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  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters


    One of the great biopics because it realizes that the man is inseparable from the myth, that the art is inseparable from the artist. Messy in its construction as a result, though that’s natural in telling the story of a man defined by his many contradictions—the closeted homosexual and the fascist nut, the frail schoolchild and the bodybuilding movie star. In four chapters Schrader examines Mishima’s life and art and how they ultimately blurred together in the most grotesque of…

  • Patriotism



    Very obviously the construction of an aesthete, and a fascistic one at that—here, the ecstasies of love, life, death come at the price of their ritualization. Mishima displays stunning visual imagination considering his literary background, capturing the erotic minutiae of the body in gorgeously composed close-up. It all takes place on the painfully artificial Noh stage of life, every person acting out the motions designated to them by the invisible strings of fate. Patriotism, then, is purpose, and to Mishima…

Popular reviews

  • Twin Peaks: The Return

    Twin Peaks: The Return


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Part 18 (but the whole thing’s a masterpiece)

    What I found most moving this time around is that while The Return is about so many different things that it would be foolish to try to tackle them all—the corruption of America, the struggles of aging gracefully, the impossibility of really returning to what you once thought you knew, etc., etc.—in the end it’s only about one: Laura Palmer. Twenty-five years after Lynch let her rest with the angels at the…

  • Déjà Vu

    Déjà Vu


    I suppose that comparisons to Femme Fatale and Twelve Monkeys are inevitable—the former for its interrogation of the filmic image and how it shapes reality, the latter for its pathos-ridden conception of memory through time travel, both for their unhealthy obsessions with Vertigo—but to reduce Déjà Vu to convenient 1:1s with its convergently-evolved brethren would be to do its remarkably singular presentation of these remixed (and, arguably, remastered) themes a huge disservice. Sure, it is basically Vertigo with time travel and…