千年女優 (Millennium Actress): Optique du théâtre

[Screenshot]For a long time, I could only name two creators associated with anime. One of them is Hayao Miyazaki, and I’m not going to tell who the other one is, but he doesn’t exactly make the short list of true visionaries. But now both lists get a bit longer, because Satoshi Kon has become a household name, at least in my household.

His name first came up in connection to Paranoia Agent, which I was and still am watching; it was only looknig at creators associated with that that I noticed I’d seen two of his films before: the flawed psychological thriller Perfect Blue and the warm, delightful feel-good Tokyo Godfathers. So I actually had a fair amount of respect for him even before I knew it. enthused about Millennium Actress, so when I say a used copy at a good price, I had to pick it up.

It’s quite staggering. Start with the animation, which employs several distinct styles to match the genre shifts, and which is just generally beautiful. Then there are the thematic and plot elements: it’s undeniably Satoshi Kon’s work, utilizing the reality-blurring effect also seen in Perfect Blue, and the injection of bystanders into the fantasy as participants as in Episode 5 of Paranoia Agent. It was compelling and riveting even though I had a pretty good idea of where the McGuffin was going from the beginning. There’s a lot floating around there: an awful lot of ideas are stuffed into a surprisingly small space here: I’m always amazed at how much character-development good anime-creators imbue their characters with. And change is a central theme here, change and time. There are a lot of parallels and symmetries easily observed, and probably more lurking under the surface. I can see why this film’s so well-loved.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia, Anime News Network, AniDB.

Advertisements

About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: