Sunday, December 23, 2007

Satoshi Kon-athon

Subject: Noir
...Well, not really a marathon as much as a double-feature, but I'm on the verge of also firing up "Millenium Actress" or the end of "Paranoia Agent" just to fit the mood...

Way back in the early days of this blog, I had rented "Tokyo Godfathers", and didn't have an awful lot to say about it. I guess I was taking a lot for granted at the time, and to top it off, I was in the midst of awaiting the climatic end of "MADLAX" at the time. This time around, besides being a little more seasonally-appropriate, I was in the right mood, and I enjoyed it immensely. The characters, the story, and the attention to detail made the whole thing such a simple slice of whimsy and life that it's really hard to believe that I missed that way back then. It gets a bad rap as one of Kon's "weaker" efforts, but considering how good his efforts are, there's a lot of room for it to still be a great little movie.

In fact, it seems to me that a "whimsical" air is actually more prevelant in what he's done than the darker, twisted psychological point-of-view most everyone ascribes to him since "Perfect Blue". "Millenium Actress", besides being a wonderful love-letter to cinema, is a bit of whimsy as well. "Paranoia Agent" is defintitely something to think of along those lines.

And now, "Paprika"... Oh, I think I love this film more than "Millenium Actress"! And not just because there's the same filmmaker-homage aspect to it. Okay, maybe mostly because of that, but really, it's so wonderfully intertwined with whimsy and subconcious and life that I'm this close to upgrading my home theatre to a Blu-Ray-capable setup just so I can see this in hi-def...

(Okay, I was going to do that anyway in the new year, but c'mon, what a great excuse!)

I've seen some overall "meh" reviews of it, and a general overall dissappointment, but especially after being warmed up by "Godfathers", I was more than receptive to go along for the ride. The wonderful title sequence, which was more or less that wonderful trailer I first saw way back when, sets the tone and establishes the magic. Sure there's a deeper angle of "what are dreams?" and "what if you're my dream?" and that sort of thing, but it's not really all that deep unless you want to pursue it that way. That may have been the story, but it really wasn't the point.

Not that I really quite grasp "the point" either, because I'm probably a bit too enthralled with the experience more than the literal narrative. Which maybe is the point after all?


Okay, okay, that's a little over the top. One thing's for sure, though; his love of film, his expression of what movies mean to him and what role they play, his realization of his own dreams -- those are things he's telegraphing in this, and his other works. That's probably why I find them so attractive. It's possible that once again I'm projecting my own desires on it, and if that's the case, all the better. If it's malleable enough that I can do that and still come away with it speaking to me, then I think it's done it's job quite well.

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