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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Perfect Blue’: another anime not for kids

Anime fans have had a lot to watch lately. The Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 has been screening such films as "Princess Mononoke" and "Grave of the Fireflies," and is set to show the children's classic "My Neighbor Totoro" on Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and 3.

But before that, on Thursday and then on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Fathom Events will present the 1997 Japanese animated feature "Perfect Blue." The film will screen at 7 p.m. both nights at the Regal Cinemas theater at Northtown Mall (Thursday dubbed in English, Sept. 10 in original language with English subtitles).

Directed by Satoshi Kon, and adapted from a novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, the movie tells the story of a singer from a Japanese pop trio who quits to become an actress in a television crime series. Pretty soon, though, she begins having trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality — and then people start dying.

Like "Graveyard of the Fireflies," "Perfect Blue" is not designed for younger viewers. In fact, the film is rated R for "for animated sequences of violence and nudity, and for brief language." Yet it has earned a measure of critical acclaim.

Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle: " 'Perfect Blue' manages, through animation, to take the thriller, media fascination, psychological insight and pop culture and stand them all on their heads."

Tara Brady, Irish Times: " 'Perfect Blue' is every Spice Girl, Shirelle and Supreme of yore refashioned and recast in Bergman's persona. An edgy new career, indeed."

Edgy, indeed.