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

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    Jun 29, 2000
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    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
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  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 29, 2000
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    Ran was another, wasn't it?
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Aug 1, 2013
  5. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    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

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
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    Cool-are these available on DVD/netflix/etc?
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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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 Force Ghost

    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    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

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    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