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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 | Written by:

The Darkside of the Dream World: Paprika

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After a while of shelving the japanese animation topic we get back to it with an excellent film that I recommend by the depth of the issues addressed as well as the quality of both argument and animation.

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Paprika is based on a novel by famed science fiction writer Yasutaka Tsutsui, and tells a complex and interesting story: In the near future, psychiatrist Chiba Atsuko has developed a device called “Mini DC” that allows her to access the minds of her patients through their dreams.

The problem arises when one of the prototypes is stolen and, the criminal or criminals, begin to use it to get into the minds of many of Chiba Atsuko contributors and destroy their personalities while they sleep.

Our protagonist, who adopts the “avatar” Paprika in the world of dreams, is forced to begin an investigation to try to unravel the true intentions of the theft while slowly reality and fiction begin to blur more and more in the film, in wich point the viewer fails to take clear notice whether is seeing the reality of Chiba Atsuko or facts from Paprika and the world of dreams.

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It was officially premiered at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and also presented at several international festivals (including the Festival of Sitges and Fantasporto), earning excellent reviews.

It was directed by one of the great today directors, Satoshi Kon, (author of other well-known films like Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers), and produced by the prestigious Mad House studio.

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The film is a spectacular combination of color, imagination, action scenes and fantasy, and works throughout it`s argument how fuzzy the borders between reality and fiction are.

Personally I always liked the work of Mad House studio and this is not the exception, anime lovers or not don`t miss the chance and see Paprika.

Paprika Trailer

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About MR. D

Hi! my name is Federico Rusconi and I´m an Argentinian advertisement student. I love animation, graphic novels and graphic humor. Read my post and maybe you`ll learn some thing about this topics. You can find me on Twitter

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10 Responses

August 27, 2010

I think that while the film producers may be claiming that Japanese Animators are reaching for the moon while their American counterparts are still playing in the sandbox , there is one thing which they fail to incorporate in this film and which sorta leaves me thinking : mehhh … and that is : A kick-ass-Soundtrack . Which is the most Vital thing in a film . The films soundtrack sounds childish and does not coincide with the films premise , which is a great factor that the films producers/ directors did not take into consideration .
Most ( American ) films tend to incorporate a great soundtrack to their films , aside from the fact of whether the film is great or simply ” sux ” , and most American films tend to cash in on both : Film & Soundtrack sales . This film will not be doing such ( at least in my book ) I hate to say . Albeit , Japanese animators may be stellar steps ahead of their American counterparts , they fail to combine great lasting soundtracks within their films ( be they animation or not ) , which leaves the general public not even remembering any of their films – whereas : You have every American film remaining fixed within the memories of the American public .
Music plays a pivotal role within any film now a days – and this is an important factor which Japanese film production companies must consider – IF they wish to capture a global audience and not simply remain at a national gross profit from their movie sales .
Now, I really do not know whether this film is as good as they claim it to be – and from the brief description leading into the films premise it all sounds like something Alfred Hitchcock would have written – however , from what I was able to see from the trailer : again , this is not a film which would make me run to the movie theaters to pay good money to see ( I’d wait it out until it became available on DVD – and even then … ) ; I truly dont see Japanese animators reaching for the moon as far as ‘ animation effects ‘ are concerned in this film – to me it looks just like any other afternoon kiddie cartoon on regular television , as it tends to mix & combine childish cartoon characters with adult swim ( along w the childish soundtrack music ) which kinda leaves me cold .
However to each his own – and if the general public deems that this film is groundbreaking enough where they have no problem in shelling out $20.00 to go see – then , by all means to each his own AGAIN .
A for myself : I’ll pass .

Thanx for the write up though , you did make a good attempt to sell this film to the general public -however : this film did not convince me .
Great post :)

M.