Millennium Actress (Millennium Actress, Millennium Actress) is a 2001 Japanese anime drama co-authored and directed by Satoshi Kon and produced by Madhouse. Based roughly on the lives of actresses Setsuko Hara and Hideko Takamine, the story of two documentary filmmakers investigating the legendary life of a retired actor. When she tells them her life story, the difference between reality and the movie becomes ambiguous.
Ginei Studios, a well-known but bankrupt movie studio, is going out of business. TV interviewer Genya Tachibana and cinematographer Kyoji Ida are preparing for a retrospective interview with the studio’s most iconic star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who quit acting 30 years ago and became a hermit. When they met, Tachibana gave Chiyoko the key she thought she had lost in the studio and urged her to look back on her life.
When Chiyoko begins, the film becomes a surreal story in the story of Tachibana and Ida acting as documentary filmmakers, interweaving the events of Chiyoko’s life with the scenes of the film in which she appeared. As a teenager, she received keys from artists and dissidents who opposed the Sino-Japanese War. She helped him escape from the authorities, and after his departure, she decided to become her movie actress in the hope that he would recognize and find her. Her quest continued for decades, and Chiyoko gained her fame by appearing in films ranging from historical dramas to monsters. Despite the lack of contact with a mysterious artist, she never loses hope. Chiyoko lost her key while filming and was married to studio director Junichi Ootaki. A few years later, Chiyoko finds a key hidden in her house, and she confronts her husband about it. She reveals that former leading actress Yoko Shimao stole her jealousy and handed it over to her Junichi. One day, a former gendarmerie who persecuted her artist comes to her Chiyoko to atone for her wartime sins and gives her a letter from her art. He told Tachibana, who was working as a studio assistant at the time, that the artist was tortured and killed after his arrest. Despite not receiving this information, Chiyoko gave up searching for the artist and admitted that she was no longer the girl she once knew.
Currently, an earthquake struck during her interview, damaging Chiyoko’s health. On her deathbed in her hospital, she looks back on her life, she tells Tachibana, that she never sees her man again, but she can find him. She said she realized that she loved her most.
The film was released in North America on September 12, 2003, and was distributed on a total of six screens by DreamWorks art house and foreign film publisher Go Fish Pictures.
Theatrical Anime Distribution Company Eleven Arts has acquired North American rights and re-released the film in its original Japanese version on August 13, 2019, and in a new English dubbed version on August 19, 2019.
Box office revenue
Commercially, the film worked reasonably well in the US release, earning $ 18,732 on the first weekend and $ 37,285 for the entire three-week release. The film was screened almost exclusively in New York and Los Angeles and received minimal advertising from Gofish Pictures, a division of DreamWorks SKG. The scope of the release wasn’t great, but the benefit of the theatrical release was not only the box office revenue but also the critics watching the movie and publishing reviews and reviews in public newspapers, magazines, and websites. It can raise awareness of the work and reach a wide range of viewers as well as anime fans.
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