Lot 942: Archive of material from the estate of Academy Award–nominated screenwriter Leonard Schrader that follows the genesis and production of his 1985 Japanese-language film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, which was based on the life and work of novelist Yukio Mishima. First is an item from the inspiration of the film, a rare signed Japanese softcover limited edition artist print of Behind the Closed Door, numbered 402/525, 8.5 x 10.75, signed on a free end page in Japanese in blue ballpoint by Yukio Mishima.
The film's conception is represented by the English-language material present in the archive, the first being a typed film treatment for Mishima by Paul and Leonard Schrader, 14 pages, outlining their purpose and offering a synopsis of the plot; this is followed by a brief typed draft, 26 pages, identified on the title page as "Exhibit B, 'First Draft Script'"; an additional 46-page draft reveals substantial revisions to "Exhibit B" in addition to the increased length; and a final English script, presumably a final or close-to-final draft, nearly triples this in length, totaling 108 pages.
Perhaps most interesting are four working scripts in Japanese, 9.5 x 9.25, 176 pages, three bearing a few handwritten notations inside, and one heavily annotated on nearly every page, with many additional handwritten note sheets stapled within. Notes are untranslated yet demonstrate immense dedication to the film's production.
The final items come from post-production work, and include 12 glossy 6.5 x 4.75 photos showing various aspects of the seppuku scene, a press folder containing 14 glossy 10 x 8 promotional stills from the movie and over 50 pages of information about the production, and a thick spiral-bound press kit. Also included is a hardcover Japanese edition of the 1986 Mishima book, 5.25 x 7.5, 270 pages, signed and inscribed in Japanese on the first free end page to Len and Chieko Schrader by the film's star, Ken Ogata.
Yukio Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century, and the film does him justice. An extraordinary archive that demonstrates the impressive depth with which the Schrader brothers approached the film.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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