- Format: PAL
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Manga
- DVD Release Date: 26 Sept. 2005
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000ALVT4A
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,539 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Millennium Actress [DVD]
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A movie studio is being torn down. TV interviewer Genya Tachibana has tracked down its most famous star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who has been a recluse since she left acting some 30 years ago. Tachibana delivers a key to her, and it causes her to reflect on her career; as she's telling the story, Tachibana and his long-suffering cameraman are drawn in. The key was given to her as a teenager by a painter and revolutionary that she helped to escape the police. She becomes an actress because it will make it possible to track him down, and she spends the next several decades acting out that search in various genres and eras.
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Top Customer Reviews
The US Region 1 release was only in Japanese with subtitles.
The UK Region 2 release added an English dub, which made changes to when the characters were speaking, and what they were saying.
Unfortunately there's only one set of subtitles which are for the English dub, so if you are watching in Japanese they are often out of sync with the audio, and it is obvious even without speaking Japanese that it is not a proper translation.
For example, sometimes a character will just say one or two words, which will result in a long sentence of subtitles.
See the attached image for a comparison of the same scene in both versions.
If you are planning on watching in Japanese, I don't recommend the UK release.
It also has has an epic soundtrack.
1. This film is beautiful. The backgrounds are fantastically painted, the characters look and show expressions far more realistically than most anime, and there is a great deal of visual variation due to the range of scenes represented.
2. It's a heart wrenching love story.
3. It has an astounding soundtrack.
4. There's even a ninja swordfight.
5. It's an absolute steal at its current price.
Genya is obsessed with Chiyoko (the "Millennium Actress" of the title) and her films, and can't believe his luck at being able to finally interview the mysterious and reclusive actress. His cameraman - who I feel is a representation of the first time viewer - is not so sure of Chiyoko's magnificence, and he makes a fine counterweight to Genya's unrestrained fandom throughout the film.
A strange thing happens when Genya presents Chiyoko with mysterious key - it unlocks memories that are so vivid that he and the cameraman are transported to view what appears to be an amalgamation of real life and film. The two men are taken on a wild ride through turbulent Japanese history and the span of Chiyoko's film career. One moment they are sitting sipping tea in a gracious old lady's living room, then they are filming a petulant young girl, begging her mother to let her be an actress. Scenes transition without warning.
Without an anchor, the watcher would be left adrift. Fortunately, there is a common theme running throughout every scenario - Chiyoko's search for a lost love.Read more ›
Though it contains the basic element of Perfect Blue - ie the life of an actress, it could not be more different. MA tells the story of Chioyoko Fujiwara, an elderly woman and one-time famous Japanese actress. Nearing the end of her days, and out of the limelight for the last 30 years, she allows an interview by two documentary makers producing a special piece as the studio where she worked is demolished.
The story then goes back to Chioyoko's childhood and works through the many twists in her life until the moment she became a recluse. As a neat twist, the film maker and his cameraman begin to exist and even interact with her memories.
The storytelling is very seamless. The viewer has to pick apart what they see and determine for themselves whether the action comes from actual memories, from pertinent scenes in one of Chioyoko's films, or a romanticised mix of the two. In the middle of the film especially, this can be pretty hard, but Kon usually leaves some sort of subtle clue on the screen. Once the middle of the film is passed, realities become more distinct, and the ending is melancholy happy-sad and well worth it.
I really liked this film. It once again proved that there are more ways to view animated films beyond 'kiddies stuff' or 'teenage-oriented swearathon'. It is intelligent, original, and mature, and rightly won many awards alongside the equally excellent Spirited Away. Be warned though - its Japanese with English Subs, but no less of a film for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Let's be clear here, the movie is amazing, and I implore everyone to watch it. The DVD however, not so much. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sam H
The version I got had Italian dub and Japanese subs only ...I can barely manage english so it was no use to me. Just be careful where you buy it from!!! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gideon
I will keep this short. Millennium Actress is one of the greatest animated movies of all time. It contains such inventive storytelling and engaging characters that will leave you... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Paul Trundley
This is why I love Anime. The Japanese are always willing to come up with creative and original storylines and to even find new and inventive ways to tell their stories. Read morePublished on 6 May 2015 by Joshua
In this interesting, very attractively drawn anime from Japan, a TV journalist gets to interview Chiyoko Fujiwara, a once famous actress who mysteriously became a recluse after... Read morePublished on 9 April 2015 by Andres C. Salama
This one's not a movie you can really switch off to watch - though the artwork is good enough almost to allow that. Read morePublished on 5 Sept. 2014 by John B