Friday, 23 January 2015

Adaptation Film Review: Paprika

Directed by Satoshi Kon and released in 2006, Paprika is an Japanese animation co-written by Yasutaka Tsutsui and Seishi Minakami. Satoshi Kon born in 1963 studied at the Mushashino College of arts. He began as a manga artist, moving onto animation working in the background of many films such as 'Roujin Z' (1991), his first feature film was 'Perfect Blue' (1997). In 2001, he finished work on his second feature, 'Millennium Actress'. Satoshi's style as you can guess is as a anime/manga artist. With this art form he can explore surrealism to an audience who is quite familiar with it, anime and manga always looks to push the boundaries on what to expect in cinema.

The film is about three scientists at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research who fail to secure a device they've invented, the D.C. Mini, which allows people to record and watch their dreams. A thief uses the device to enter people's minds, when awake, and distract them with their own dreams and those of others. Chaos ensues. The trio - Chiba, Tokita, and Shima - assisted by a police inspector and by a sprite named Paprika must try to identify the thief as they ward off the thief's attacks on their own psyches. Dreams, reality, and the movies merge, while characters question the limits of science and the wisdom of Big Brother.

It was attempting to push the boundaries of surrealism and force them into realistic spaces. It felt like in some areas to be reminiscent of 'Inception' by Christopher Nolan. I believe it did this by asking us subliminally if the animation was currently in dreamspace or awake, just like Inception did. The editing was repetitive just like the dream sequences, it was a constant reminder to events that occurred earlier in the film. The soundtrack was filled with energetic Japanese pop, it gave us a hint we would see Paprika by including her own theme tune.

I would recommend this to people who have seen animations such as the Studio Ghibli collection or looking for a fresher release from anime eastern cinema.


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