Calculating and distancing study of a young religious fanatic and his desire to keep his beloved temple from being dirtied by the presence of impure forces wishing to take advantage of the temple. This leads him to a ritualized burning of the sacred building, followed by his own suicide.
This adaptation from the novel by Mishima--one of Japan's most famous authors, noted for his tales of obsessed individuals--is brilliant in detailing the events which lead up to this youth's final experience. The excellent black-and-white, wide-screen photography was done by Miyagawa, the same man
responsible for the cinematography on the much-heralded RASHOMON.
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