What is Millennium Actress about?
From director Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Paprika), take a journey through cinema history via his unique, world-bending perspective.
Millennium Actress Synopsis
With the renowned Ginei Studios shutting down and their buildings about to be demolished, film-maker Genya Tachibana sets out to commemorate this historical moment by interviewing the studio’s former superstar – the now-reclusive Chiyoko Fujiwara.
Thirty years on from her disappearance from the limelight, one question lingers – why did she end her career and vanish at the peak of her acting powers? The truth lies within a key found by Genya many years prior… a key that is far more than just a memento, and instead serves as an emblem of her entire raison d’être.
As Chiyoko recounts her story, so Genya and his cameraman are pulled into a wide-ranging journey through the lens of her films. Interviews and recollections, acting and reality, all blur into the single rich tapestry of a remarkable life.
Why we chose Millennium Actress
Legendary director Satoshi Kon hardly needs an introduction. With Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress and Paprika, he made three of the greatest animes of all time, frequently on everyone’s top movie lists.
Kon’s first original story and last traditionally animated movie, Millennium Actress is a work of astonishing storytelling. It delivers a bittersweet, deeply moving plot filled with drama and comedy, telling us both the story of Chiyoko, and her films. Perhaps unimaginable in any other medium, it merges character, location, mood, art, fact and fiction into a beautifully complex swirling whole, with both cinema and reality blurring into a seamless construct whirling through Japanese History.
Kon passed away on August 24, 2010 at the age of 46 but his legacy and impact has reached far and wide, with directors such as Darren Aronofsky (“Without his work, Neo might never have taken the red pill, and the post-Matrix rash of Hollywood films dealing with subjective reality – Fight Club, Inception, Requiem for a Dream – might never have tumbled down the rabbit-hole and on to our screens. So why aren’t we seeing more tributes to his art?”) and Guillermo del Toro (“PERFECT BLUE by Satoshi Kon. A Giallo for all. And, dare I say it? Perhaps one of the most intricate ones ever made. In any medium.”) expressing their love for his works.
Worthy of multiple viewings, Millennium Actress has received widspread critical acclaim and has won numerous awards including:
- Grand Prize in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival, in 2001 tying with Spirited Away.
- Best Animation Film and Fantasia Ground-Breaker at the 2001 Fantasia Film Festiva
- Feature Film Award at the 8th Animation Kobe
- Ofuji Noburo Award at the 2002 Mainichi Film Awards,
- Orient Express Award at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Sitges in Spain.
The film was also nominated for four Annie Awards in 2004, including Outstanding Direction and Writing.
Where can I see Millennium Actress?
Millennium Actress | 87 mins | PG, is screening at the Mockingbird Screen 2, Saturday 30th September at 15:45
If you like this, consider Perfect Blue (18)
Marking the incredible directorial feature debut of the late prolific animator Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue is a dark take on the price of fame that spirals into the surreal.
Mima, a young pop idol, is in the prime of her career. Ready to seize her moment in the spotlight, she decides to cross over into acting, but her role is not as clean cut as she originally imagined. When a diary detailing every aspect of her life appears online, Mima begins losing her grip on reality, trapped in a web of paranoia and confusion.
Perfect Blue |97 mins | 18, is screening at the The MAC Birmingham, Friday 29th September at 18:00
The classic film available for the first-time in the UK on Blu-ray from All the Anime. The film comes with The film, with viewing options in both English and original Japanese with English subtitles, plus interviews with Abby Trott (US teen voice of Chiyoko Fujiwara), Laura Post (US voice of Eiko Shimao), Producer Masao Morosawa and Producer Tarô Maki
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- Millennium Actress at IMDB
- Millennium Actress at Wikipedia
- Millennium Actress at Rotten Tomatoes
- Millennium Actress at Anime News Network