    Special Features

    • Disc 1 - New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the director's cut, supervised and approved by director Paul Schrader and cinematographer John Bailey
    • Optional English and Japanese voice-over narrations, the former by Roy Scheider, the latter by Ken Ogata
    • New audio commentary featuring Schrader and Producer Alan Poul
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Disc 2 - New video interviews with Bailey, Producers Tom Luddy and Mataichiro Yamamoto, Composer Philip Glass, and Production Designer Eiko Ishioka
    • New Video interviews with Mishima biographer John Nathan and friend Donald Richie
    • New audio interview with coscreenwriter Chieko Schrader
    • Video interview excerpt featuring Mishima talking about writing
    • The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima, a 55-minute BBC documentary
    • Plus: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Kevin Jackson, a piece on the film's censorship in Japan, and photograhs of Ishioka's sets


    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
    In Paul Schrader's unusual biopic, Ken Ogata stars as Yukio Mishima, perhaps the most celebrated Japanese novelist of the last five decades. The film begins with Mishima's youth, then moves forward in episodic fashion to his 1970 suicide, symbolically committed at a military site. Originally titled Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, the film is neatly divided into a quartet of acts, and the screenplay does not flinch in its depiction of Mishima's hyperactive sex life. Among the many neat directorial touches is the decision to offer the narrative in black-and-white, while depicting scenes from Mishima's novels in vibrant color. Written off as self-indulgent by those impatient with Schrader's fragmentary technique, Mishima was produced in Japan by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, an offshoot of Coppola's involvement with Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Ken Ogata
      Ken Ogata - Yukio Mishima
    • Image coming soon
      Masayuki Shionoya - Morita
    • Hiroshi Mikami
      Hiroshi Mikami - Cadet No. 1
    • Image coming soon
      Yasosuke Bando - Mizoguchi
    • Image coming soon
      Junya Fukuda - Cadet No. 2

    Customer rating

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One of Criterion's Finest Releases


      Paul Schrader has made a variety of films as a director, but as a writer he is responsible for both Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" is Schrader's masterpiece as a director. From the various color schemes used (bright, vibrant color for the scenes from Mishima's books to the black and white used for Mishima's past) to the brilliant set designs, this films screams quality on every level. Ken Ogata's performance as fascinating author Yukio Mishima is subtle and pays respect to the complexity of the man. The film is certainly one of the best biographies I've ever seen, particularly because the film focuses not on explaining the details of Mishima's life, but the essence of the man: his philosophies as espoused in his books, actions, and final day. There are many extras included on this fine dvd set. On disc one, there is a commentary from Paul Schrader and the obligatory trailer. On the second disc, there is a plethora of interviews, both about the film and Yukio Mishima himself. The dvd menus are crisp and remarkably well designed. The film's picture is clear and the colors seem to pop out while the audio is also equally excellent. The packaging of "Mishima" is one of Criterion's finest achievements. The cover is a piece of artwork itself. There is a foldout tray with spots for the discs as well as a booklet including two essays on the film and photographs of Eiko Ishioka's beautiful sets from the film. Overall, it is great to see a film like this given Criterion's best treatment. I fully recommend seeing this gem of a film and picking this dvd up.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.