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Past Films

Staff Picks: Perfect Blue (1997)

  • Starring: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji
  • Director(s): Satoshi Kon, Hideki Hamazumm, Hisao Shirai
  • Genre(s): Animation , Horror , Mystery
  • Languages: Japanese (w/English Subtitles)
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 80 min.

Staff Picks Series
Every month a member of the Moxie staff picks a film that impacted their lives and we put it up on the big screen.
December’s pick was made by Mark Gillenwaters.
“I discovered Perfect Blue as a teenager and initially did not get it but the haunting images and fluid animation stuck with me. I rediscovered the movie years later and began suggesting it to anyone who would listen. Perfect Blue is a movie for adults that treats it’s audience intelligently and weaves a mystery through psychosis and distorted reality without succumbing to outright deceit. The heroine and the audience are left questioning reality in this tight, underrated, thriller.”

Synopsis: Mima was a pop idol, worshipped by the masses until fashion dictated otherwise. In order to salvage her career, she is advised to drop music and pursue acting. A soap opera role is offered but Mima’s character is less clean cut than desired. Regardless, she agrees and events take a turn for the worse. She begins to feel reality slip, that her life is not her own. She discovers (imagines) her identical twin, a mirror image that hasn’t given up singing. Internet sites appear describing every intimate detail of her life and a figure stalks her from the shadows. Her friends and associates are threatened (and killed) as Mima descends into a dangerous world of paranoid delusion. She fears for her life and must unravel fact from illusion in order to stay alive. Perfect Blue represents a major change from traditional anime subject matter, analysing the pop icon phenomenon, fame and its psychological impact on the performer.

** - Not suitable for children**

"Perfect Blue has much to say about fame as an addiction for star and audience – a mutual dependency heightened these days by the internet. "
- Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound
"'Perfect Blue' manages, through animation, to take the thriller, media fascination, psychological insight and pop culture and stand them all on their heads."
- Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle