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Patriotism

Yukio Mishima , Yoshiko Tsuruoka , Yukio Mishima , Masaki D˘moto    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

Product Description

Playwright and novelist Yukio Mishima predicted his own suicide with this ravishing short feature, his only foray into filmmaking yet directed with the expressiveness and confidence of a true cinema artist. All prints of Patriotism (Yukoku), which depicts the seppuku (ritual suicide) of a naval officer, were destroyed after Mishima's death in 1970, though the negative was saved, and the film resurfaced thirty-five years later. New viewers will be stunned at the depth and clarity of Mishima's vision, as well as his graphic depictions of sex and death. The film is presented here with a choice of Japanese or English inter-titles.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. Beyond Words. Just watch it. July 25 2008
Format:DVD
Just watched this and was blown away. When a filmmaker thinks of a dramatic scene and builds a film around it, they feel pressured to make it as referential to film history as possible these days. This film is direct with its few chapters (its based on the story by Mishima who also directs, adapts, produces and stars). Only a few things actually 'happen', but they are filmed perfectly. The absence of dialogue is perfect; you'll forget that films normally have it. It's that engrossing. Be sure to also check out Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

The extras are very interesting as well. You'll want to here/see this man speak after watching this film.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifyingly Beautiful Feb. 9 2011
By Christopher Barrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
What can I say about this short film? It's 27 minutes of some of the most amazing filming I have seen.

The Criterion version has an 'English Version' in which the scrolls are replaced with English words. It doesn't really affect the actual film... but I still viewed the Japanese version in which captions translate the wording.

The extras are amazing. There are two interviews with Mishima from around this time which are just plain eerie. He discusses Japan's defeat in the war and what that meant to him as well as his views on death. Again... just eerie. There are also several blocks of an audio only Q&A session by the Foreign press in which Mishima answers in very good English. There is one more interview with the surviving crew from the filming.

The film itself is gut wrenching (literally). Filming in black and white was the right choice. The set is arranged in a Noh theater style with sparse settings and stylized touches (such as the snow on the tree). Mishima actually provides a great performance. His Co-star Yoshiko Tsuruoka is also very good.

There is a bit of a graphic moment where Mishima actually opens his belly, but I couldn't Not watch. It's kind of gruesome, but being in black and white gives it the appearance of ink, and as it stretches on the floor like a spilled inkwell.

Even if Mishima had not committed Seppuku later in his life, this film would still be haunting and mesmerizing. The fact that Mishima visited the same fate several years later only adds to the shock of this film.

Also of note: this film was lost and all surviving copies ordered destroyed my Mishima's widow. This copy was found in a tea cellar in 2005 and luckily Criterion got the thumbs up to restore and release it. Something with this much power and magnitude deserves to be preserved and viewed by generations to come.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yukio Mishima's foray into the film world is as challenging as you would expect from him.... July 22 2008
By Grigory's Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Yukio Mishima, one of Japan's greatest writers and artists, made only one film, Patriotism, and our good friends at Criterion have released it in this very reasonably priced edition. The film is only 27 minutes long, and has no dialogue (though it has "written" narration). It's really a striking piece of work, and quite startling at times. It is also very gory and bloody, and can even make today's gorehounds grimace. I think the violence and blood in this film are much more effective is because they actually mean something, as opposed to many films today who seem to push the uncomfortable gore quotient with no reasoning or rhyming behind it. Yukio Mishima was an incredibly prolific, intense, brilliant, convulted, complex, and artistic individual, a man of many faces, masks, illusions, and realities, and this DVD is an absolute must for any of his fans. If you're not a Mishima fan, you should still rent/buy this disc, as you may become one. The film deals with many Mishima themes, that of patriotism, loyalty, the code of the Samurai, loyalty, modern vs. feudal Japan, etc., and the film is really quite good. It's staged on a Noh stage, which gives it a very distinct feel. If it was done in a realistic manner, it would have been immensely boring, but Mishima makes good choices by filming it in this manner.

Granted, this film is not the greatest of Mishima's artistic output (that is his Sea of Fertility tetraology), but it's still absolutely fascinating and holds up quite well today. The music in the film is a bit overdone, but as the film progresses, one adjusts and it becomes less intrusive. The DVD also includes snippets of Mishima interviews, and it's absolutely brilliant stuff. Where many "artists/writers" give interviews today and say very little, Mishima encompasses worlds in the few words he says. His talk about death, heroism, heroic deaths, politics, etc., etc. are very provocative and still valid today. He certainly wasn't shy about expressing his opinions, but as many people shout to express their opinions, Mishima's opinions are ones that mattre and really make one think on a deeper level. There is also a 45 minute documentary on the making of Patriotism, with the original crew and producer assembled. They reminisce about the making of the film (which only took 2 days to film), and how Mishima was pretty well organised for a first time director. It's a very good companion piece to the film. This is a great DVD for any Mishima fan, and for any fan of Japanese and world cinema.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film Feb. 24 2010
By M. J. Tobolski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Forget all the other stuff - this is film making at its' best. Wonderfully conceived, beautifully filmed. I only wish that we had directors today that could put as much passion and story telling on the screen with such economy. Essential viewing for any student of film and any aspiring screenwriter, DP or director.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Poetry of Death July 16 2014
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The packaging for Patriotism is elegantly designed. The DVD case resembles a book in the fine paper used as a cover and the print of Mishima as Lieutenant Takeyama, seated, darkly lighted, staring at a dagger in front of him. The DVD case is similar in design and is accompanied by a book that contains the story Patriotism, production notes by Mishima and an essay by Tony Rayns on the making of the film. The booklet is nicely illustrated with still pictures from the film and a group photograph on Mishima and his co-star with the production crew.

I have been curious about Patriotism since I first saw Paul Schrader’s film back in 1985. I was unaware that Mishima’s widow had all prints of Patriotism destroyed, except for the negative. The film was far more artistic in rendering its subject than I expected. The opening where a ghostly outline of Mishima is caressing his wife was an interesting touch. The lighting is very beautifully handled with beautiful shadings of light and dark. I think that non-Japanese viewers should see the slightly longer English version before viewing the Japanese version. It is advantageous to have read the story written out in English on the scrolls. The new high definition restoration enhances the film beautifully. I was naturally wondering how the act of committing seppuku would be depicted on the screen. It was blood but not unnecessarily gory, and the intent by Mishima was not to shock but treat ritual suicide with some poetry. This is especially true of the final frames of the film where the Lieutenant and Reiko ((Yoshiko Tsuruoka) are shown in a kind of apotheosis, joined forever in death.

The extras are interesting. The 45-minute documentary with members of the film’s production staff provides a lot of insight into the making of Patriotism. The audio only extra of Mishima giving a speech in English to the Foreign Correspondents' Association is interesting in all of the candid comments he provide his audience but also for his command of English. The last extra is a short interview Mishima gave on war and death. The interview was amazing for his comments and also that he did not look directly into the camera, perhaps feeling uncomfortable being filmed.

This set is a must for anyone with an interest in Yukio Mishima but anyone with an interest in art films will find this an amazing film.
5.0 out of 5 stars criterion collection Feb. 11 2013
By nanagain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
purchased for my son
delivered in great condition
recommend to anyone
the product met my son's expectations
part of a personal collection
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