209 West Houston @ Sixth Avenue
New York City, New York

(1985) The life of the controversial Japanese novelist — both for his Nobel-worthy art and for his über-flamboyant life — in four symbolic Acts (Beauty, Art, Action, Harmony of Pen and Sword) and on three planes: b&w flashbacks to his previous life, seeing the lonely, sickly boy before he became the world-famous bodybuilder/writer/actor; highly colored and stylized dramatizations of sequences from his books The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (previously filmed as Ichikawa’s Conflagration), Kyoko’s House, and Runaway Horses; and a docudramatic treatment of the last day of his life, leading up to his own theatrically-staged seppuku. With the late Ken Ogata in the title role; striking design by Eiko Ishioka (Coppola’s Dracula); and an iconic Philip Glass score (later recycled for The Truman Show) that matched each visual style with its own musical motif (“Glass’s score virtually transforms the whole thing into opera. There is nothing quite like it.” – Time Out London), this is one of the most unusual and challenging films ever to have come from a mainstream studio (originally Warner Bros., thanks to exec producers Francis Coppola and George Lucas, though Mishima’s widow prevented it from ever being shown in Japan). From the screenwriter of Taxi Driver and the director of Blue Collar and American Gigolo, with co-scripting by his brother, Japanese film scholar Leonard Schrader, and sister-in-law Chieko. In English-subtitled Japanese, with the original Japanese narration (taken directly from Mishima's writings) spoken by Ken Ogata. “The most unconventional biopic I’ve ever seen, and one of the best... Schrader has throughout his life as a screenwriter and director been fascinated by the starting-point of a ‘man in a room,’ as he describes it: a man dressing and preparing himself to go out and do battle for his goals. Mishima is his ultimate man in a room.” – Roger Ebert. “Mishima might have been [the author’s] own greatest creation, but he’s also the ultimate Paul Schrader character: a wounded visionary, a compromised saint, a seeker of truth and transcendence… Schrader’s triumph in Mishima, his most completely satisfying film, lies in creating a seeker who is aware of his own absurdity, and who is willing to embrace the ridiculous on his way to the sublime.” – Dave Kehr, The New York Times.
Wed & Fri: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00*, 9:50
Thurs/Sat/Sun/Tue: 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30
Mon: 2:00, 4:30 ONLY

Added by Fumio on November 24, 2008

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