Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Millennium Actress

"The second film by director Satoshi Kon and screenwriter Sadayuki Murai recalls Perfect Blue, but Millennium Actress is a more complex, subtle, and sophisticated work that evokes the history of Japanese cinema. After nearly 30 years of living in strict seclusion, the aged film star Chioyoko Fujiwara grants an interview to journalist Genya Tachibana. As their conversation begins, Kan intercuts scenes from Chioyoko's films with her memories of pursuing the mysterious artist she met as a young girl. Accompanied by his blasé cameraman, Tashibana finds himself within Chioyoko's memories and films, alternately observing and aiding the woman he adores. Kon's skillful direction and subtle use of color strengthen the intriguing story: Chioyoko's memories are rendered in shades of gray, with hints of muted color highlighting the overall composition. American viewers will find their appreciation of this shimmering, spiral narrative deepens with repeated viewings. (Rated PG: violence, mature themes) --Charles Solomon "

From another Amazon reviwer: One thing which I really enjoyed about this anime is the great creativity which is used to tell the story. It is difficult to explain in words but the main character Chiyako is seen jumping from movies to movies from different eras in order to advance the plot. This way of story telling is certainly the first I have seen in an Anime and is implemented very well.

Overall I strongly recommend this anime to most viewers. Unlike Perfect Blue there are no sex scenes and very little violence in this Anime which would explain the PG rating. However, the subject matter and the complexity of the story in this anime would be much more appreciated by adults.

Another - Drifting across Chioyoko's lifetime as an actress, the story fades in and out of her movies, blending seamlessly fantasy and reality, past, present and future. The technique is amazing, as is the journey through Japan's history as Chioyoko makes various period films, becoming schoolgirl, peasant, Geisha, prostitute, Samurai princess and astronaut. Always she is seeking the man she knew as a child, and every role is a quest.

An Easter Lemming movie, I picked it up and put it on tape for $4.00 off of IPPV.

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