Item description for Patriotism - Criterion Collection by Yukio Mishima & Yukio Mishima...
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 intertitles.SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:New restored high-definition digital transfer of the Japanese and English versions with optional Japanese or English intertitlesA 45-minute audio interview with Yukio Mishima speaking to the Foreign Correspondents' AssociationA 45-minute making-of documentary featuring crew from the film's productionInterview excerpts featuring Mishima discussing war and deathNew and improved English subtitle translationPLUS: A new essay by renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns Mishima's original novella and Mishima's extensive notes on the film's productionSystem Requirements:Running Time: 27 minutes Language: Japanese Subtitles: EnglishFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/COMING OF AGE Rating: NR UPC: 715515029827 Manufacturer No: CC1753DDVD
Outline Author Yukio Mishima's fascination with ritual suicide is at the heart of Patriotism, a 1966 short film co-directed by and co-starring Mishima, and based on one of his many short stories. Self-consciously arty and occasionally laughable, the film nevertheless is sensual, emotionally intense, and well-acted. Mishima stars as Lt. Takeyama, a naval officer who supports an attempted coup of his government, but who is barred by fellow officers--his friends--from participation in it because of his love for Reiko (Yoshiko Tsuruoka). When the coup fails, Takeyama is given the task of executing the rebels. Caught between conflicting points of honor, Takeyama opts for seppuku (suicide), which will make Reiko a lonely widow. The couple decides to commit double suicide, with Takeyama going first. Most of the movie finds the two making love with a unique passion and deep bond that will last beyond death. The black-and-white film blankets the lovers in protective shadows while underscoring their passion and desire through the simplest, most economic gestures. Patriotism's eroticism extends, as Mishima would have it, to seppuku itself. Not that Takeyama's self-disembowelment is a pleasure to watch--in fact, it's horrifying and looks rather realistic. Yet it is another act of the flesh shared between Takeyama and Reiko, a bridge to some place where love and doom meet. This Criterion Collection disc also features a filmed interview with Mishima, as well as an audio recording of a talk he gave. --Tom Keogh
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Actors: Yukio Mishima
Directors: Yukio Mishima
Format: Black & White, DVD, Subtitled, NTSC
Region Code: 1 (USA & Canada Only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 30.00 minutes
Record Label Criterion
Format Black & White / DVD / Subtitled / NTSC
Dimensions: Length: 7.1" Width: 5.42" Height: 0.58" Weight: 0.556875 lbs.
Binding DVD Video
ISBN13 0715515029827 UPC 715515029827
Reviews - What do customers think about Patriotism - Criterion Collection?
mindfulness of the selfless Feb 25, 2010
You are alerted immediately upon inspection that Criterion is issuing something special here. The packaging alone is an artistic statement. Further exploration reveals a substance loaded DVD package. Also know they are making it easy to trial run this at at a reasonable retail offer. Meant as a companion piece to the terrific Mishima - A Life In Four Chapters DVD this is as complete as possible sharing to all things related. Know in advance this is the real deal, or as real as film will ever show.
The fact that the Japanese are all still in a foamy lather bothered about release of these materials should be impetus enough to send you rushing to buy this. If you are not of interest or proclivity toward any eastern mindset and philosophy you should avoid this at all cost. This is the most sacred of all Japanese acts toward honor and the execution thereof. This is story of a modern man making a sacrifice that will hopefully reconnect his country with its time respected ceremonies. I don't know if this makes Mishima a hero but he certainly is no coward and is deserving of our respect. Criterion should be applauded for the extensive, thorough, and complete package once partnered up with the additional Mishima release.
Stunning film Feb 24, 2010
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.
Visceral and Poignant! Beautifully Preserved. Nov 9, 2009
"Patriotism", Yukio Mishima's short film from 1960's Japan is the dismal account of the honorable suicide of a Japanese army lieutenant and his wife in the aftermath of a failed military coup. The lieutenant, played by Mishima himself, is a perfect patriot, relinquishing his life and the life of his pretty young wife to avoid killing his co-conspirators in the failed coup. The young couple share a last night of sexual intimacy before carrying out their suicide pact.
This film is a landmark in cinemat. Aside from being a remarkable political film, quite outlandish in concept and execution for a film made in Japan at this time, "Patriotism" is also a sort of an artistic rehearsal for writer/actor/director Yukio Mishima's actual seppuku in November, 1970. Much like the lieutenant in "Patriotism", Mishima was part of a resistance movement protesting political changes in power. He gave a speech on the balcony of the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan's Self-Defense Forces, and when it failed to inspire a return of power to the emperor, Mishima commited ritual seppuku. In addition to "Patriotism", Mishima had several other films, poems and works of fiction dedicated to the subject of honorable suicide at the time of his actual seppuku.
Mishima's suicide was indirectly responsible for the film retaining such sharp visual clarity in spite of its age. After his death, his widow ordered all copies of the film destroyed. She felt no need to relive her husband's suicide again and again, and kept only one copy of the film sealed in an air-tight tea container. For several decades, the film lingered mostly as a myth, kept alive by copies of copies passed around Arthouse Film circles. Upon Mishima's widow's death in 2005, the mint-condition print of the film was unearthed. Criterion wasted no time wrapping up this gem and packaging it for mass consumption. The Criterion package includes the new, gorgeous transfer of the film, interviews with surviving crew members, and a thin book that contains Mishima's original short story.
I am a big fan of Criterion's bonus features. Whenever appropriate, they include the literary basis for the film in the film's packaging. For "Patriotism" Criterion included the entire text of the original short story. I cannot understate this enough: "Patriotism" the short story is WAY harder to read than the movie is to watch. Watching Yukio Mishima realistically play-act suicide is not as bad as having the experience described in the first person. While the movie is very visceral, it is softened and given meaning by soft classical music and tender cinematography. The short story is brutal and unflinching. I had to take breaks from reading it to let my stomach settle, and I'm the kind of guy who watches films like "Cannibal Holocaust" regularly. It's easily as intense as anything Chuck Palahniuk has written, and predates his nihilist stylings by 30-40 years. If you get this movie, you owe it to yourself to read the short story. It's a unique experience. You can read the text of the short story for free at: [...]
All in all, "Patriotism" is one of the best Criterion treatments of a classic arthouse film yet. The film, the transfer, the special features and the packaging are all top-notch and make "Patriotism" a worthy addition to any DVD library.
Defining Love and Honor Sep 20, 2008
Defining Love and Honor
"Patriotism", written, directed and starring Japanese great Yukio Mishima has finally been released in a beautiful edition by Criterion. "Patriotism" (Yukoku) was originally made in 1996 and foreshadowed Mishima's suicide with great artistic vision and a good amount of gore. The movie is the embodiment of Mishima's concerns and skepticism about the growing westernization of Japan. A navel officer and his wife commit suicide in the final act of the film which was shot in black and white thereby giving an eloquence that is captivating. The set is minimal therefore making the contrast beautiful and leading up to the graphic and artistic final act. Mishima viewed his own life as a work of art and by the time he died at age 45, he wrote 40 novels, 18 plays, 20 books of short stories and over 20 collections of essays. He committed suicide on November 25. 1970 by disembowelment and he united his life with his art. "Patriotism" is based on a short story that Mishima wrote four years before his death. The Criterion edition contains a new digital transfer of the film which is only 27 minutes long. There is also a documentary on the making of the film, a recording of Mishima speaking to the Foreign Correspondents Organization, an interview with Mishima on love and death. Also included is a booklet with the original short story, an essay by Tony Ryans, critic and historian as well as Mishima's notes on the production of the film. This is the only film that Mishima ever made and there is no dialog. What we get is a written narrative. The film is striking and startling and even today it is still gory and bloody. The ritualized suicide of a dishonored Japanese patriot is dramatically portrayed and intense. The film hits hard even before the suicide as we are led to think about honor and what being alive means. The film left me shaken for quite a while afterwards and it made me wonder how audiences in 1966 reacted if it affected me this way in 2008. Even though I knew what was going to happen and was prepared for it, so I thought, it most definitely unnerved me.
A startling foreshadowing Aug 23, 2008
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film
Patriotism, released as Yukoku in Japan, is film written and directed by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima.
The film depicts the seppuku, or ritual suicide, of an army officer that foreshadows the real life seppuku of Mishima a decade later.
All prints of the film were destroyed at the request of Mishima's widow, but the original camera negative was saved. This release is quite impressive as it is a film that quite possible would never have seen the light of day again, if not for the only existing copy being saved.
This edition contains both the English and Japanese intertitled versions, plus a documentary on the film's production, and interviews with Yukio Mishima.
This is a must-buy film for those interested in Japanese literature and film.