Paprika, Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, all films that are considered to be greats in their respective genres within Japanese animation, Satoshi Kon just happens to have a part in every single one of them, and it shows.
Satoshi Kon was an animator, director, screenwriter, and even manga artist, who, alongside Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Otomo and Isao Takahata, led to recognition of anime as a front runner of film, at a time where it was mostly seen as kids’ programming. Sadly, he died at the young age of 46, and we only got a handful of films, all masterpieces, but a handful nonetheless.
His control over reality versus illusion was grand in giving us some of the most intriguing pieces of work to challenge our views on actuality itself, and inspired some of the best directors of the current age to use some of his scenes and inspirations to create masterpieces of their own. Works like Aranofsky’s Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan and Nolan’s Inception, carry the mark of Kon’s scenes and ideas to the live-action movie, which at the time of Satoshi Kon seemed improbable.
Two things are essential to know of his work (asides from his shifting paradox between the beauty and destruction ability of technology), things that separated him from his very first use of them to his last, his ability to shift images and scenes together, and his characters’ road taken not necessarily meaning it is their path. These two main techniques show up in everything from his films to his TV series, and are done expertly. Scenes connect in ways not often seen in major productions. A person is suddenly somewhere they were nowhere near before, usually another reality or a dream world, and done so quickly and brilliantly, that we are awestruck at the realization of it.
Every Frame a Painting did a video in which he went into detail over Kon’s use of space and time as his main medium to connect everything, whether as one in the same or completely different.
ENJOY! And for goodness sake, please watch his works, from the mentioned films to his lesser known series, they are all mind blowing.
Satoshi Kon, you are missed.