Millennium Actress

Millennium Actress ★★★★½

In François Truffaut's essay, "What Do Critics Dream About?" he writes about "his love affair with films" and when it began. He describes sneaking out of the house and skipping school to go to the movie theater. " I felt a tremendous need to enter into the films. I sat closer and closer to the screen so I could shut out the theater." "I am often asked at what point in my love affair with films I began to want to be a director or critic. Truthfully, I don't know. All I know is that I wanted to get closer and closer to films."

Millennium Actress is about the desire to get into films. It's a romantic, beautiful, and inventive look at the relationship between movies and reality, and how they differ or inform one another. it's about the enchantment of the movie screen and the immortality that is bestowed by a camera; it's about sitting down in a movie theater, the lights dim and the screen flickers on and transports you to a different world. Millennium Actress also provides a lesson on the history of Japanese cinema before the audience even recognizes what it's doing, including references to movies such as Throne of Blood , Late Spring , Godzilla and Lady Snowblood .

The animation is stunningly gorgeous; ornate and sweeping. Kon and his animators effortlessly recreate the visual style, scenery, and even the camera movements of the directors and film periods that are being recreated. I was particularly taken with the look of Chiyoko Fujiwara's brown overcoat and hat against the white snow during the Sino-Japanese War period.

Millennium Actress is a joyful celebration of movies, and watching it I just basked in my own love.

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