Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend tribute pt 2: Paprika

Last night I got drunk and mourned. It was needed and necessary; a number of things that were hurting me got conflated together like I figured they would. And I felt a lot better today having gotten those out of my system (helped by the fact that it was a beautiful day).

Tonight, celebration. Paprika is a beautifully surreal film, with amazing visual actualization of some of the finest examples of human caring and empathy transmitted in the form of the dream, the fantasy projected on reality.

There are these outstanding sequences (most notably in the titles) where the dream world flows between the real and the artistic in such a seamless way that I can't help but witness it in awe of the genius that conceived of such imagery.

I watched a couple of the special features afterwards, seeing and listening to Kon describe both the process and the inspirations for the film. He's so earnest and dedicated, yet stressed by deadlines and swamped with tasks to complete. All while humble and forthwright and earnest. He's my fantasy of what I would be if I tried to continue down the animator's path instead of selling out to a lucrative day-job. I find myself wondering if I could have come even a tiny bit close to his output if I stuck with it and put the energy I did into my current "career" into my first love instead.

So I suppose a bit of jealousy, like I have when watching Pixar films, might play into my emotional responses to his films. A bit of "what could have been".

But seeing the extent of the meticulous detail he puts into the scripting and storyboarding and layout and planning; the sheer magnitude of screentime he needs to account for every nuance projected before us... I know I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy...

And I feel okay; in fact, I feel pretty good. It was comforting to watch him being so open about what he was doing and thinking and dreaming at the time. I felt the wonder and happiness that he was able to acheive so much in his tragically short life.

His death is a great loss to us all. But he was a normal, hard working human being, and his genius can't help but be a part of the next generation of artists, whenver we finally get to the point where we value that part of our global culture and stop shortchanging ourselves for a quick buck and a cheap laugh.

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