Ani-May with Satoshi Kon: Paprika

For May we’re examining the full filmography—a scant four feature films—of Japanese animation director Satoshi Kon. Despite his career being cut short by pancreatic cancer at the age of 46, Kon was able to quickly emerge as (and remain) one of the most exciting and influential anime artists of the past 25 years. Able to seamlessly flit between dream and reality, modern technology and admiration for the past, and genre-style action and literary concerns, Kon’s films see forward to what it’s like to live one’s life online.

Ani-May with Satoshi Kon is sponsored by Japan America Society of St. Louis.

Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006, Japan, 91 minutes)

Capping off Kon’s incredible and all-too-short career, Paprika follows the title character, a mysterious red-haired woman who is able to enter people’s dreams via a new and unregulated device called the DC Mini. Paprika is the dream persona of Dr. Atsuko Chiba, who works at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research alongside the inventor of the DC Mini, Kosaku Tokita, and the plot takes off when three DC Minis are stolen. Here Kon is at the height of his visual inventiveness, and with film programmers seeing opportunity after the success of Hayao Miyazaki’s recent movies in the West, it was given berths in prestigious international film festivals (including Venice and New York) before receiving a nationwide release in America in 2007.

Paprika is available to watch for free to current Webster University students, faculty, and staff through the Webster U. library here. Alternatively, it can be rented digitally on most platforms for $3-4.

With a free post-film discussion on May 27 at 7:00 p.m. from Justin Sevakis, anime professional of 22 years and CEO of production company MediaOCD.

Register for this event here.

Thursday, May 27 at 7:00pm

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