MISHIMA - THE FINAL CHAPTER in conjunction with JOHAN BIRGANDER present32 years after his shocking suicide, The Horse Hospital pays tribute to the complex life of Yukio Mishima, playwright, poet, essayist, novelist, actor, right wing activist and homosexual, with screenings of:
Karakkaze yaro ( Afraid To Die ) Directed by Yasuzo Masumura (1960) DVD sleevenotes : Mishima makes a rare screen appearance as Takeo, a young yakuza who reluctantly leaves prison to re-enter a dizzying world of kidnappings, attempted assassinations, attacks and retaliations. Torn by family duty, self-preservation, and his desire for his new-found love Yoshie ( Ayako Wakao, MANJI ), Takeo blasts and bluffs his way through this treacherous maze, until he finds he can no longer outrun destiny. Japanese New Wave master Yasuzo Masumura propels this delirious fast paced yakuza-satire with a jazzy score, eye-popping visuals, and a trademark sense of the absurd. and also Enjo ( The Temple of the Golden Pavilion ) Directed by Kon Ichikawa. (1958) Video sleevenotes : A widescreen masterpiece from the acclaimed Kon Ichikawa, Enjo is based on the Mishima book and true story of a young monk who deliberately set fire to a cherished national monument ( Horse Hospital NB - Right ON!! ). Told with breathtaking style through a series of masterful ( sic ) flashbacks, the film focuses on a tormented young man who hopes to find spiritual purity as a monk. But, obviously because we just told you that he burns the temple down, he fucking doesn't, does he. See "Enjo" because of the visual brilliance of the cinematography by the great master Miyagawa Kazuo. It's very very pretty. Yukio Mishima was born in Tokyo in 1925. He attended the University of Tokyo. His first work of fiction, a short story, was published when he was a first-year student. For the rest of his life he wrote - to enormous popular and critical acclaim - plays, poetry, essays, and novels. His first full-length novel, the autobiographical "Confessions of a Mask," is considered a classic of modern Japanese fiction. In it, a young man grapples with his homosexuality, the intensity of his inner states, the ways he must conceal himself, and the difficulties of not conforming to Japanese society. Mishima, educated in Japan and deeply influenced by European and Russian literature, developed his consuming obsession: a longing for unvanquished, imperial Japan; its samurai traditions, and heroic ideals of beauty, nationalism, and honor, including the traditionally enviable fate of dying for one's country. Mishima led by example. Along with writing energetically and passionately, he founded an elite right-wing organization for 100 males, the Shield Society, dedicated to 'Bushido,' the Samurai code of honor. Mishima became an expert in traditional martial arts, despaired of modern Japan and bemoaned the post-war suppression of its traditional past. Control - of the self, of art and of society - was of the utmost importance to Mishima. On travel, Mishima wrote in "Mask" : "...at no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it. After that, there remains only the journey itself, which is nothing but the process by which we lose our ownership of it. This is what makes travel so utterly fruitless." Twenty-six years later, Mishima, intense and disturbed as ever, and in complete 'possession' of his life, committed suicide in a shocking and internationally-reported public event. He was forty-five. He was very cool, but is not in any way to be emulated as a role model.