Satoshi Kon, director of such films as Perfect Blue, Three Godfathers and Paprika, died yesterday in Japan at the age of 46 from pancreatic cancer. Apparently the diagnosis was recent and terminal — and absolutely tragic.
Although Kon worked exclusively in anime, his movies were great films, not just great anime films. Perfect Blue is like the Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never got around to making; Paprika foretold Chris Nolan’s Inception in many, many ways; Tokyo Godfathers was a reimagining of a classic John ford movie which actually matched the original; and Millennium Actress, often considered Kon’s finest work, won countless awards around the world. The best thing about Kon is that he used anime in two ways — 1) not at all, as many of his movies (or parts of his movies) took place in the real world, and 2) in ways no one ever did before, using animation to warp that reality in ways traditional filmmaking never, ever could. He was truly a visionary, and the world — not just the anime world — is poorer for his loss. (Via ANN)