“I think that within human nature, and within the human heart as well, there are a ton of absurd impulses and instincts. But you can’t express those things because society has created these rules that say that things can’t ‘warp’ like that. It’s a rule that maintains a sense of balance in the world. But when you’re restricted like that you tend to release these impulses within your dreams. Everything ‘warps.’ I think that in the past you were able to spontaneously experience such things within the framework of reality. I think religious ceremonies would be a good example of that. Now we don’t really have that. I think that if someone from prehistoric times saw Paprika they’d say, ‘That’s how it is!’ I think they’d be confused. ‘Why would you make a movie about such everyday occurrences?'”–on the Paprika DVD commentary (inspired by the scene where the balcony handrail spontaneously warps)
“I do feel regret that my weird visions and ability to draw things in minute detail will be lost, but that can’t be helped.”–from “Satoshi Kon’s Last Words”
DIRECTED BY: Satoshi Kon
FEATURING: Voices of Megumi Hayashibara, , Tôru Furuya, , Katsunosuke Hori, Toru Emori
PLOT: A group of scientists invent a device called the DC-mini that allows the user to enter the dreams of those who wear it; they are experimenting with the invention on mental patients as an aid to psychotherapy. A prototype of the machine is stolen, and the team discovers that it can be used to wreak terrible mischief when one of their number starts spouting incomprehensible babble and jumps out of a window while believing himself to be dreaming. The situation reaches an apocalyptic peak when the thief uses the machine to absorb others’ dreams, and eventually discovers how to make dreams cross over into reality.
- The movie was based on a 1993 novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui; at the time of this writing, the original novel has never been translated into English.
- Tsutsui personally chose animator/director Satoshi Kon to adapt his work.
- Kon began his career as a manga illustrator. He died in 2010 of pancreatic cancer, having completed only four highly regarded animated feature films and the television series “Paranoia Agent.” Although he was working on a new project at the time of his death, Paprika was his final completed film.
- Kon finished the storyboards before the script adaptation was completed, then wrote the story to fit the images rather than the other way around.
- Voice cameos: Kon and writer Yasutaka Tsutsui speak for the two mystical bartenders who appear in Paprika’s dreamspace saloon.
- The film’s soundtrack was the first to be created using a Vocaloid: all singing voices are computer generated.
- A live action remake is in development with an estimated completion date of 2013. Director Wolfgang Peterson has promised to tone down the weirdness for a mainstream audience, aiming to create something more like The Matrix than a surreal exploration of dream states.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: The dream parade, which features marching refrigerators, a Dixieland frog band, porcelain dolls, the Statue of Liberty, confetti falling from nowhere, and more. This toylike promenade tramps through the film, through forests and movie theaters and the streets of Tokyo, growing larger and larger as it absorbs more and more dreams—and it’s as intense an accumulation of imagination as you’re ever likely to behold.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Near the end of Paprika, two characters turn to each other and stare in stunned, silent disbelief. They’ve just seen a giant naked girl grow to womanhood by inhaling an anthropomorphic smog monster. Watching Paprika‘s nonstop cavalcade of technicolor fever dreams should fix your expression into the same mask of bewildered disbelief long before that point.
English language trailer for Paprika
COMMENTS: Having suddenly grown butterfly wings, Paprika finds herself pinned to a Continue reading 82. PAPRIKA (2006)