This is another of those excellent television documentaries that I have imprisoned on a video tape somewhere so it was good to find on YouTube. The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima (1985) was directed by Michael MacIntyre for the BBC’s Arena arts strand. This was the year that Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters was released so the documentary had some topical value even though Schrader’s film isn’t mentioned at all (something that wouldn’t happen today). MacIntyre begins as Schrader does, however, with the events of the final day of Mishima’s life on November 25th, 1970, before rewinding to present a biographical portrait of the writer/actor/director. There’s more footage than I remembered of Mishima discussing his work (in English) while John Hurt reads from Mishima’s writings. Commentary is supplied by biographer Henry Scott Stokes, translator Donald Keene, photographer Eikoh Hosoe (creator of the famous Mishima beefcake poses), director Nagisa Oshima, and Mishima’s lover Akihiro Maruyama, an actor who the credits also describe as a “female impersonator”.