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anime-director-satoshi-kon-honored-in-new documentary

Anime Director Satoshi Kon Honored in New Documentary


Satoshi Kon, arguably one of many nice administrators within the historical past of anime, died from pancreatic most cancers in 2010 at age 46, abandoning an unfinished movie. Right now, Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist premiered on the Cannes Movie Competition. Directed by Pascal-Alex Vincent, this documentary brings collectively administrators, historians, critics, crew members, and collaborators to create a shifting tribute to Kon and his distinctive work. Some interview topics bear in mind him as light. Others cite his combative persona. However the consensus is obvious: Kon was a genius.   

What set Kon’s work aside was his distinctive skill to symbolize the affect of desires and fantasy on his characters’ notion of the world. As Rodney Rothman, director of Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), places it, Kon’s movies “seize what it [is] wish to have your actuality bended.”

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Three of Kon’s movies, Good Blue (1997), Millennium Actress (2001), and Paprika (2006), function girls with cut up personalities who wrestle to navigate their lives as totally different timelines and realities collide. This recurring theme displays Kon’s perception that the world and its representations mix and form one another. This private philosophy made him the proper particular person to adapt Paprika, a e book by acclaimed science fiction author Yasutaka Tsuitsui a couple of gadget that permits psychiatrists to watch and research their sufferers’ desires. Tsuitsui claims that Kon was the one director who might faithfully adapt his work. “You mustn’t let the viewers know precisely the place the frontiers lie between these two dimensions [dreams and reality],” he says in The Illusionist. Paprika and its method to blurring the actual and the unreal was the inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s movie Inception (2010). 

Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist, 2021. © EUROSPACE / GENCO / ALLERTON FILMS / CARLOTTA FILMS

Different administrators drew inspiration from Kon, too. Darren Aronofsky, who seems in The Illusionist, was so taken with Kon’s first film Good Blue that he paid homage by re-creating a number of photographs in his movie Requiem for a Dream (2001). There are additionally compelling parallels between Good Blue and Aronofsky’s Academy Award-winning Black Swan (2010). Each function malicious doubles and the mind-breaking pressures of public efficiency. 

Regardless of Kon’s affect and demanding acclaim, most of his films misplaced cash or barely broke even. Even Paprika—which Kon dubbed his “large business prostitute movie,” in response to one of many documentary’s interview topics—was nominated for a Golden Lion on the Venice Movie Competition however couldn’t win box-office success. 

Taro Maki, who produced a few of Kon’s movies, believes the director was forward of his time. “The way in which folks see animated cinema has advanced since he died, in Japan and all through the world,” Maki says. “I feel he landed too quickly on this business.” One other problem was that Kon misplaced cash by paying his crew members properly, a rarity within the anime business.

Kon had hoped Dreaming Machine, his first movie for youngsters, would deliver him mainstream success. The documentary provides some tantalizing glimpses into the movie’s plot and improvement, however no completed scenes.

A day after Kon’s demise, members of his household revealed a farewell letter he had written on his weblog. In it, Kon expressed remorse that he couldn’t end Dreaming Machine, and his concern for the crew members concerned. However he ended on an uplifting be aware. “I liked the world I lived in,” he wrote. “Simply serious about it makes me completely happy.”

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