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Millennium Actress (2003)

Miyoko Shji , Mami Koyama , Satoshi Kon  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

Price: $64.53 & FREE Shipping. Details
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DVD 1-Disc Version $31.86  
  1-Disc Version $64.53  

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Millennium Actress + Tokyo Godfathers
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Product Details

  • Actors: Miyoko Shji, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa, Shz zuka, Shouko Tsuda
  • Directors: Satoshi Kon
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2003
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AK80C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,228 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Millennium Actress" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of Millennium Actress (40 mins.)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Product Description

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 li

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Touching Love Story November 2, 2003
Format:DVD
Millennium Actress is one of the most touching Animes I have watched in a very long time. As another reviewer had hinted, this anime can be depressing. However, it is depressing in a very good, Saving Private Ryan sort of way. I would not be surprised if some people actually shed a few tears while watching this, I was pretty close to just doing that.
When I first saw this DVD at the video rental store I figured it would be like Perfect Blue, the director's previous Anime. It is interesting because on the Special Feature section of the DVD, the creators of Millennium Actress actually said that they wanted to make something like Perfect Blue. However the story to Millennium Actress is completely different. The story is still focused on an actress but instead of suspense, this anime is one gigantic love story which takes you through different periods of Japanese film culture.
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Millennium Actress" does what every good animation should do. It takes a good look at the medium, and puts forth a story that utilizes the unique strengths of animation, making a film that could not be live-action. This is a master at work.
Both intellectual and emotional, the story is profound and touching, deep with sorrow and hope and unspoken, unrequited love that lasts throughout the years of a lifetime. The two main stories are Chioyoko, desperately seeking the love of her childhood across the years, a man who gave her a key to "the most important thing" and Genya, the journalist interviewing Chioyoko about her life, and who also has carried a secret, powerful love for most of his lifetime.
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.
A brilliant film, on par with any great animation such as "Grave of the Fireflies" or "Spirited Away."
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Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing at first, but powerful. October 16, 2006
Format:DVD
Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon, 2001)

I've been trying to figure out what to say about Millennium Actress for over a week now. I still haven't come up with much. It's a good movie, though a confusing one at times. Full of the depth of character one expects from the top Japanese directors of animation, well-plotted if a bit threadbare in places. In other words, good, but could've been better.

The story centers on Chiyoko Fujiwara, a retired actress tracked down by a reporter, Genya Tachibana, and Genya's cameraman Eiko soon after the studio where she rose to fame was torn down. Genya and Chiyoko talk, both reliving the most famous scenes in her movies and putting together the tale of the things that happened in between, as Chiyoko pursued her first love, an anonymous man who had given her a key when she was younger.

The first fifteen or twenty minutes, pay very very close attention-- and even then, you may miss a time shift or two. Once you get used to the way things go back and forth in time, though, the movie gets much easier to follow, and you can spend your time getting to know the characters. Things just keep going after that, with the plot really taking a backseat to the character-building; this makes the end of the movie work perfectly. It's quite an enjoyable little movie, really, and worth watching. ***
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Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Touching Love Story November 2, 2003
Format:DVD
Millennium Actress is one of the most touching Animes I have watched in a very long time. As another reviewer had hinted, this anime can be depressing. However, it is depressing in a very good, Saving Private Ryan sort of way. I would not be surprised if some people actually shed a few tears while watching this, I was pretty close to just doing that.
When I first saw this DVD at the video rental store I figured it would be like Perfect Blue, the director's previous Anime. It is interesting because on the Special Feature section of the DVD, the creators of Millennium Actress actually said that they wanted to make something like Perfect Blue. However the story to Millennium Actress is completely different. The story is still focused on an actress but instead of suspense, this anime is one gigantic love story which takes you through different periods of Japanese film culture.
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.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Poem To The Movies
Satoshi Kon only lived to create a half-dozen titles, but this may be his best. The life and career of fictional film-idol Chiyoko Fujiwara, known in her prime as Japan's Madonna... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Patrick Drazen
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathless.
Beautifully captures the obssessiveness of unrequited love and the way one fleeting moment can stupendously affect brain chemistry for a lifetime.
Published 1 month ago by mookie wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars I likek this joint
It is a good movie. Just really high quality stories and characters and whatever. I liked it alot. It was made in the golden age of anime which was a great time.
Published 2 months ago by Peter Straus
5.0 out of 5 stars PRINCESS!
It's a great tale about a woman who keeps on chasing her first love since her young adolescent days just before WW2, and a couple of documentary guys who happen to get caught in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by JSA3D
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you!
I already love this movie. It holds a special meaning to me and a friend. The rating is really for the seller. This movie is very hard to find. Read more
Published 3 months ago by silversphinx
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite Anime films of all time
Enough other people have given in depth reviews, so it would be redundant to do it again. I will just say that this is one of the finest Anime films I've ever had the pleasure of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. L. Boileau
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent!
I'm always a little amused at the way many anime fans pass out a five-star rating to almost everything they watch. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Greg Goebel
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, questionable seller
The film was fantastic. The disc, however, was in rough shape and banging around loosely in the packaging. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Cory Alberton
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Movie
I had watched one other movie by Satoshi Kon ('Paprika') a little while back and loved it so I decided to see what else he had directed. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Alex D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Seller was great
This gift came in earlier than I thought it would and it showed up in great condition. My brother will love it
Published 8 months ago by E E
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