A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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MILLENNIUM ACTRESS
2001 - Satoshi Kon - Japan / South Korea
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Satoshi Kon's second feature film, Millennium Actress, is a brilliant display of animation, storytelling, and filmmaking. Really it's difficult to describe the depths of this film. It's truly original and exciting filmmaking. While Kon's wonderful sense of suspense and dazzling visual animation is evident, the strength of Millennium Actress lies in it' sympathy and heart. What results is a film that is caring, dramatic, romantic, tense, comic, and thrilling all at once. The narrative is incredibly unique as it blends memories, past/present, fiction/nonfiction, and film within a film, yet it's all crafted so skillfully that the viewer is fully engaged and never lost. In many ways, Millennium Actress is a reflection. Not only a reflection on it's central character (Chiyoko Fujiwara, a former star actress - said to be loosely based off the great Setsuko Hara who suddenly left acting and the public while still in the peak of her career in the mid-1960s), but also on Japanese history as well as on cinema (notice for example the references to Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, or Godzilla, or other anime films). Millennium Actress captures the power, joy, and beauty of storytelling, filmmaking, and above all imagination. It's wonderful watching the documentary filmmakers (Genya and his cameraman) transport themselves into Chiyoko's memories, even to the point where they become parts in them. Millennium Actress is an ambitious and engaging film of artistic beauty and creativity. I'm blown away by the originality of this film, and consider it among the very greatest anime films ever made.
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