This is precisely the problem. In almost all of his works from his late period I have the feeling of a great clarity about the idea of the re-institution of the 'old Japan' ultimately not being possible; and I miss that clarity in his actions. I thought almost that Schrader wanted to 'de-idealize' these emblematic moments from Mishima's life in places, not just at the very end of the film. This is a completely valid approach, and perhaps we get a much more 'realistic', more 'human' Mishima here than from his public 'mask' that he built up over the years.colinr0380 wrote:I would agree but suggest it was one dimensional in such a way as to suggest the alternative points of view on the man. In a way we are seeing the idealised view of himself through his writings (if we want to totally subscribe to what the artist wrote completely equalling his beliefs.
Yes, that makes perfect sense to me; it just again diminishes the political aspect of the whole affair, and makes it a purely private problem in the end. I'm not sure whether I can make clear what I mean; from his writings (at least his late works) I have the feeling that Mishima ultimately looked beyond himself and his private life and was able to analyze what was going on in Japan for himself. That analysis (or rather: the conclusions from it) may have been coloured by his personal inner life, and perhaps that's what led him to act in the way he did (not just the final event, but the forming of the Tatenokai in the first place). And all this ALTHOUGH he knew about the futility and perhaps ridiculousness of it. But it still doesn't mean that his look at contemporary Japan was alltogether wrong because of this.colinr0380 wrote:In the fascinating interview with John Nathan and Donald Richie they both talk about feeling of control Mishima exerted over his life and other people within it: Nathan talks about the way different parts of his life were kept compartmentalised (so the bodybuilding world didn't mix with the writing world, which didn't mix with his political work) in the perspectives of the various groups of people he interacted with in reality but all were linked inside the man himself and it was only with his final act of destroying his sculpted body inside a military base in a manner similar to characters from his novels that he tied his life together for others to understand.
Yes, indeed. I've known some manipulative, charismatic persons in my life and would say: once you've seen through their schemes, it's not only disturbing, but also genuinely embarassing. I'm not sure whether I would have liked to be a friend of Mishima, really.colinr0380 wrote:They also talk about Mishima making you a character in the drama of his life if you encountered him - which sounds superficially fun with the excitement of being considered important enough to be part of something, but on reflection a little disturbing in its refusal to allow people to be individuals with control over their own lives and reactions. It is what makes Mishima so charismatic and yet so disturbing at the same time.
Yes, I agree with this, too. And especially because Ogata isn't Mishima (and doesn't have that personal charisma), Mishima in the film in the end almost becomes a tragi-comical character; whereas the real Mishima managed to retain his mask until the very end (though if one hears that his lover wasn't able to cut off his head properly and made a gory mess of it, even in real life it got tragi-comical; but that of course wasn't shown in the news, then).colinr0380 wrote: It seems as if Mishima is already living totally in his perfect recreation of this event, even while small things around him show that not everyone is so 'in the moment'! (Even his followers, understandably, look nervous and seem to be having second thoughts)
Yep. The more I think about Mishima and learn about his contradictions, the less I understand him. But perhaps it's not necessary to understand the person as long as you can come to an understanding of his works. They are much more lucid than the man.colinr0380 wrote:Perhaps the final irony is that he created a perfectly structured story of a complex, fascinating life and even gave it a powerful ending (the first media death?) and many people still didn't understand what the hell he was doing!