Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

1985 film

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is an American/Japanese film. The film is based on the life and work of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, interweaving episodes from his life with dramatizations of segments from his books The Temple of the Golden Pavilio, Kyoko's House, and Runnaway Horses.

Directed by Paul Schrader. Written by Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader and Chieko Schrade
On November 25, 1970, Japan's greatest author Yukio Mishima commited an act that shocked the literary world... (taglines)


[At the movie's ending, speaking to the soldiers]
Body and spirit have never blended.
Never in physical action have I ever found the chilling satisfaction of words.
Never in words have I ever experienced the hot darkness of action.
Somewhere there must be a higher principle that reconciles art and action.
That principle that had occurred to me was death.
The vast upper atmosphere, where there is no oxygen, is surrounded with death.
To survive in this atmosphere, man, like an actor, must wear a mask.
Flying at 45,000 feet, the silver phallus of the fuselage floated in sunlight.
My mind was at ease. My thought process lively. No movement. No sound. No memories.
The closed cockpit and outer space were like the spirit and body of the same being.
Here I saw the outcome of my final action in this stillness was a beauty beyond words.
No more body or spirit, pen or sword, male or female.
Then I saw a giant circle coiled around the earth, a ring that resolved all contradictions, a ring vaster than death, more fragrant than any scent I have ever known.
Here was the moment I had always been seeking. (Mishima)
[At the movie's ending, after the seppuku. Last quote of the movie.] The instant the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up behind his eyelids

and exploded, lighting the sky for an instant. (Mishima)

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