Millennium Actress (2001) Script

Must you go?

I've promised.

I said I'd go to him.

But you'll never make it back!

Thank you.

Don't go! Please!

I've always...

An earthquake!

You OK, Boss?

Yeah. We're ready. The van's loaded.

Be right there.

Ginei Studios

It is with regret that Ginei Studios, Ltd... announces its studio facility is obsolete and will be closed.

This project celebrates its greatest star, Fujiwara Chiyoko... who sustained it through much of its 70-year history...

This is voice-over! I can't be in the shot!

If you'd gotten permission to interview her sooner... we wouldn't have to fake it!

She's not a performer anymore!

Then you should have shot this 30 years ago!

The crazy old biddy... hiding herself away like some hermit!

Next time I kill you!

But no matter how big a star she was, she's over 70 now.

I mean... she's old!


There it is!

Let's not expect too much, eh? We don't even know... what she looks like now.

She'll never grow old!



Does Miss Fujiwara live here alone?

She has for years... her friends are her books and her garden.

This is her own homemade herb tea.

You are very lucky... she's agreed to let you interview her.

We went to a great deal of trouble finding her.

It's a great honor.

You said you had something to give her?

Uh, yes...

Usually before she'll meet anyone new, the earth has to move.

What has to move, Mino?

"The earth moves," Missus.

The earthquake... that one this morning.

Wasn't that something!

I thought my time had come!

How do you do? I'm Fujiwara Chiyoko.

This is truly a great day. We are most deeply honored.

Oh, don't be so formal.

You're from studio...


It means "lotus".

Oh, I love lotuses!

I'm aware of that. Thus the name of our studio...

They'll be in flower soon out back.

In poetry they symbolize...

Yes! "Simple purity."

Well, Mr. Tachibana... you mentioned you have 'something' for me.

Oh, yes! I'm sorry...

I've kept this...

I've kept this for you until I could find you.

I've put that out of my mind for years.

Was that the key to something important?

To the most important thing there is.

Thank you, Mr. Tachibana. But where did you get this?

Uh... well, many years ago someone at Ginei Studios found it.

I never thought I'd hold it in my hand again.

Well, I guess the earth is telling us to get started.

Uh, certainly.

My fate seems to be tied to earthquakes.

I was born during one, in 1923.

The Great Kanto Earthquake...

My father had so wanted a child! He was killed, and it was as if... his life had been traded for mine.

The shop he left behind... allowed my mother and me to live well.

I grew up in a dangerous world of one period of turmoil after another...

The politics of the day had veered to the right.

But girls' magazines were more important to me, I guess.

I'd gaze at the pictures and dream of the day I'd meet my prince.

Was that when... the studio discovered you?

I'll never know... what the managing director of Ginei Studios... saw in a snub-nosed little girl on her way to school.

Is there nothing I can say?


My mother here... thinks that being an actress is a dubious profession.

"Dubious," she called it?


Our new film is set in Manchuria. It will cheer on our soldiers there... and encourage all the people of our nation!


Chiyoko wants to be of service to her country!


Perhaps, but this child is far too timid to ever be an actress!

She will find a husband and the shop will become hers.

Isn't that right?

Does a sweetshop matter more than a nation?!

Does a woman not serve her nation by staying home and bearing children?

National Health Week Your Nation Needs You!


What are we filming?


I feel like a stalker!


I was in a hurry.

Something's going on...

Keep out of it!

He's not here! Go that way!

Did a man come this way? Carrying something in a cloth?

He ran that way.



It takes guts to shelter someone like that!

Who is that guy?!

May I see?

It's just a sketch.

I'll finish it when I get home.

In winter there it's white with snow as far as you can see.

I want to set up my easel in all that snow... and finish the painting while I'm so cold it hurts.

In that pure white landscape... you feel like you're on some strange, distant world.

I'd love to go there.


To thank you, I'll invite you there when peace comes.

The full moon...

Not till tomorrow.

But I like this moon best.

After the full moon it starts to wane.

But with the 14th night, there's still tomorrow... and hope.

I have to leave.

But you're hurt!

My friends are fighting in Manchuria.

A paintbrush isn't much help, though.

This? It's the key to the most important thing there is.

The most important thing?


I don't know. But don't tell me. Give me till tomorrow.


Tell us!

You're in love with someone!

First love!


Isn't that sweet!

Even old people were young once.

Isn't that the key you brought her?

He can't have gone far! Keep looking!


Thank heavens you're all right! There was a thief in the storeroom!

He's OK. He made it to the station.

I'm so glad you're not hurt!

The Chief Clerk! Yes!

This is hard work!



Wait! Wait!

I'll come!

I'll come to you!

Now that's drama!

I cried 53 times at this scene!

When did this turn into a movie?!

That's when I started making films.

I see.

How did that start?

Well, you remember the managing director said... his next film was set in Manchuria...

Manchuria! Of course!

Thank you, Chiyoko.

I knew you'd say yes!

Well, I should serve my country... shouldn't I?

I see...

You were just following that man!


I didn't care about movies!

Chiyoko's playing the title role.

How do you do?

I'm sure you recognize...

Shimao Eiko, our biggest star...

Hello, Chieko.

Aren't we pensive!


He is...

Give it back!

Looks like Dad found me an actress!

Well! You work fast, "sonny".

"Chizuko," wasn't it?


This is "Mr. Otaki", the managing director's son.

A promising young director.

He loves auditioning actresses.

Sorry. I shouldn't tease.

Someone left it with me.

If I see him in Manchuria, I want to give it back.

We're not going there for fun.

Who is he? What's his name?

I don't know.

Then how will you find him?

He paints.

Paints what? I don't know.

Not even that?


I'm sure he's in Manchuria!

Never heard of anyone like that.

I remember this!

But I'm sure he's around here!

I don't need amateurs hanging around!

I'm not leaving!

I've crossed a whole ocean... to get here, and...

I... I...

Director! What's going on here?!

This girl doesn't know her lines!


Once you've made yourself into your character... the lines will come welling up naturally from inside.

Yes, sir.

I told you this was no role for a rank amateur!

I... I just want to see him!

Great! Let's do a take!

Well done.

That was great.

You can act.

What's wrong with you?

So... any clues to the guy who owns the key?

You still haven't given up?

Why not try a fortune-teller?

There's one near here they say is very good.


The man you seek is in the north.

He paints. He's tall.

And would he happen to be searching for a key?

Do you know him?

If that's the man...

Tell me! Please! Where is he?

Leaving the shoot?! That's unprofessional!

You just don't understand women.

And you do?

Mass Roundup Of Activists In North Manchuria He's a lucky guy, if she's willing to follow him this far.

Would that it were me!

Chiyoko! Chiyoko!





Miss Fujiwara! Chiyoko!

Hey! This is really happening!

Chiyoko! Speak to me!

Oh... excuse me.

Boss! Let's get out of here!

Where'd the bandits go?!

What's the meaning of this?!

That's what I'd like to know!

Where did Manchuria go?!

Your Highness!

Where is he?

My lord is in the castle!

Your Highness! You mustn't!

My lord!

My lord!

Why would you not wait for me?!

I... I...

You cried at all her films?

Stay your dagger.

Wraith! Do you haunt this castle?

Call me what you will.

Since before you were born I have known you.

What do you wish?

To assist at my death?


What may not be in this world will be in the next.

So I must die...

There he awaits.

That is Thousand-Year Tea!

Now you will burn forever in the flames of eternal love!

I am deceived?!

I hate you! More than I can bear!

And I love you! More than I can bear!

One day you will understand!

Boss! No!

Genemon, Marshall of Nagato, at your service!

Since when?!

I will lay down my life to save Your Highness!

I will not leave My lord.

Wraith! Be damned!

I regret to say My lord has been taken captive.

My lord?! Does he yet live?!

You must return to your land!

I come for the Prince!

Onward, Torakichi!


Your Highness!

I will go to him!

Your Highness!


Your Highness!

I will not forget your loyalty!

May fortune be yours!

It seems like yesterday.

You don't mind?

Not at all, Miss Fujiwara! Any way you like.

Thank you.

Where was I?

Breaking through the enemy...

Where Nagato gets wounded.

Oh, yes...

If he was a prisoner, I just had to help him somehow.

What the?! Villainy!

Guard the prisoner!

I'm here to save you!

You'll never get the better of me!

Could a princess do that?

Behind you!

Finish her off!


Who are you?!

Give me a break!

My name is of no importance.

You! You followed me!

Cut him down!

I'm good at being stubborn.

Why do you care about me?

I can't help it. I like you.

The same reason you insist on going to save him.

But I love him!

Stop talking and go.

Leave this fight to me.

I don't need any thanks.

I've always thought I'd like to die... for the woman I love.

Maybe I should get myself fired...

Have at me, swords! All of you at once!

Here comes help!

You little imp!

Where is he?!

Hmph! They weren't so tough!

Wait for me, Chiyoko! I'm coming!

By now his head's on display in the capital!


For you, the road ends here!

He's in Kyoto!

Have pity!

No! I won't let you go!

I'll come back!

I just want to see him and give him what's his!

How nice of you!

A man about to be executed is in need of nothing now.

You poor fool!

Pursue him as long and as far as you may... you cannot escape your fate.

Neither you, nor her!

Don't just stand there! Take her away!

On your feet!

Let me go! Please! Let me go!

I must go to him!

Now we're in Kyoto... faster than a speeding bullet train!

Another age, too...


Where's Chiyoko?

You're not dressed for this era.

Don't you glare at me!

I taught you everything you know, and now you've shamed me!

You'll learn to listen to reason!

The fool! Making Eiko mad!

It serves her right! Chiyoko doesn't know her place.

A few men like her and she thinks she's a geisha!

Watch her! Make sure she doesn't run away again!

Wasn't this supposed to be a documentary?

Damn right!

"The Seven Specters: The Legend of Fujiwara Chiyoko"!

Old people these days!

Are you all right, Miss?

I'm fine.

Leave this to me.

Come this way.

He's in the city, isn't he?

Surely you don't think I'd keep you locked in here!

I won't forget this!

When you first came here, I felt I knew you already.

And I thought that some day I'd like to help you.

And ever since then...


Pay attention!

A jailbreak?!

Some rebel samurai got away!

Spread out!


It's me! Don't you remember?

We met on a winter's day, just like this!

I've searched and searched for you!

To give this back to you...


Your key!

Keep it till we meet again.

Over there! Hurry!

You saw a samurai run past here, didn't you?

Where did he go?

That way.

I've seen you before...

You're hiding something.

Tell us. You know which way he went.


Have no fear, Miss.

And here he comes at last!

You're a damned anti-government rebel!

And you're fools who don't know when your time has gone.

Get on, Miss... and leave the rest to...

Be careful! You'll strain yourself!

Such kindness to a humble man!

Miss! I'll never forget...

Playing truant, are we?

Off to meet a certain "human rights" agitator?

I don't understand...

We have proof!

He left you a little memento on your storeroom wall.

He did?!

So you do know him.

That's all I need to know. We'll continue at the station.

You can tell us everything there.

Another stubborn one!

Tell them what they want to know.

I can't tell them what I don't know.

But I wouldn't tell them even if I knew.

I'd never betray him!

You little fool!

That's what you say now...

But feelings change.

I won't be like that! I love him more every day!

Everyone's like that.

They say Eiko gave her man all the money she'd earned!

Then he ran off with someone else!

I wish she'd pass some my way!


Now what?

Miss! I'm here to save you!

Who are you? Have you forgotten?

I'm Gen the rickshaw man! I've come, just as I promised... to repay your kindness!

Am I really being set free?

Didn't I say you would be?

We don't need you anymore. We caught the guy.

Wait! Please!

Wait! Please!

Open the door!

Please! I just want to see him!

Please! Open the door!

Please! Open the door!

What's next?

What is this, science-fiction?


Is this your idea of gratitude?!

But the storehouse is on fire!

You little fool! What makes you think you can just die too?!

Chiyo! Chiyo!

Chiyoko, come back!



Come on!

Wisteria Sweets

It's a picture of her!

Until the day we meet again.


Chiyoko! Chiyoko!

Are you all right?!


Chiyoko! Chiyoko!

You cannot escape...

You cannot escape!

Are you all right?

Are you feeling ill?

I'm fine. If you listen to doctors... you think that old people are always sick.

We'll come back another day. No.

By tomorrow I won't remember...

After the war, it was all we could do to survive.

We had no food, no clothes...

Wanting to make good films was all that kept us going.

Every single day was busy.

But I always believed that some day...

we'd meet again.

The world had changed, and I had no idea how to find him...

there was always the chance... he'll see one of my films.

Yes, the mid-50's were the peak of your career...


Now you know.

You were at Ginei? In the Otaki unit?

Uh, yes, but in far too minor a position... for you to have noticed me.

You should have told me!

Well, you know...

I was never a director or even a crew chief.

And I was always getting Mr. Otaki angry.

Tachibana Genya. How do you do?

Do a good job.

Eiko, this is Genya, a new apprentice.

I've always loved the dialogue between you and Fujiwara Chiyoko.

Yes, I set her offvery well.

Never mention Chiyoko to her!

Remember one thing:

In this business we flatter both the audience and the actresses.

I'll show you how one of these days.

Uh... yes, sir.

Well, I certainly fell for it.

A film director is a lot like a painter, Chiyoko.

A painter puts the colors he likes on a canvas.

And I've found a great color for my canvas.

That color is you.

He seduced her with a line like that?

I should try that one...

I'm sorry!

Damn him!


Fujiwara Chiyoko "The Madonna"

I'm home!

I told you to tell them no!

You won't be everyone's "Madonna" forever, you know!

A woman's happiness comes from making a home!

But I've got...

All the anti-government rebels have long been set free.

He hasn't even come to see you! No!

I'm going to him!

You don't even know if he's alive or dead!

He's alive! I know it!

You won't be young forever!

We promised to meet some day!

You're too old for these little-girl dreams!


What's wrong, Chiyoko?

Here we go again! I'm tired.

The old lady wants a break.

Take five!

The key's gone!

Yes! This is the day it happened!

Miss Eiko!

Is it lunch time?

Not yet.

Genya, get out to the stage.

The princess is not amused.

Please! Look everywhere!

I have to have it!

Don't just stand there! Get looking!

Yes, sir!

Looking for what?

Chiyoko's key!

So Eiko took it...

No one knew that then.

And we couldn't find it anywhere.

It didn't get up and walk away! It's here somewhere!

What's it the key to, Chiyoko?

Yeah! I'd like to know!

Me, too! Tell us, Miss!

Someone very dear to me gave it to me to keep.

Your boyfriend?

Her steady!

I wonder what he's like! What's he like?

Is he handsome?

What did he look like...

Like an actor? Who does he look like?


I can't remember!

Not even his face!

I loved him so much!

Now I can't even remember his face!

I'm sorry.

Not at all.

This tea has a wonderful aroma.

It's herb tea from my garden. It's very good for you.

Shall we continue?

Soon after the key disappeared, you got married...

Yes, to Otaki.

It was as if I'd lost part of my heart with that key.

And I was too old to be dreaming anymore.

Yesterday, the 20th, at 1 1:47 p.m. Japan time... seven American astronauts... were launched into space from Cape Canaveral.

As the world watched, the rocket achieved orbit in five minutes.


Well, now she knows.

Eiko! What does this mean?

A farce by a great director... to win a popular actress.

And silly me took the role of the thief.


I've always had a guilty conscience about you.

That fortune-teller... was a dirty trick...

It was wrong.

But I would have done anything to get rid of you.

Did you know where he was?

How would I know?

But a certain someone found out about my trick.

What did I ever do to you?

I was jealous!

Of your youth!

And how chasing after one man kept you young!

And I got stuck playing the older woman you'd run up against.

Now I've lost even the energy to hate you anymore.

Isn't this all far in the past?


We're in a meeting. Come back later.

There's someone here to see Miss Chiyoko.

You're Miss Fujiwara Chiyoko, aren't you?

What do you want now?

I'm sorry... you know me, then, don't you?

Go away!

I'm sure you hate me.

I was as evil as those I served in their abuse of power.

I am on a journey of atonement... for my sins before the war.

An anti-government painter we held left this to you.

He said he was in your debt, and wanted to thank you.

I am most truly sorry.


"It bothers me that I was not able to thank you.

I want to see you, but this war... grows more intense by the day.

When the war is over and real peace has come...

I will go home to Hokkaido and finish that painting.

Some day I'd like to showyou that starry, starry sky... as I promised I would."


It's the key to the most important thing there is.

The most important thing?

Give me till tomorrow. Promise?

Last call for the "Snow and Sky Express"... now boarding on Platform 12.

Tell us!

You're in love with someone!

First love!

Not till tomorrow.

With the 14th night, there's still tomorrow... and hope.

Bandits again?! Idiot!

A ttention, passengers...

This train will stop temporarily due to a rock slide on the tracks.

Open the door!

There are buses coming!

Train staff will conduct you down to the highway!

You poor fool!

You cannot escape your fate.

You will burn forever in the flames of eternal love!

He's in Kyoto?!

I will go to him!



Keep it till we meet.

Have pity!

He's alive! I know it!

I'm going to him!

I love him more every day!

You don't look like you're out for a walk... hop in!

Here's a role that suits you!

Leave it to me!

Hokkaido or bust!

It's dangerous, don't go!

He's waiting for me!

In that pure white landscape... you feel like you're on some strange, distant world.


Come back!

I'm going to give him this key!

Wait! Wait!

Please! Wait! Please! Wait!


I'll come to you! Wherever I must go!

Must you go?

I promised.

I said I'd go to him.

But you'll never make it back!

Chiyoko! Boss! Look out!

Chiyoko! I've always... cared for you!

It's a big one!

Chiyoko, look out!

Chiyoko! Run!

Chiyoko! Are you all right?!

Move that stuff!


Everyone help! Quick!



She's here! And Genya!

Are you all right?!


Did you shield me?

Yes. Way to go, Genya!

I hate you!

And I love you! More than I can bear!


Chiyoko, what's wrong?! Chiyoko!

Genya, what did you do?!


Imagine forgetting someone who saved my life!

No... I look different now.

It's been 30 years... I've lived quietly since then.

Why did you do it?

After you vanished in Hokkaido, you went back to films.

After that studio accident... why did you go into hiding?

I never thought I'd see him again, even though...

I'd resolved... to follow him anywhere.

So then why?

After the accident, I realized something.

I wasn't the girl he'd remember anymore.

I hate you!

More than I can bear!

I wanted him to see me as the girl I once was.


It's a big one!


You're always there to help me...

Chiyoko! Chiyoko!

In the end... she never again met the guy who gave her the key.

That old policeman...

That painter... refused to talk, right to the end.

So I tortured him.

I killed him.

So Chiyoko... was just chasing a shadow.

I'm sorry! We asked too much of you.

No... I enjoyed it very much.

But I guess this is good-bye.

The doctor says you'll be fine!

You're a poor liar, aren't you?

Don't feel sad.

After all, I'm going... after that man again.

See? I have the key, thanks to you.

It's opened the door to my memories of him.

It's as if while I was talking to you... the girl I was came back to life.

This time you'll find him. I'm sure of it!

I wonder...

But maybe it doesn't matter.

After all...

After all, it's the chasing after him I really love.