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Millennium Actress

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Overview

A touching tale of an elderly actress who recalls her lost love and her journey to stardom, director Satoshi Kon's dramatic anime arrives on DVD courtesy of Dreamworks Home Entertainment. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is near flawless. This is a remarkably colorful and textured film, and this DVD release serves it well in terms of visual presentation. Colors are sharp and vivid, and the transfer is free of any notable distortion or debris. Likewise, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack truly ...
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Overview

A touching tale of an elderly actress who recalls her lost love and her journey to stardom, director Satoshi Kon's dramatic anime arrives on DVD courtesy of Dreamworks Home Entertainment. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is near flawless. This is a remarkably colorful and textured film, and this DVD release serves it well in terms of visual presentation. Colors are sharp and vivid, and the transfer is free of any notable distortion or debris. Likewise, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack truly draws the viewer into the film with its involved use of directional effects and smooth dynamics. Though potential viewers may at first be put off by the apparent lack of extra features on this disc, "The Making of Millennium Actress," clocking in at 40 minutes, offers a detailed glimpse at the production and some revealing interviews with the cast and crew. In addition to speaking with director Kon, interviews with the producers and writers reveal the complex preparation that went into developing the multi-layered story. Millennium Actress is somewhat unique in the realm of anime for its dramatic aspirations, and the discussion of story structure in particular offers a fascinating look into the methods used to seamlessly blend fantasy and reality in the film. From using wood grain to express emotion to soliciting emotional performances from the voice-over actors, this detailed documentary is a real treat for fans of the film. A U.S. theatrical trailer is also included.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; "The Making of Millennium Actress": Interviews and commentary with Satoshi Kon; U.S. theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A remarkably textured journey (both visually and emotionally) into the rich and varied past of an aging former actress, Satoshi Kon's follow-up to Perfect Blue successfully retains that film's sense of fantastic reality while eschewing its more suspenseful elements in favor of a more reflective approach. It's interesting to see anime being used for drama rather than for science fiction or fantasy, and this is where Kon truly sets himself apart from most filmmakers working today. By using animation for dramatic purposes, Kon's creativity in terms of story structure is virtually boundless. While this might an intimidating factor for some directors, Kon has an uncanny knack of making it work in his favor by truly getting to know his characters. By using dramatic means to drive the more fantastic elements of the story and by rooting the characters in a familiar reality, Kon allows viewers to relate to those characters while gradually getting absorbed into the tale of lost love and remarkable adventure. Though the film, at times, borders on melodramatic, Kon and crew have enough sense to pull back from time to time and let the story tell itself when necessary. If at first the film doesn't seem as visually dynamic as viewers might expect, the gradual progression from simple to complex images, as well as the creative use of textures to express emotion, slowly envelopes the viewer until the film's heartfelt and visually elegant climax. With Millennium Actress, Kon has not only proven that Perfect Blue was no fluke, but has truly set himself apart from the pack by being a remarkably creative visual storyteller and a true innovator in the realm of mature and dramatic anime.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/28/2003
  • UPC: 678149039320
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Dreamworks Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Miyoko Shoji Voice Only
Mami Koyama Voice Only
Fumiko Orikasa Voice Only
Shouzou Iizuka Voice Only
Masaya Onosaka Voice Only
Shouko Tsuda Voice Only
Hirotaka Suzuoki Voice Only
Masatane Tsukayama Voice Only
Kouichi Yamadera Voice Only
Technical Credits
Satoshi Kon Director, Original Story, Screenwriter
Susumu Hirasawa Score Composer
Takeshi Honda Editor
Taro Maki Executive Producer
Masafumi Mima Sound/Sound Designer
Sadayuki Murai Screenwriter
Hisao Shirai Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [3:48]
2. Chapter 2 [1:52]
3. Chapter 3 [4:49]
4. Chapter 4 [1:14]
5. Chapter 5 [2:29]
6. Chapter 6 [2:41]
7. Chapter 7 [3:28]
8. Chapter 8 [4:08]
9. Chapter 9 [6:52]
10. Chapter 10 [1:34]
11. Chapter 11 [4:50]
12. Chapter 12 [5:49]
13. Chapter 13 [5:10]
14. Chapter 14 [3:12]
15. Chapter 15 [3:48]
16. Chapter 16 [2:12]
17. Chapter 17 [2:05]
18. Chapter 18 [3:29]
19. Chapter 19 [9:06]
20. Chapter 20 [5:18]
21. Chapter 21 [4:23]
22. Chapter 22 [3:53]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Set-Up
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: French
      Subtitles: None
      Audio: Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital
      Audio: Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
   Special Features
      The Making of Millennium Actress
      Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Key To Everything

    This story is parellel to ''Memoirs of a Geisha.'' Like ''Memoirs'', it is a love story, of course, and it follws the life of one woman chasing her dreams.In ''Memoirs'',Sayuri will do anything to be apart of the Chairman's life.In ''Millennium'',Chiyoko falls in love with an artist and convict and risks her life in order to meet him again.They both share the same fairytale-like childhood dream of loving the ''prince charming role-model'' and the desire to allow their hearts to be revealed.In ''Memoirs'',Sayuri holds on to her dreams by keeping the Chaiman's hankerchief as the key to her heart.In ''Millennium'', Chiyoko hangs on to her future by believing that if she hangs on to the artist's abandoned key, she would someday find her would-be-lover.Both films portray the protagonists' lovely desires through romantic music scores,poetic voice-overs,and through the hand gestures of the key and hankerchief.Both films are set in the early 30's of Japan, and continue throughout post-WWII.Both films also portray the hidden lives of artists.Another thing,in ''Memoirs'' Hatsumomo becomes jealous of Sayuri's youth and success as does the elder actress of Chiyoko in ''Millennium.''At the end of both films, both women suffer from discarding their dreams.Although,unlike ''Millennium'',''Memoirs'' portrayed a more fairytale-like ending.In ''Millennium'',Chiyoko was left forever chasing the shadows of her dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Timeless Tear-Jerker

    Whoever says this movie isn't for international anime-fans is really just didn't look for the symbolism. It's like Shakespeare: It's deep and requires thought on symbolism and tone. If there's anything to be said for this movie in human exclusion, this just simply isn't an anime for children. It's not that it's violent or innuedo-ed, it's just to detailed for young minds to understand. The visuals for this anime are fantastic, the animation style is just simply flawless. The colors blend perfectly and the characters are distinctly notable. The characters in Millennium Actress are well done as well. The characters from the flashbacks are all wonderfully written. The film crew adds a lighter dimension. Unlike most situations, this actually improved the plot instead of detracted. This is a wonderful love story, perfect and riveting for any mature mind. I suggest that girls buy this for themselves or men buy it for their girlfriends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Better if you are Japanese

    I really looked forward to owning this film, but was disappointed when I got it. I'm sure there is a reason why it was so highly rated in Japan, but for a westerner who doesn't recognise the references to other films and doesn't have a heartfelt understanding of the political situtations portrayed, watching it is a duanting task. It took me three sittings and I could never get 'hooked' into the plot. Beautifully illustrated but better for a native speaker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best heartfelt anime ever!

    I will admit i was a little disappointed when there was no English language option on the DVD, because I have a short attention span and do other things while watching a movie. But not with THIS movie. This is the first film I can remember sitting down, eyes glued to the t.v. the entire time, in a long time. It's an intriguing story, albeit a complicated one if you're not paying attention. For so many details to lay out for us in only about 100 minutes, the director did a wonderful job weaving the past and present together in near-seamless harmony. Film school teachers should definitely get a look at this one. Chiyoko's story is beautiful and heartwrenching, and the 'participation' in her story of Genya and his cameraman make the stories real to us as well. It's far better than a mere narration and occasional glimpse of the interviewer, as seen in most films of such a premise. These are all-too-human characters, and quite refreshing to see. I would recommend this one to any animation or film student, and especially to young women who are just getting their footing in the anime world, or just anyone who likes a good romantic and exciting story. One of the best parts has to be the score. The score is absolutely fantastic, and the song at the end credits puts on the perfect summation for this fantastic trip, stirring and beautiful. When is the soundtrack coming out? I want it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

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