When Satoshi Kon died from cancer at the age of 46 in 2010 the world lost one of the greatest living filmmakers. In a career which only lasted a decade, he made four iconic films and one of the most outstanding animated series of the century. Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika and Paranoia Agent are one heck of a eulogy. He leaves behind him some of the most influential work in Japanese animation.
However, he was never an easy man to be around. Often described as nasty, whilst being charismatic and endearing he was also a perfectionist who would be hard on everyone, especially himself. Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist charts his career through the eyes of those closest to him, using his own archival interviews and of course the work itself. Pascal-Alex Vincent’s documentary travels through his filmography in chronological order. Demonstrating the genius of the man and placing his creations in a wider context.
Satoshi Hon: The Illusionist works so well due to the quality of the talking heads. We’ve not only treated to legends of the industry such as Mamoru Hosada, Mamoru Oshii and Rodney Rothman, there’s also several people who collaborated with on his projects. Between them they build up a picture of a complex and erratic master. Most importantly, there are the movies themselves, which are used cleverly here to illustrate each point. Satoshi Hon: The Illusionist is a great introduction and a fascinating insight into the mind of a true legend.
Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist screens at Fantasia International Film Festival.