Wednesday 25 August 2010

Millennium Animator

God damn it.

Have you heard the news already? Satoshi Kon, director of some of the most remarkable anime ever, is dead. The Anime News Network reports that he "passed away from pancreatic cancer [on Tuesday] at the age of 46."

I don't know that I want to speak to the fact that this news broke over Twitter. That's pretty sickening in itself, but it had to break somehow, I suppose, so... I'll let it slide.

The man was a legend. You should all watch his films. One in particular: Paprika, which Christopher Nolan called out as one of the inspirations behind Inception. I wonder if he got to see it?

In any case, Satoshi Kon was a filmmaker in his prime. He'd gone from Perfect Blue to Millennium Actress to Tokyo Godfathers to Paprika, and in between times he'd made Paranoia Agent, one of my very, very, very favourite anime series ever. He'd been slaving away at his latest speculative haze for years before the hammer finally fell: The Dream Machine was to be "a road movie for robots," and who knows if we'll ever have the chance to see it now. I don't know that it matters overly much... if we do, it won't be the finished product, and Kon was nothing if not a perfectionist. No doubt GAINAX will draft another director in to polish the last few frames up, but The Dream Machine won't be what it would have been, had Kon lived to wrap up production himself, on his own terms.

But Satoshi Kon is dead - and so young. Long live Satoshi Kon, then, in our hearts, and in our heads.

God damn it.


  1. Just wanted to say that Gainax aren't involved. It's Madhouse that be polishing it up. I'm pretty sure they've been the studio behind all his directorial ventures, this latest one included.

  2. My bad. The tweet announcing Kon's passing to the world at large came from GAINAX... I'd assumed.

    And we all know what assumptions make of you and me.

  3. I have to say this pisses me off to, one of my favorite Anime directors, my favorite is Millennium Actress, a near perfect vision of Japan in the 2oth century. A sad day to see that he is gone.

  4. Paprika is one of my favorite movies.

    and at the age of 46? far too young.