Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Director: Paul Schrader Cast: Ken Ogata, Masayuki Shionoya, Hiroshi Mikami

Blu-ray (Special Edition / Wide Screen / Restored)

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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/22/2018
UPC: 0715515214810
Original Release: 1985
Rating: R
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time: 2:00:00
Sales rank: 5,041

Special Features

New, restored 4k digital transfer of the Director's Cut, supervised and approved by Director Paul Schrader and Cinematographer John Bailey, with 2.0 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack; Two alternate English narrations, including one by actor Roy Scheider; Audio Commentary from 2006 featuring Schrader and Producer Alan Poul; Interviews from 2007 and 2008 with Bailey, Producers Tom Luddy and Mata Yamamoto, Composer Philip Glass, and Production Designer Eiko Ishioka ; Interviews from 2008 with Yukio Mishima biographer John Nathan and friend Donald Schrader; Interview excerpt from 1966 featuring Mishima, a documentary from 1985 about the author; Trailer; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kevin Jackson, a piece on the film's censorship in Japan, and photographs of Ishioka's sets

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ken Ogata Yukio Mishima
Masayuki Shionoya Morita
Hiroshi Mikami Cadet No. 1
Yasosuke Bando Mizoguchi
Junya Fukuda Cadet No. 2
Toshiyuki Nagashima Isao [Runaway Horses]
Shigeto Tachihara Cadet No. 3
Junkichi Orimoto Gen. Mashita
Naoko Otani Mother
Go Riju Mishima, age 18-19
Masato Aizawa Mishima, Age 9-14
Yuki Nagahara Mishima, Age 5
Kyuzo Kobayashi Literary Friend
Yuki Kitazume Dancing friend
Hisako Manda Mariko
Naomi Oki 1st Girl [Temple Of The Golden Pavilion]
Miki Takakura 2nd Girl [Temple Of The Golden Pavilion]
Koichi Sato Kashiwagi [Temple Of The Golden Pavilion]
Setsuko Karasuma Mitsuko [Kyoko's House]
Yasuaki Kurata Takei [Kyoko's House]
Mitsuru Hirata Thug [Kyoko's House]
Hiroshi Katsuno Lieutenant Hori
Hiroki Ida Izutsu [Runaway Horses]
Jun Negami Kurahara [Runaway Horses]
Ryo Ikebe Interrogator [Runaway Horses]
Sachiko Akagi Thug's Girl Friend [Kyoko's House]
Yasuhiro Arai Reporter No. 2
Eimei Ezumi Ichigaya Aide-de-Camp
Tsutomu Harada Romeo [Kyoko's House]
Sachiko Hidari Osamu's Mother [Kyoko's House]
Tatsuya Hiragaki Actor [Runaway Horses]
Minoru Hodaka Ichigaya Colonel
Toshio Hosokawa "Rokumeikan" Producer
Naoya Makoto Kendo Instructor [Runaway Horses]
Yosuke Mizuno "Yukoku" Producer
Fumio Mizushima Reporter No. 3
Shinichi Nosaka Policeman [Runaway Horses]
Kojiro Oka 1st MP [Runaway Horses]
Mami Okamoto Juliet [Kyoko's House]
Alan Mark Poul American Reporter
Reisen Lee Kiyomi
Ren Ebata Reporter No. 1
Yuichi Saito Student
Kenji Sawara Osamu
Roy Scheider English Narration
Shinji Miura Pavilion Acolyte
Tadanori Yokoo Natsuo
Atsushi Takayama Interrogation Policeman
Imari Tauji Madame
Kazuo Kato Grandmother
John Nathan Biographer
Donald Richie Actor

Technical Credits
Paul Schrader Director,Screenwriter
John Bailey Cinematographer
Michael Chandler Editor
Francis Ford Coppola Producer
Philip Glass Score Composer
Noriyo Ida Makeup
Eiko Ishioka Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
Yashuhiro Kawaguchi Makeup
George Lucas Producer
Tom Luddy Producer
Mataichiro Producer
Masayuki Okubi Makeup
Tomoyo Oshima Editor
Kyoji Sasaki Set Decoration/Design
Chieko Schrader Screenwriter
Leonard Schrader Screenwriter
Kazuo Takenaka Art Director
Etsuko Yagyu Costumes/Costume Designer
Mata Yamamoto Producer

Customer Reviews

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Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even if you aren't into Japanese culture, this is a movie which will stay with you for the end of your days. An absolute brilliant piece of work that should be enjoyed by all. Mishima was an odd duck with a warp mind, but viewers can identify with the struggles he had as a human being. The music score adds to the images so much that I actively sought out the nearly 20 year-old CD soundtrack. That should say something. So far I've watched Mishima five times and still am looking forward to watching it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mishima is one of the great movies. What I love about it is that it intertwines both the realism of cinematic narration with the lyricism of theater. The music is beautiful and ads to the whole in order to make it a masterpiece. This movie is a must for all who love Japanese culture. It is a must for the existentialist too. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Schrader's handling of Yukio Mishima and his obssesive strange tale is mesmerizing, beautiful, and horrific...all at the same time. Mishima is one of the most contradictory men you could ever pay witness to (much like Schrader's other Man-In-A-Room Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver). Preaching a return to bushido, while living in a relatively expensive Western-styled house?! Fascinating at every turn. His death by seppuku could be construed as merely a political stance, but this film presents it as a personal choice. He rehearsed it for most of his life. This DVD has only four stars because of two reasons. One, I really wanted more extras, such as the Biography program on Mishima. Or current documentaries on Mishima's legacy. More fact based material to back up the film. Two, I seriously enjoyed Paul Schrader's commentary track, but wished there was another one from cinematographer John Bailey and other technical folks. The film is absolutely stunning to look at and would like to know how they did it and what obstacles they came across. All in all, it's a great DVD, but it left me wanting more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was in university in US, I had seen this movie once. Even it is not released in Japan, I was surprised that description of Mishima's life is quite accurate and touch of Japanese beauty is so sensitive. This time I have bought DVD for this. Even 8 years have been past from my first appreciation, it was still impressive. Sometimes American translation of Japanese tradition and beauty are way off from their inner philosophy and shows completely different side. But this one is not. Mishima is very famous for his rightist and ''Bushi-do (way of Samurai)'' idea and wrote many books related his idea. This movie shows the way he lived beautifully.