Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michelle E. Moore and Brian Brems

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474462037

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474462037.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

“So I Found Another Form of Expression”: Art and Life/Art in Life in Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

“So I Found Another Form of Expression”: Art and Life/Art in Life in Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Chapter:
(p.105) Chapter 6 “So I Found Another Form of Expression”: Art and Life/Art in Life in Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader
Author(s):

Thomas Prasch

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474462037.003.0007

Paul Schrader says Mishima, like Taxi Driver’s hero, “is an example of a certain pathology of suicidal glory that transcends education and culture.” But for Schrader his task is “exploration” of such pathology, while critics tend to take it as endorsement. This chapter shows that Schrader’s tactics in Mishima in fact invite misreading, through their aesthetic distance. Although the present tense of the film is carried out in what might be called a near-documentary neutral naturalism, most of the film works in other ways: the biographical flashbacks in more expressionistic black and white; the three segments of adapted novels both in lush color, and presented as deliberately, anti-naturalistic staged, in a kabuki-inflected style. The result of such aestheticizing tactics, in combination with the direction of Mishima’s own life—toward the “final action” as new “form of expression,” toward life as art—in its very Wildean tenor, strikes an “art for art’s sake” tone, suspending moral judgment. This aestheticism tends to bury the real (as opposed to Mishima’s intoned voiceover) final outcome: that this is a failed coup and a deluded act.

Keywords:   Paul Schrader, Taxi Driver, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, suicide

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.