If you were a boy with an abusive grandmother who only allowed you to play with girls and dolls, well, there’s a good chance you’d grow up to be either really creative or suicidal—or both, as was the case of Yukio Mishima, Japan’s prolific novelist, poet, actor, playwright, and bodybuilder, who staged his own dramatic seppuku in 1970 at the age of 45. Paul Schrader’s fascinating 1985 biopic, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, now in a fresh 35mm print at the Film Forum, explores the controversial author in four acts (“Beauty,” “Art,” “Action,” and “Harmony of Pen and Sword”). Ken Ogata stars in the title role.

Dec. 17-23, 2008

Most Popular