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Millennium Actress (2001)
"Sennen joyû" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 11,018 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 51 user | 59 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

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Title: Millennium Actress (2001)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miyoko Shôji ...
Mami Koyama ...
Fumiko Orikasa ...
Shôzô Iizuka ...
Genya Tachibana (voice)
Shouko Tsuda ...
Eiko Shimao (voice)
Hirotaka Suzuoki ...
Junichi Ootaki (voice)
Hisako Kyôda ...
Mother (voice)
Kan Tokumaru ...
Senior Manager of Ginei (voice)
Tomie Kataoka ...
Mino (voice)
Takkô Ishimori ...
Head Clerk (voice)
Masamichi Satô ...
Young Genya (voice)
Masaya Onosaka ...
Kyoji Ida (voice)
Masane Tsukayama ...
The Man with the Scar (voice)
Kôichi Yamadera ...
The Man of the Key (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stephen Bent ...
Junichi Otaki (voice)
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, violence and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 September 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Millennium Actress  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,732 (USA) (12 September 2003)

Gross:

$37,285 (USA) (26 September 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filtering of Chiyoko's life through film history allows the setting, characters, and the visual style of the film to change suddenly. Some of the scenes are reminiscent of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, while others evoke Akira Kurosawa movies (particularly Throne of Blood). Satoshi Kon has acknowledged the influence of Throne of Blood, but says that for the most part there are no specific references in his segments. Instead he drew on a vague general impression of the history of Japanese filmmaking and visual art for his different styles and stories; Kon insists that historical film was actually not a subject he had much familiarity with before he made Millennium Actress. He studied the settings and costumes carefully, however, and learned a lot in the making of the film, such as the history of the kimono. See more »

Goofs

The early Chiyoko's films (according to history during the late 30s and early 40s) are made in color, but Carmen Comes Home, the first color feature film in Japan, using Fujicolor, was made in 1951. See more »

Quotes

The Man with the Scar: Playing truant are we? Off to meet some human rights agitator?
Chiyoko Fujiwara: I don't understand...
The Man with the Scar: We know it's you. He left you a little memento on the storeroom wall.
Chiyoko Fujiwara: He did?
The Man with the Scar: That's all we need to know. We'll continue at the station.
See more »

Connections

References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good storytelling !!
18 July 2004 | by (Hell's Kitchen, NYC) – See all my reviews

If you have seen any other movies by Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers), you get the idea that he knows how to tell a story. The stories are told in a dramatic, yet unconventional way. The story is about a Japanese movie studio that is torn down. The current executive in charge gets an interview with the studio's star actress, whom has been living in seclusion for years and does not give interviews. The movie seamlessly integrates dramatic moments, with light humor and stunning visuals. The visuals are breathtakingly imaginative not in that they are exotic and surreal, but rather stunningly realistic. Where Perfect Blue is more about the dark side of human nature, this movie is about the resilience of the human spirit and hope. What is similar, is that the reality of the story is in question. What is real, and what is perceived, is based on the perspective of the viewer. Definitely a must see movie.

-Celluloid Rehab


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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