Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

The fragments of an autobiography by the self-destructive Japanese writer, Yukio Mishima.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 20, 1985
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2001
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Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Paul Schrader's directorial masterpiece is a classy and imaginative portrait enriched by a stunning score and impressive cinematography.

Tom Huddlestone
Time Out

Graced with a throbbing orchestral score from Philip Glass and John Bailey's luminous photography, this is appropriately monumental filmmaking.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The most unconventional biopic I've ever seen, and one of the best.

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Kevin Maher
Times (UK)

The gorgeous, artsy 1985 biopic Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is the best movie that Paul Schrader has yet directed.

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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice

It's Mishima's diagrammatic structure that most perfectly suits its subject, defined by his will to harmony.

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Derek Malcolm
London Evening Standard

Paul Schrader's 1985 biopic necessarily guts his controversial life - but the visual style is superb.

David Gritten
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Philip Glass's score still takes the breath away.

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David Fear
Time Out

It's fetishistic, lyrical, narcissistic and, at key moments, borderline berserk. In other words, the movie captures its subject to a tee.

Richard Luck

From Philip Glass's glorious score to John Bailey's rich cinematography, Schrader's movie is never less than ravishing.

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Rob Daniel
Sky Movies

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.

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Flixster Audience Score: 91% Flixster User Reviews
Tsubaki Sanjuro
Mishima's life, and all it's contradictions, is perfectly captured by Schrader in a biopic done right. The film embodies all the passions and… More
Alec Barniskis
It's a triumph for Schrader, using a unconventional narrative for exploring the life and work of such an unconventional man works wonderfully. The highly… More
Stella Dallas
a very ambitious biopic on the life of celebrated writer yukio mishima. the film weaves episodes from 3 of his works with events from his life in stylized… More
Although at times theatrical and experimental with the camera, yet the composition of the frames are always clear and concise. Whether the dialogue was taken… More
Robert Brogan
Mishima is difficult to characterize. It is something of a biographical essay about purity, beauty, art, idealism, action, and death. The exploration of themes… More
Stephen Earnest
On a visual level, "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" is a success because of John Bailey's able cinematography, Philip Glass's musical… More