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Paprika (2006)

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Satoshi Kon has always been fascinated with the inner lives of his characters and the conflict that arises when self-perceptions are exposed to the air of reality. His first feature, Perfect Blue (1997) was a perfect Hitchkockian nightmare that explored the breakdown of a pop idol who attempts to break out of her teen image by taking on more ‘adult’ oriented acting roles, only to find that transformation sat mentally uncomfortably with not only her values but those of a … (read more)

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Perfect Blue (1998)

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A hallucinogenic animated thriller about a pop idol who changes careers to acting. She goes from tiny roles to demeaning roles, and then things get stranger.

The film explores the whole idol phenomenon – who are you, a person or the public’s idea of a person? What happens when you want to become your real self?

The plot is intricately enmeshed with that of the soap opera being filmed within the film. Throw in a few layered dream sequences and … (read more)

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Millennium Actress (2001)

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Satoshi Kon once described himself as, rather than an animator, a filmmaker who just happened to work in an animation, and if anything at all could be considered hard evidence towards this statement, it’s the director’s 2001 feature film, Millennium Actress. An ode to the history of cinema as much as it is to memory, it’s a finely and deeply crafted work, toying effortlessly with metafictional devices like the division between reality and fiction and the linear concept of … (read more)

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Paranoia Agent (2004)

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You slide a disk into the tray. The laser bites and the disk whirs in appreciation. You select the first episode from the main menu and the chiming theme kicks in — man, I love anime.

Though, as much as I enjoy anime my brain won’t disconnect completely to the experience. I still think about the, ‘1:32 scale model of the Pisa Tower constructed out of dirty dishes’ or, ‘when am I going to deal with a refrigerator that is … (read more)

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