Fathom Events and Eleven Arts presented Millennium Actress in select theatres on Aug. 13(Subtitle) and 19(Dubbed). The movie was digitally remastered from its first release in 2001. For those that wanted to see the dubbed version. Eleven Arts brought in new voice actors for a brand new dubb. Essentially, almost redoing the entire movie.
Satoshi Kon is the lead writer and director of the movie that passed away at the early age of 46, August 2010. His co-writer Sadayuki Murai and great friend is still here today. He mainly speaks on behalf of the empire that Kon-San built. Kon-San is one of the most decorated film and television show makers in anime. Kon-San is second only to Hayao Miyazaki himself. Kon-San is most known for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure mini-series, Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, and Paprika. This mix of television and film he wrote, directed or both.
Murai-San is no slouch either. After Kon-San’s passing Murai would go on to be an influential writer on many anime television shows, tokusatsu shows, and anime films. He’s most known for writing the screenplay of Perfect Blue, Steamboy, Astro Boy (TV Series), Knights of Sidonia, Blame! and Juuni Taisen. He’s still going strong today and in the future.
The redubbing of the film brings a great cast of voice actors together. They give off that nostalgic 80’s and 90’s feel. It works great with this film and overall is some of the best dubbing we’ve seen in a long time. The cast consists of Abby Trott as Chiyoko Fujiwara (Young) Erin Yvette as Chiyoko Fujiwara (Adult), Cindy Robinson as Chiyoko Fujiwara (Elder), Christian Swindleras as Genya Tachibana (Old), Ben Diskin as Kyoji Ida, and Laura Post as Eiko Shimao.
The directing of the film is so much different than anything we’ve ever seen in anime. The story starts with a documentary team going to interview this very famous actress that has worked for millennia in film. The documentary team interview Chiyoko Fujiwara and learn of her story and what drove her to act throughout the many years. The secret to her story is the key that a man left in a chance encounter they once had.
As we the audience see and view her life so does the documentary team as we see it they are also there in those bits by bit scenes of her story. The movie is mostly all hand-drawn animation which is typical of the eras greatest animes. Scenes are very beautiful, vibrant, colorful at times, and yet give us a dramatic feel to it. Madhouse gets most of the credit for the animation on this film. While others are noted for production work. The movie comes off as a love story, but it’s so much more than that. Especially, when you arrive at the end of the film.
One of the biggest questions we had was why this didn’t become a live-action film too. After the movie was over, we were able to hear from the producer of the film Taro Maki and Murai-San. Maki-San is currently the president of Genco Inc. and is involved with the planning or producing of tons of anime and live-action shows and movies. Both leaders were asked why this didn’t become a live-action. Maki-San only came to Kon-San to produce his next big anime film. Maki-San never thought about it being a Live-action because he’d only known Kon-San to make anime. Murai-San simply said that Kon-San came up with this vision for the story and that it would be animation.
As we think about it today it still could be done in live-action and would be a good movie. That’s just how well written and ahead of the time, it was as far as the directing of the film. Thank you, Kon-San, for this masterpiece. We at Anime Pad give Millennium Actress