Tuesday, August 24, 2010

R.I.P. Satoshi Kon 1963-2010

This one just breaks my heart.

That we only got four peeks inside the mind of this brilliant singular filmmaker seems like a fucking crime (five if you count his haunting strange television series Paranoia Agent. And you totally should).

The death of some filmmakers particularly those who die young often leave me feeling sad. This one leaves me feeling angry.

Kon pushed the medium of anime, and animation itself, forward in a way few bother to do anymore. He refused to be limited by the supposed strictures of the genre, or the rules of the medium. Instead he insisted on striving forward and gave something new with ever film he made. He swung for the fences. Every. Single. Time. His films are unique from each other as they are from the rest of the medium. A psychological thriller worthy of Hitchcock? Sure. A Biopic as phantasmagoria? Why not. A film that planted its flag in Inception’s territory four years early? Makes sense to me. A remake of a John Ford film with an HIV positive transvestite as John Wayne? Somehow he made it work.

I was looking forward to enjoying his work for decades to come. His death leaves a gaping hole.

A tweet someone relayed to me read:

It's not that anime will never be the same with Satoshi Kon gone. It's now much more likely that anime will always be the same.


To glance over at my shelf and realize that his entire filmography makes up only a few inches upsets me.

But God how potent those few inches are.


Chris Regan said...

I didn't know about this until just now. I'm in shock - Perfect Blue was my favourite anime. He was an amazingly talented person.

Adam Zanzie said...

Okay... holy shit? Satoshi Kon died? How!?? I never even got a chance to watch Millenium Actress yet!

Dammit. Well, I'll always have my Paranoia Agent and Perfect Blue memories. But I was hoping that he'd at least live long enough for me to meet him and request that I adapt a live-action version of Paranoia Agent. What to do now?

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Nice post and I hope to do my own tribute to the man soon as I feel so compelled. I absolutely adored Millennium Actress. It's just beautiful.

You eloquently captured all of the aspects of this man's ability. He really was something special.

I love the tweet. It's a powerful statement. To some extent it's true, as much as I think highly of a number of anime studios or creators and their works. But, Kon was like a live action filmmaker working within anime [animation] wouldn't you say?

He had a strong sense of narrative and story which so many writers in anime lack.

Your final comment about the inches on your shelf. It's so true. His work is so finite, but the emotional power and creative input he gave to them was infinite.
A lovely nod to the man. I can't believe he was just 47. That's crazy. All the best.

Bryce Wilson said...

@ Chris Regan: I hear you buddy. I literally couldn't believe it when I heard the news.

@ Adam: That's quite a condrum you have there. I say he'd appriciate the spirit.

@ Sci Fi Fanatic: Thank you for the kind words.

I don't know that I would agree that Kon was a live action director working in anime. If anything he takes all the freedom anime promises, and leaves behind the self imposed chains it lays upon itself.