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THE TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN PAVILION

Japan, 1976 (MIFF 1979)

Director: Yoichi Takabayashi

This is another film version of Yukio Mishima's story of the same title, which was first filmed by Kon Ichikawa under the title of Enjo. In his childhood, Mizoguchi has been taught by his father that the Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto) was the most beautiful thing in the world. Thus, it becomes the symbol of beauty for him. After his father dies, Mizoguchi becomes a monk at the temple, as his father had willed. Clashing with his commitment to the Kinkakuji is his love for Uiko, which he does not dare admit to her. Frustrated, he begins to hate her and prays for her death, and his wish comes true when an army deserter kills her.

With a friend named Tsurukawa, Mizoguchi takes lessons from an old priest and enters the University where he befriends the handsome Kashiwagi Under Kashiwagi's worldly influence and guidance, Mizoguchi has many encounters with women, but every time the thought of Kinkakuji gets in the way of his sexual fulfilment, causing him to develop an increasing hatred of the Kinkakuji. Kashiwagi preys on these frustrations and further corrupts his friend's ideals, to the point where his teacher, the old priest, gives him up, so ending any chance Mizoguchi may have had of becoming his successor at the Temple.

When his friend, Tsurukawa, suddenly dies, Mizoguchi feels all alone and betrayed by the world. Confronted with the unworldly beauty of the Golden Pavilion, he burns it down, feeling free for the first time in his life.

Yoichi Takabayashi

Born: 1931.

Features: Gakizoshi (1973), Elegy (1975), Honjin Satsujin Jiken (1975), The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (1976), Double Suicide at Nishijin (1977), Ojoh Anraku Koku (1978).

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