RIP, Satoshi Kon: Will 'Inception' director speak now for 'PAPRIKA's' dreamy magic?
I am hoping that now, the high-riding Christopher Nolan will help give the great Satoshi Kon an even larger due.
Kon's many, many fans, of course, don't need Nolan's validation to affirm the anime filmmaker's mastery and gift and craft. But if the "Inception" director sings the praises of Kon now, soon after the Japanese animator's death, perhaps thousands more "unenlightened" filmgoers might come to appreciate the accomplishment that is "Paprika."
Kon is known too, of course, for "Perfect Blue" and "Toyko Godfathers" and "Millennium Actress," but it is 2006's "Paprika" -- about a world in which medical professionals use a machine to enter (or "incept") their patients' dreams -- that bears such striking resemblances to Nolan's summer live-action blockbuster.
Even if Nolan was not directly inspired by "Paprika," he surely has seen it -- and surely has appreciated it (and perhaps Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel, as well). Now, I hope Nolan might be as vocal as filmmaker Darren Aronofsky has been in speaking to Kon's gifts.
With his talent for blending realistic and fantastical elements in his eerie and disorienting and gorgeous anime, Kon -- even as relatively short as his career was -- should be remembered as one of Japan's most gifted modern artists.
Kon, who was said to be working on a new film about dreams, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday in Toyko. He was 46.
By Michael Cavna
August 25, 2010; 7:00 PM ET