Wednedsay: "Perfect Blue"

Oct. 28

Watching the full-length debut of psychological anime director Satoshi Kon, "Perfect Blue," is kind of like seeing a movie by someone who has taken scenes from "Vertigo," "Sisters," "A Star Is Born," and "The Bodyguard," and then rearranged them in a counterintuitive order that values mood over narrative logic or conventional dramatic pay-off. It adds an appropriate "what's real, what's not?" quality to the 1997 movie about a J-pop singer turned actress, Mima, who is stalked by an obsessive fan to such an extent that she slowly sees the stalker and the potential for attack everywhere. This locates it in the tradition of movies in which we watch women's lives ruined by men for some cheap thrills, but it also seems to answer that female-pain-fueled trope by not giving us any of those cheap thrills or shallow rewards of horror. Instead it fully places us in Mima's head and we end up as confused and terrified as the character. Appropriately, Professor Susan Napier penned an essay in 2006 titled "Excuse Me, Who Are You?: Performance, the Gaze, and the Female in the Works of Kon Satoshi." 9 p.m., The Charles Theater, 1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464,, $9.50. 

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