Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Graced with a throbbing orchestral score from Philip Glass and John Bailey's luminous photography, this is appropriately monumental filmmaking."
‑ Tom Huddlestone, Time Out
"The most unconventional biopic I've ever seen, and one of the best."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The gorgeous, artsy 1985 biopic Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is the best movie that Paul Schrader has yet directed."
‑ Kevin Maher, Times [UK]
"The cerebral cool of Schrader's perspective sacrifices emotional connection to its subject."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"It's Mishima's diagrammatic structure that most perfectly suits its subject, defined by his will to harmony."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"Paul Schrader's 1985 biopic necessarily guts his controversial life - but the visual style is superb."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Philip Glass's score still takes the breath away."
‑ David Gritten, Daily Telegraph
"Offers a mesmerizing profile of the famous Japanese writer whose life was filled with drama."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"It's fetishistic, lyrical, narcissistic and, at key moments, borderline berserk. In other words, the movie captures its subject to a tee."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"From Philip Glass's glorious score to John Bailey's rich cinematography, Schrader's movie is never less than ravishing."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"Those unfamiliar with Mishima's work may find the expressionistic novel sequences overly rich, but Schrader's film is a visually arresting, imaginative and intelligent overview of a difficult subject."
‑ Rob Daniel, Sky Movies
"Gorgeous to look at, but so what?"
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters on Rotten Tomatoes