7.9/10
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Millennium Actress (2001)

Sennen joyû (original title)
A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

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7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miyoko Shôji ...
...
Fumiko Orikasa ...
Shôzô Îzuka ...
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)
...
The Man of the Key (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stephen Bent ...
Junichi Otaki (voice)

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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:

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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

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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

If the space mission spoken of in the film is the Apollo 11 mission, then the launch date should have been July 16, not July 20. See more »

Quotes

Chiyoko Fujiwara: [Dressed as a Geisha] Have mercy!
Eiko Shimao: [Dressed as the Main Geisha] NO!, I Don't let you go!
Chiyoko Fujiwara: But I will return, I just want to see him and give what belongs Him!
Eiko Shimao: How sweet you are. A man who is going to be executed, does not need anything.
See more »

Connections

References  (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a fight for love at its best
7 November 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Genya Tachibana is a TV documentary maker and has tracked down his favourite actress; Chiyoko Fujiwara. On interviewing her Genya presents her with an object she had lost long ago; a key. From there we are transported through time and see Chyoko story about lost love and her struggle to find it. The key belonged to a man she meet when she was young. He was a rebel on the run and Chiyoko gave him shelter. He gave her the key as a thank-you. When he disappears she sets out to find this man. Still young, Chiyoko is approached by a film maker to star in his new film; she accepts and sees this as a chance to find mysterious man. She become a huge success, but she is always empty, never finding the man she loves.

Satoshi Kon has created a wonderful film about the lose of love and the extraordinary lengths one woman will go to find it. What makes this an interesting watch is that when we go into Chiyoko's past, Genya and his camera man also walk around in her past; interacting with people. But its just not a trek through her past, her memories meld with the movies she has made; as the movies parallel her life on her journey of finding her love, but also time in history. The scenes we see are from the movies she has made, but the story is her own life; her reality and her imagination have just crashed into one another.

The animation here is just visually amazing. Satoshi Kon's character designs are so unique they set themselves apart from another animations. All the backgrounds are so detailed and textured. What i find great is that Satoshi Kon adds that tiny bit of surrealism; adding more dimension and thought, here its how Chiyoko's memories meld into the movies she's starred in. Satoshi's script is so deep and full of angst. Its hard to watch this woman on her quest for love always failing; yet she blindly keeps going no matter what.

At great movie about the journey of love and how its never ending; in this world and the next.


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