Friday, May 06, 2011

Beautiful Mystery

It's not often you find a satire of Yukio Mishima's Shield Society wrapped up in a soft-core gay porn flick, but that's exactly what Beautiful Mystery is.

Mishima built his own private army from a firm crop of young men and boys, partly as a statement in favor of patriotism (which he felt was waning due to Western influences), and partly at his own despair over growing old. And when young Shinohara in this film takes a liking to a similar group, he is quickly inducted into the fold.

Despite stating that they are not queer, the society does engage in a fair amount of sodomy, as Shinohara soon discovers. When he is put under the tutelage of fellow cadet Takizawa it isn't too long before Takizawa ties Shinohara up and rapes him. Contrary to what you might expect Shinohara immediately falls in love with Takizawa.

But their relationship comes under some strain during the ensuing orgies, especially after Takizawa lets one of the other cadets "borrow" Shinohara for a while. But maybe they can save themselves and prove their love eternal if they go along with Master Makio on his coup d'├ętat.

Some couples get tattoos or even married to announce their love to the world. Makio and his boys rehearse seppuku. And when he commands his young lover to "prick it in," who's going to argue with him?

"Sir, I intrude upon your kindness" may not sound romantic, but when Shinohara whispers it to Takizawa on their final night together before the coup, he certainly is being sincere. It's just too bad he forgot to set the alarm clock.

The epilogue is completely out of left field, and I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. Then again, I'm not sure what much of this film is supposed to mean. But as soft-core gay porn Mishima satires go, you could do a lot worse.

Directed by Genji Nakamura • Unrated • 1983 • 60 minutes

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