Millennium Actress makes a triumphant return to the United States this August thanks to Eleven Arts and Fathom Events. The 2002 film is perhaps the most highly critically regarded of the late Satoshi Kon’s filmography. It had an extremely limited theatrical run back in 2003 and was released on DVD by Dreamworks but has been largely absent since then. Paramount Pictures briefly streamed the movie but there’s still no Blu-ray or widespread digital release of the film. Millennium Actress will screen with subtitles on August 13 and on August 19 it’ll be accompanied by a brand new English language dub. Here’s an older trailer.
With the success of the Perfect Blue re-release, many of us were hoping that Millennium Actress wouldn’t be too far behind. If you don’t know, this MADHOUSE produced critical darling is Satoshi Kon’s love letter to cinema. Particularly, Japan’s rich history of cinema with clear nods to the likes of Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, and other legendary film makers. The movie traces the life of a legendary actress Chiyoko through the lens of her films. It’s not over the top like Paprika or visceral ala Perfect Blue, but it’s mature nuanced storytelling paired with Kon’s unique skills as an animation director make it one of a kind.
One would hope that after Millennium Actress that Tokyo Godfathers will follow. Next year will mark 10 years since the passing of the beloved Satoshi Kon and his influence has yet to be forgotten. His name used to one of the biggest in anime film maybe only next to Miyazaki. They were always a hit with both anime people and the film crowd of which Millennium Actress was the general favorite. I’m excited a whole new generation of people will get to experience one of the most tasteful and sublime films in the entire canon of anime.
Millennium Actress will screen in U.S. theaters courtesy of Eleven Arts and Fathom Events August 13 and 19.