Paul Schrader – In the Hands of an Angry God

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Paul Schrader

USA, Japan 1985. 120 Min.
bw/Color. DCP. Jap/E/e

European premiere of restored version

After the famous Japanese author Yukio Mishima completed his last book, he occupied the army headquarters in Tokyo with four cadets of his self-proclaimed private army on 25 November 1970, to celebrate the event with a hugely symbolic act: a hostage-taking first gave the politically active poet access to the balcony, and from here he made a glowing, pro-emperor appeal to the assembled soldiers. Immediately after the failed attempted coup, Mishima put a ceremonial end to his life with the ancient Japanese custom of Harakiri.


Schrader’s fearless and extremely captivating portrayal of a man who turned his life into a work of art lives up to the original in every aspect. Key milestones in Mishima’s biography are portrayed in melancholy, black-and-white flashbacks, and are combined with poetic and opulently staged scenes from his novels. Bold in its form and driven by the triumphant music of Philip Glass, Mishima is the most radical work in Schrader’s opus so far. (pj)


DirectorPaul Schrader
ScreenplayPaul Schrader, Leonard Schrader
CinematographyJohn Bailey
EditingMichael Chandler, Tomoyo Oshima
MusicPhilip Glass
WithKen Ogata, Masayuki Shionoya, Junkichi Orimoto, Naoko Otani
ProducersMata Yamamoto, Tom Luddy

Paul Schrader