Paul Schrader portrait of Mishima is utterly fascinating. Told through history and vignettes from selected stories, he gives impressions of the infamous Japanese author, without the exacting stories of ‘he did this, and then did this’. It’s brilliant. Mishima makes differences of art and war, for Schrader - writing is voyeurism, and the best writing doesn’t involve interaction with the audience. Yet, Mishima wanted to be seen. Constantly. Whether as an author, a celebrity, a movie star, or model - Schrader explores that dichotomy brilliantly by intertwining the vignettes as biographical strands (and done up in beautiful Mann-like colors) ending of course with his infamous coupe and ritual suicide. You feel the surge of militancy of within Mishima, through the use of ‘Runway Horses’, but offered no explanation. You walk away without feeling biographical about Mishima, but as if you played within his imagination for two hours.
Kinda wanted Mishima as my dad near the end. Ha.