Across the Pacific : Paprika

Posted: December 21, 2011 by tmepost in Randomz, TV
Tags: , , , , , ,

By David Burrola

Okay, that title just sounded cool in my head, but I think this would be a fun thing for the rest of our staff to do, which is recommend a show, film or game(like these other sites) of something from another culture/country that you may not have seen. Here, its with Japan! And i’m gonna recommend Paprika.

Paprika is a surreal film, and not in the case of just its imagery but for its take on the human mind, our dreams and what we hide beneath the surface from others. Visually stunning, fantastic conceptually and doing the whole diving into your mind well before Inception gave us loads of internet jokes. Released in 2006 in Japan, but only on DVD here in the United States in 2007. How this didn’t get a theatrical release here is criminal.

This was an adaptation of famous Japanese writer, Yasutaka Tsutsui’s novel of the same name, released in 1993. The story is about research scientists that create a device that allows them to aid patients by entering their dreams. When one of the prototypes is stolen, the culprit effects the scientists while they’re awake.

More than just eye candy, the film explores peoples doubts, nightmares, guilt, repressed desires and even lost ambitions. At any given moment the scene could spiral into the absurd  but not make you think its out of place. Since we dive into other dreams its easy for director Satoshi Kon to mix the strange and often bizarre with dramatic and suspenseful material. All the while keeping the plot moving. Satoshi Kon was a master of surrealism and this film is probably the pinacle of his use of the technical freedom that animation has to tell a fluid and seamless story that flows from mundane to Dali with the blink of an eye.

The film is on DVD and Blu-Ray now under Sony Pictures Classics distribution, and its damn well worth your time. You should also pick up the other works Satoshi Kon has produced.

OH! Don’t for the life of you watch this film before you go to sleep. It’ll mess with your head… That happened to me and now i’m in a strange place with a talking dashboard ornament and my legs are no robotic…

So here’s looking to more recommendations from outside our fences!

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