Mishima (1985)

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by The-Eternal-Hero, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

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    Nov 3, 2012
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    So, I'm about to read Yukio Mishima's epic "Spring Snow" tetrology and I re-watched the Paul Schrader film produced by Coppola and Lucas. Has anyone seen this? It's an amazing film and it is a perfect reflection of all three artists. Visually, there's a lot of Lucas influence in it, especially in the photography and color, also the abstract structure of the film and the editing. The Philip Glass score is extraordinary.

    Any fans here?

    Last edited by The-Eternal-Hero, Jul 31, 2013
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  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I've never even heard of it, and that's why this thread is awesome. Will try and watch it.
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  3. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

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    Nov 3, 2012
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    Here's a little something more on GL"s involvement (info on this movie nigh-on impossible to find online):

    Even with the participation of George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola as co-producers, how difficult was it for you to get the financing for a project as seemingly uncommercial as “Mishima”?

    That is a long story and I will try to give you the short version. I moved to Japan and we had a Japanese producer who was able to raise half of the budget through his own money and from Fuji Television and Toho-Towa. Francis was producing but he couldn’t get anybody to help us out from the U.S. side, so we went to George. George had kind of a rocky relationship with Warner Brothers but he said that he would be willing to take this on. He went to Warners and at the end of that conversation, Terry Semel, who was the head of Warners, said to George, “If we do this, will we be doing you a favor?” George said yes and so they agreed to match our Japanese money. It was done to ingratiate Warner Brothers to George, basically. They never had a great deal of interest in promoting the film--their obligation was fulfilled when they put up half the money and that is why there was never really a big promotion for the film.

    Then, of course, the Japanese financiers tried to pull out at the last minute because of pressure from the widow. There was another drama involving that and the end result was that they gave us the money but claimed that they didn’t. To this day, they claim that they did not finance the film. By that time, I became increasingly aware that the film would never been shown in Japan (and it never has) and that for the rest of the world, it would just be another foreign-language film. In many ways, I was out there directing a film that was financed by no one that was going to be seen by no one.
    http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=2515
    * * * *
    On top of that, GL was the first in this group to work with Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi) and probably brought him in, just as Coppola brought set designer Eiko in on the project (she would go on to design Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992). GL also handled post production at Skywalker Ranch & oversaw the promotional materials, like the awesome poster & trailer:


    [IMG]

    Mishima is one of many interesting films that would literally not exist if not for GL. Some others are: Twice Upon A Time; Body Heat; Return To Oz; Koyaanisqatsi; and Kagemusha (Kurosawa's "come back" epic). When Fanboys/Fangals trash Lucas they often don't bother to look at all the art films he's rescued or bankrolled or produced, films they've never seen, one of the many reasons I ignore those people.
    Last edited by The-Eternal-Hero, Aug 1, 2013
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Ran was another, wasn't it?
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Aug 1, 2013
  5. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

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    Nov 3, 2012
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    No, the two Lucas produced Kurosawa films are Kagemusha and Dreams. But Ran is amazing!

    Two corrections:

    1. The Mishima tetrology is "Sea of Fertility", Spring Snow is the first volume.

    2. Lucas produced Powaqqatsi (1988) not Koyaanisqatsi (1982). But Powaqqatsi was in production for several years.
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 29, 2000
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    Cool-are these available on DVD/netflix/etc?
  7. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 26, 2009
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    I saw Mishima about a thousand years ago on a ratty VHS, have always meant to give it another look - apart from LFL's involvement, Paul Schrader was the writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, plus some lesser-known films like Hardcore and American Gigolo, which weren't perfect, but definitely interesting.

    I seem to recall it was a very cold movie, but brilliantly made, what I enjoyed was the combination of telling the story of the writer along with incorporating adaptations of his work into the film.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Aug 2, 2013
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  8. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Mishima is definitely an amazing film, and one I had never even heard about before about ten years ago; I'm guessing it had limited release when it was first released theatrically in the mid-1980's. I first heard about the film it in a book about Lflm.-related movies. Since then, I've seen it a couple of times on DVD & am still stunned at how good this is. It helps that I really enjoy anything that Paul Schrader is involved in (whether it's writing or directing). The story was interesting & almost stream-of-consciousness, and the score by Philip Glass was sublime.

    Note that if you've only seen the film on VHS tape, it's definitely worth checking out on the widescreen DVD format, since it will be a much better experience. In fact, this thread is inspiring me to check the movie out again....
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  9. BigAl6ft6 Chosen One

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    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    Just added it to my mental Netflix cue! ETA, October, maybe.
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  10. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Watched it years ago. Very striking imagery in the film. And Lucas had ILM and Skywalker Sound(then known as Sprocket Systems) work on it.

    This also makes me think of that amazing behind the scenes article posted on the internets a week or two ago about Schrader struggling to make The Canyons with porn star James Deen and Lindsay Lohan.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Aug 12, 2013
  11. Darth Zannah Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 28, 2014
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    Has anyone seen this film? What part did Lucas have in the making of this film? We discuss a lot of his work but never this film...
    Last edited by Darth Zannah, Dec 10, 2014
  12. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 26, 2009
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    Mod action: Merging with a much older thread about the film that had been bumped to the next page.

    (Still haven't gotten around to watching it again - been watching some other Paul Schrader films lately, so time to grab it)
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Dec 11, 2014
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  13. Darth Zannah Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 28, 2014
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    Just saw this film for free on youtube and WOW. This is easilly one of Lucas' best film projects...this film is very poetical and needs to be more discussed...especially in regards to Lucas' best projects....
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  14. EternalHero Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 17, 2014
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    An interesting side note: when the Blu Ray came out Schrader made several alterations to the film, including digitally altering a few backgrounds. No one said a word. I guess it's alright for everyone on earth to do that except for Lucas, when he does it it's pure evil & senseless vandalism.
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  15. Darth Zannah Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 28, 2014
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    Altering a background is way different than SOME of the stuff Lucas has done...I don't think people have a problem with Lucas making changes..they have a problem with him suppressing the original versions of his films and lying about being able to restore them in HD...plus Lucas is more popular and his Star Wars films more culturally significant..not saying your wrong, just that Lucas has way more scrutiny from the public...I'm happy though, with my unaltered original trilogy bonus disc of the laserdisc version and Harmy's Despecialized Editions...wish Lucas would release the original THX-1138 and Young Indy though...
    Last edited by Darth Zannah, Dec 14, 2014
  16. Pensivia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Definitely adding this to my "to-watch" list...I had seen the title referenced in an interview with Philip Glass I was reading, but didn't know anything about it. The comments above make it sound promising--will look forward to checking it out!
  17. Billy_Dee_Binks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2002
    star 4
    Great film.
    I was mainly interesting seeing it because of Philip Glass's score, which was used for the opening of the Celebration III - Star Wars Episode III Spectacular back in April 2005. I have been trying to figure this out for a good 8-9 years until finally someone figured out its source. It's "02. November 25 - Morning". Easily my favourite track by Glass. It is tied to so much excitement, being among the first few to see a montage of never-before-seen material for the last Star Wars episode on the big screen, in the company of Rick McCallum and hundreds of fans. There was electricity in the air. The track was such a perfect choice for the opening of the clip as well. It feels like the Jedi Starfighters are descending into hell. Everything is toppling down on them as they fly through the midst of the largest, most chaotic space battle in SW history. Hearing this track gives me goosebumps every time.



    Great film, interesting narrative, excellent visuals and score.
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  18. Billy_Dee_Binks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2002
    star 4
    You are talking about the Criterion DVD. The film was only released on Blu-Ray in Spain, without English subtitles during Japanese dialogue scenes. Also, googling "Mishima Blu-Ray" hardly gives you any worthwhile results. There aren't even any screen-captures to be found.
  19. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
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    If you like Glass(as I do), there is a great doc on him you can get at Netflix or some other service.
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  20. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Recently re-watched Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and am again stunned at the brilliance of this film.

    I especially liked the surreal & stream-of-consciousness aspects of the film - it was interesting that it basically skipped around between the present (which in this case was November 1970), to flashbacks from the past (b&w), to the stories that were taken from Mishima's work.

    One of the many elements that really stood out for me was the story involving the son making the deal with that older woman so that his mother's debts could be paid off. The color in these segments was amazing - very bright & in many cases neon-like red, orange, pink, green, etc. - these were a great example of how truly amazing a regular DVD can look.

    And, obviously, the score by Philip Glass was sublime - incredible.

    I also got the impression that though Mishima was a very well-respected author & playwright with a large following, he still felt alienated from others much of his life. This may have been why Schrader decided to make the film, since many of the films he either wrote and/or directed focus on characters alienated from others, i.e. Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Julien in American Gigolo, etc.

    Side-note: I don't think that Mishima is on Blu-ray in the U.S. (Region 1) - yet.
    Last edited by Blur, Jan 29, 2015
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  21. L110 Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 26, 2014
    star 2
    It´s also worthy to mention that the blu-ray edition of the film doesn´t include the original cut of the film.
  22. Pensivia Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2013
    star 4
    Just now seeing your post above..what is the name of that Glass documentary? I don't have Netflix at the moment but would like to see if I can find it somewhere else. Thanks!
    Last edited by Pensivia, Apr 11, 2015
  23. kubricklynch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
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    This is an amazing film with great cinematography and the score by Glass is excellent as always.

    I believe it is called "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts." I saw it awhile ago, it was pretty good.
    Last edited by kubricklynch, Apr 19, 2015
  24. Pensivia Force Ghost

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  25. thejeditraitor Chosen One

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