I had never heard of Mishima before seeing this movie on videotape in the mid-1980's. Since that time I have read many of Mishima's books and have enjoyed some of them thoroughly. The movie, a masterpiece, featuring some of the finest music ever recorded by Phillip Glass along with beautifully stylized and award-winning cinema photography and the most provocative words that could be culled from works by Mishima was narrated perfectly by Roy Scheider. When I read Mishima's books, I had a very difficult time separating Roy Scheider's voice from that of Mishima and, in a strange way, Mishima's works were better for that voice.
In the transfer to DVD, another narrator replaced Roy Scheider's contribution and, the masterpiece virtually destroyed. To me this is a lesson in how delicate the creative elements comprising a film can be. Change one element and the entire work can be altered beyond artistic recognition.
The behind the scenes documentary "Inside Mishima" is a nice addition but the main feature is not worth seeing in this form. What were the producers of this DVD thinking? I hope they rethink this release someday so film buffs can re-discover, what may very well be, Paul Schrader's finest film to date.