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Interview: Satoshi Kon


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eviltimes



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 116
Location: Callisto
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:04 pm Reply with quote
So depressing that you ran out of time!

AAAHHHH !!!!!!!!!

Crying or Very sad
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:39 pm Reply with quote
Good timing with this interview; I just watched Paranoia agent about a week ago (although aside from that, my only experience with Kon's works is Paprika -- in theaters, at least).

DKL wrote:
You know, there's a sequence in Paranoia Agent (the Double Lips episode) where Kon manages to somehow do a ridiculous amount of otaku-culture ballbreaking with just that one brief sequence.


Yeah, so true. I also liked the scenes in episode 12 involving the figures. Funny stuff.

Speaking of Paranoia agent, though:

Justin Sevakis wrote:
All of your characters are very strong and self-reliant women


Tsukiko Sagi certainly isn't moe, but she's definitely not "strong and self-reliant". I found her to be very interesting though, but at the same time insufferable. Her sheer lack of drive at some points drove me nuts. Of course, that worked very well in advancing the criticisms of Japanese society that Kon was illustrating.

I need to buy his other movies. If they are even better at portraying subjective reality (Tokyo Godfathers aside) than PA and Paprika, I'm definitely interested in watching them. Also, Kon's new movie is definitely sounding like it will have a little bit of Wall-E in it, so I'm looking forward to that.

Good interview.
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Mevious



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Satoshi Kon is one of my favorite directors. I'm glad you got to interview him; he had some interesting answers.

Also, it sort of made me happy to see that he reacts normally to awards. I've read some interviews in the past where the director is apparently beyond awards and recognition...felt so pretentious.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:05 pm Reply with quote
DKL:
Quote:
You know, there's a sequence in Paranoia Agent (the Double Lips episode) where Kon manages to somehow do a ridiculous amount of otaku-culture ballbreaking with just that one brief sequence.


Actually, I thought the real jab at otaku was in "The Holy Warrior"; but I guess you have to know about the RPG/Dragon Quest culture in Japan to get it.

Alien: Yeah, the gay guys in TG felt like Jar Jar all over again. But Kon kind of balances it a bit by making Gin a joke, and a jerk, too. And yeah, I've really tried to like that thing, too, but I just can't do it. It's the only failure of his IMHO, since it's clearly trying to be more Hollywood than Japanese.

Hed: I think she's strong in the way she forges on, in spite of her traumas.
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DKL



Joined: 08 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:15 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:


Actually, I thought the real jab at otaku was in "The Holy Warrior"; but I guess you have to know about the RPG/Dragon Quest culture in Japan to get it.



I read a lot of hentai doujinshi, so that particular sequence I talked about earlier pretty much canvases people like me; he's kinda just pointing out the weirdness of being attracted to cartoon characters in "that" way.

But yeah, I still found it pretty funny, despite everything.

Also, I'm kinda interested in knowing whether or not Kon was knowingly pushing some 9/11 hot-buttons with Paranoia Agent (kinda like what Nolan was doing with The Dark Knight)... but I think the best part about that was that there was actually no mention of 9/11, yet it actually does apply, hence the show's relevance.

If you think I'm kidding, go see the South Park episode about Imaginatio Land and think about Paranoia Agent while watching it...
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:30 pm Reply with quote
DKL: I'm guessing he's really alluding to our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, since I'm not really sure that 9/11 had the same emotional impact on the Japanese that it did us. [I'm not saying they didn't care, but that they didn't as feel as connected to it, since they live thousands of miles away and all...]
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DKL



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Well, the whole "media is creating an atmosphere of fear" thing seems pretty relevant to us, all things considering.

I mean, just watch that episode of South Park about "Imagination Land".

(which was really clever)

But yeah, intentional or not, I'm still impressed at the relevance of Paranoia Agent.
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Goodpenguin



Joined: 02 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:21 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
DKL: I'm guessing he's really alluding to our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ...


I'll second GATSU's notion that Kon alludes to the atomic bombing of Japan. Also of note on that, 'Paranoia Agent' is not only one of the few honestly 'mature' anime you'll find, but it's also one of the only truly socially insightful one's as well. Even more unusual about it is it takes a most decidedly critical look at domestic Japanese culture/politics in a subtle, frank manner, which is a direct opposite of what most 'social message' anime gives a viewer (either clunky, clumsy populist messages or commonly, xenophobic Japanese views). The 'atomic bomb' message in the title is a complex, critical allegory that illustrates (in the creators view) Japans willingness to hide behind manufactured victim-hood/cultural amnesia and a 'cute/material' obsessed consumer market to ignore the realities of Japans darker past.
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Full_Metal1923



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:37 pm Reply with quote
I really enjoyed that interview, it's too bad it couldn't continue on. I've only seen one film Perfect Blue, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the psychological aspect of it. For me, it was something different, since the anime I've previously seen never dealed with such themes so maturely. I also appreciate his perspective on women in anime, as a writer, having strong female characters in naything I write is something I always try to accomplish. Similar to characters you seen in Miyazaki films, or Winry Rockbell in Fullmetal alchemist.

I would really like ot see Paprika (I was going to see it in theaters, but when I realized it was subbed only, I couldn't go - can't read subtitles - so I'm hoping the DVD release is dubbed). I also wish to see Millennium Actress, and whatever else I could find from him really, since I've been limited to only one of his acclaimed films.
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kaizen-dono



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Full_Metal1923 wrote:
I can't read subtitles - so I'm hoping the DVD release is dubbed). .

It is dubbed. and it is one of those films you have to see dubbed (the animations too good to miss).
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:00 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:

Hed: I think she's strong in the way she forges on, in spite of her traumas.


True, I did feel that way at some points in the story. Notably during her reconciliation with her past self. Although she certainly is a departure from the norm, from what I understand of Kon's other works (and definitely from Atsuko in Paprika).


Last edited by Big Hed on Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:25 pm Reply with quote
kaizen-dono wrote:
Full_Metal1923 wrote:
I can't read subtitles - so I'm hoping the DVD release is dubbed). .

It is dubbed. and it is one of those films you have to see dubbed (the animations too good to miss).


It IS dubbed, but poorly. It felt like the director hadn't even watched the original, because the tones and subtext of some scenes are got entirely wrong.

Honestly, I haven't yet seen a dub of a Satoshi Kon project that I found watchable (though Paranoia Agent was probably the least offensive to me). The Manga UK dub of Millennium Actress is flat and emotionless, and Perfect Blue got unintentional laughs in the theater. Gaaaarrr! (throws stuff)
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Josh7289



Joined: 27 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:20 pm Reply with quote
inu-liger wrote:
Josh7289 wrote:
I think I'm going to pick up Paprika on Blu-ray sooner or later... I'm finding myself to be more and more a fan of his works.


You should!

I've actually purchased both the French and US Blu-ray discs.
I must have watched this movie 2, 3 times or so! I love it Smile


Oh yeah, I've already rented it and seen it once. Just haven't bought it yet...
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DKL



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:24 pm Reply with quote
Actually, I thought that Jonathan Klein did Paranoia Agent REALLY competently (in fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's one of the best dubs out there)...

I guess this is kinda why I felt shafted with Paprika's dub; it was nowhere near as good (and, by all means, was just REALLY flat).

As for Tsukiko, she's an interesting character because a lot of people can kinda relate with the pressure associated with great expectation... Maromi was a hit, now they need her to churn out another one... and she's kinda dead in the water given that nothing is coming to mind, but along comes this mysterious shadow assaulter who seemingly saves the day and takes the pressure of having to create something off of her... the problem is... this assaulter starts attacking other people and it's like: who the hell is telling the truth and who's lying?

AND, as it turns out:

spoiler[Tsukiko herself was lying and this puts everyone in a funny place given that a lie has now seemingly become reality and people honestly believe that they were attacked by this non-existent figure and it's only when Tsukiko herself accepts the lie that reality is restored... and like, it's amusing how, in the ending, despite the scenery being familiar, people are now more blunt and straightforward about not wanting to do unpleasant things... as opposed to, you know, lying and making excuses about it, like what everyone was doing at the beginning of the series, which is how the disaster was started in the first place.]

=============

If anyone ever gets a chance, they should ask Kon more about his insight about media; a neat theme in his work (well, 2 of them anyway) is how news and communication is conveyed and whatever... like, in Perfect Blue, the internet played a role in interpreting Mima's personality for her when she becomes identity-confused.

In Paranoia Agent, it is through the news and internet that Lil' Slugger/Shonen Bat's existence is nurtured and spread out.

Yeah, that's interesting; Kon has a surprisingly competent grasp of how all that stuff works (like, the internet message boards actually look like internet message boards).

Blah blah blah; what I'm doing out here again?
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Alestal



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:30 pm Reply with quote
DKL wrote:
Actually, I thought that Jonathan Klein did Paranoia Agent REALLY competently (in fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's one of the best dubs out there)...

I guess this is kinda why I felt shafted with Paprika's dub; it was nowhere near as good (and, by all means, was just REALLY flat).

Paprika had an amazing dub, one of the best I've ever heard. The characters portrayed such emotion, the voices were perfectt.
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