Perfect Blue is a 1997 anime film directed by Satoshi Kon (also known for Paprika). The film follows a retired musician who becomes an actress, and in the process, loses her grip on reality. A critically acclaimed psychological thriller, the film focuses on identity, voyeurism, and performance – particularly that of modern pop idols.
I initially heard about this film after seeing many parallels drawn between Perfect Blue and Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, and was under the impression that the latter was inspired by the anime. However, upon further research I have found that Aronofsky denied this while acknowledging the similarities. Still, I am curious to see how Perfect Blue could have served as a jumping off point for the more recent film – as I do enjoy Black Swan – and am also interested to see how it translates as an anime. Given the similarities between the two films, I am also intrigued by the limits of both live action and animation, and what one makes possible that the other cannot achieve.
Perfect Blue is showing as part of the State Theater’s Late Night series on Friday, October 21 at 9:30pm.