Millennium Actress (2001)
March 11, 2021 9:59 PM - Subscribe

A TV interviewer (and his cameraman) interview a reclusive actress and journey with her through her memories and career. A bittersweet animated film by Satoshi Kon.
posted by fleacircus (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
posted by fleacircus at 10:04 PM on March 11, 2021

I usually like a lot of things in Satoshi Kon's work but am disappointed by the endings. Not here though! The ending still makes me smile years later.
posted by trig at 11:36 PM on March 11, 2021

I saw this last night. I was surprised at how straightforward is. Some reviewers complain that it's confusing, and I guess it is the moment you are presented with the gimmick. So I was expecting something kind of confusing and heart-wrenching, but I found it more clever and bittersweet, it reminded me of MY FAVORITE VIDEO GAME EVER LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT JOURNEY.

What a great whimsical gimmick, though, to have the goofy interviewer and skeptical camera guy around to keep the romantic part from getting too over-sincere.

I admit it was about an hour after watching it that I was like, what was she doing all that time when she didn't have the key in her retirement? And then I realized, OH, waiting for the key, so she could move on again. Slow on the uptake, me.
posted by fleacircus at 11:24 AM on March 12, 2021

I have nothing worthwhile to add except that I love this movie and am a big Satoshi Kon fan.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:50 PM on March 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

I watched this again soon after Satoshi Kon died and basically just cried through most of it. It's such a love-letter to cinema (Japanese cinema especially) and how movies continue to live after the people who made them die. I love how much the reality blurs to a point where it doesn't matter what's "real" and what's "not real." It's just fun and beautiful.

It's the only Kon movie that was 100% his original story, as far as I know, and I think it was his most personal.
posted by edencosmic at 1:50 PM on March 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I had somehow forgotten that he died in 2010. Looking around on imdb after watching this I saw he left an unfinished movie that might get taken back up and finished I wasn't sure what to think.. then I saw this (unrelated) drawing and kinda lost it.
posted by fleacircus at 1:52 PM on March 12, 2021

I also love Eiko's just acid opinion of the nephew director guy's interest in Chiyoko. At one point she enters with a line like, "Quite persistent aren't you," that is a two pronged stab at both their hearts.
posted by fleacircus at 1:58 PM on March 12, 2021

Kon's ability to make anime films that one could easily see working as live action yet require animation to be truly realized is, imho, unmatched. This is my favorite of his, a beautiful ode to cinema, Oscar swing of a film.

His loss after a Cazale-like string of incredible work hurts when I think of him (usually whenever a drop filled with memories" comes up on shuffle).

I am overdue for a rewatch, definitely.
posted by ipe at 4:00 PM on March 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

For some reason it says "currently unavailable" when I tried to watch it this evening
posted by jazon at 6:14 PM on March 13, 2021

FWIW I see two versions, one from 2019 available and one from 2001 not.
posted by fleacircus at 12:22 AM on March 14, 2021

Ah I see, the 2019 is the remastered version!
posted by jazon at 7:46 PM on March 14, 2021

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