(Japanese version LEFT vs. English version RIGHT)

(aka 'Yűkoku ' or 'Patriotism' or 'The Rite of Love and Death')

Directed by Domoto Masaki + Yukio Mishima
Japan 1966

 

Playwright and novelist Yukio Mishima foreshadowed his own violent suicide with this ravishing short feature, his only foray into filmmaking, yet made with the expressiveness and confidence of a true cinema artist. All prints of Patriotism (Yűkoku), which depicts the seppuku of a army 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 intertitles.

Excerpt from Criterion's website located HERE

Package

Theatrical Release: April 12th, 1966

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 433 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 27:35 (Japanese version) +  29:06 (English version)
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• a 45-minute audio recording of Yukio Mishima speaking to the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Japan
• a 45-minute making-of documentary, featuring crew from the film's production
• Interview excerpts featuring Mishima discussing war and death (4:35, 4:56)
• 70-page liner notes booklet with new essay by renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns, Mishima's original short story, and Mishima's extensive notes on the film's production

DVD Release Date: July 1st, 200
8
Custom Case (see image above)
Chapters: 6

 

Comments:

This Criterion release is kind of an companion to the previous spine number - Paul Schrader's Mishima: A life in Four Chapters.  It offers two versions of the Mishima's film (known as 'Patriotism' in the west). Both run less than 30 minutes. Aside from the use of English intertitles (on the English version) the image quality appears to be the same and we've compared a frame below. It is slightly pictureboxed. (see our description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review). Criterion are continuing their policy of including a thick black border around the edge of the frame to counter overscan on production television sets. The border is not as thick as we have seen in other Criterion pictureboxing and the 1.33:1 aspect ratio seems, more or less, maintained. Contrast seems a shade on the high end, but consistent throughout the presentation and detail has some strong moments in close-up. There is some noise and a lot of flickering on the beginning but overall is free of damage and watchable.

Audio is mono but there is no dialogue (only music - quite dominant at times) in either short. Supplements, listed below, also appear to be only in mono.

There are some extensive extras on this dual-layered disc - a 45-minute audio (only) recording of Yukio Mishima speaking to the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Japan, a 45-minute making-of documentary from 2006 (Two Days With Yukio Mishima) , featuring crew from the film's production al most militaristically lined up to discuss the writer and his this work in particular. Executive producer Hiroaki Fujii gives the more detailed account. From the same source as on the Mishima Interview excerpts featuring Mishima discussing war and death (4:35, 4:56 respectively) from the 1966 French television (different excerpt available on Criterion's Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters DVD). Finally a well-bound 70-page liner notes booklet with new essay by renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns, Mishima's original short story, and Mishima's extensive notes on the film's production.

It's possible this is a spill-over from the healthy Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters DVD as Criterion is offering it at a very reasonable price. It would have seemed an appropriate addition to that package but perhaps overkill (pushing it to 3-discs). This is fairly heavy art but I'm so glad to have seen his only directorial effort. This is quite dramatic in its portrayal of a ritualistic suicide and essentially foreshadowing his own demise. Magnificent cinema.   

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Subtitle Sample

 

(Japanese version TOP vs. English version BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Japanese version TOP vs. English version BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 433 - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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