Archive for December 9th, 2010

(Japan 1998 81 min)

Director Satoshi Kon; Writers Sadayuki Murai (screenplay), Yoshikazu Takeuchi (novel); Music Yasahiro Ikumi; Voice Acting Junko Iwao (Mima)

by Stephen Russell-Gebbett

“I’m alone, but doing fine. I’ve finally found a luxurious loneliness…”

Personalities split and realities merge and complete unhappiness, this ‘Perfect Blue’, consumes a young and vulnerable woman.

What is real? This is an ancient theme that only comes alive if it comes to mean ‘What should I or What do I feel or mean’.

Suffocated by the strictures of her popstar lifestyle as lead singer of CHAM, Mima quits to become an actress. She marvels at the professionals: “She’s a completely different person when the cameras are rolling”. Willing to push her boundaries, she takes on a role (in Double Bind) in which her character will be raped. It is a harrowing and truly horrific experience.

What mark does acting leave on the actor? Can real and make-believe be kept fully apart? Does art change the way we see ourselves? Does it change the way we see others though we know it is all for show?

Gradually, her “graduation” from singer to actress becomes a “metamorphosis” and she is unable to tell who she really is any longer, what is real, what is filmed and what is imagined. Neither can we. She is out of control. She poses for revealing photos, taunted by her former self as dirty and damaged (“I refuse to do it!” her reflection says of the rape scene).


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