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Satoshi Kon’s PERFECT BLUE Returning to Theaters

Satoshi Kon’s PERFECT BLUE Returning to Theaters

Social media makes it so everyone has some level of public persona, whether it’s just the face you show to your friends and family to make it seem like you’re doing better than you are or a complete separate side of yourself you only ever show to your followers. This has made it all the easier for people to lose themselves in these personas and for the terrifying parts of even low-level fame stare you in the face. The late, great manga and anime creator Satoshi Kon was way ahead of his time with this phenomenon when he made his landmark debut film, Perfect Blue, coming to U.S. cinemas for its 20th anniversary this September.

Perfect Blue has been a hard movie to see in this country for a number of years, which is why it’s so exciting GKIDS has obtained the theatrical rights to be able to screen a newly remastered version of the film in select cinemas, in conjunction with Fathom Events, on September 6 and 10.

If you’re unfamiliar with Perfect Blue or the work of its creator, Satoshi Kon (who went on to make Paprika, Millennium Actress and the acclaimed TV series Paranoia Agent before his untimely death in 2010), think of him as anime’s answer to David Lynch. His movies are dark and troubling, dreamlike and nightmarish in almost equal measure.

For Perfect Blue, his debut film, Kon focused on Mima, a teen pop idol who decides to give up her music career to make a go of acting, shunning her wholesome, bubblegum image to take on roles that have her doing some pretty upsetting things. As Mima begins to lose herself in her new job, she starts to have vivid nightmares of her previous persona chasing her, and of the very real obsessive fan who’s mad she’s no longer making music…and taking it out on anyone who’s tarnished her once happy image.

Perfect Blue is a desperately upsetting film, and like Ingmar Bergman’s Persona or Lynch’s Lost Highway, the loss of identity becomes too much for our protagonist to take, leading to an almost unbroken string of tense and surrealistic moments where the audience is never sure what’s happening. It’s also a beautiful movie where all of the visuals are meticulously crafted to be as real as possible, so that when something unreal happens, you’re caught even more off guard.

Tickets for Perfect Blue‘s Fathom screenings are available now via GKIDS’ website.

Image: Madhouse/Gkids

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He’s the writer of Studio Ghibli retrospectives Miyazaki Masterclass, Takahata Textbook, and Ghibli Bits. Follow him on Twitter!

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