Review: Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist


Title: Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Pascal-Alex Vincent
Starring: Darren Aronofsky, Mamuro Hosoda, Mamuro Oshii
Runtime: 1 hr 21 mins

What It Is: This documentary explores the work and life of an absolute genius. Perfect Blue director and animation renegade Satoshi Kon. His work, which changed the game of anime in Japan also changed cinema in the United States. Look no further than a man who was truly inspired by Kon’s work…visionary director Darren Aronofsky. It is his work that’ll be his lasting legacy and his life, cut short by cancer, will endure even if we don’t know what level of genius we missed out on.

What We Think: I am unabashedly a Kon fanboy. Look no further than when Chai and I discussed Perfect Blue for a solid 20 plus minutes. That being said I thought the film highlighted Kon’s work in such a way that the audience, even if they don’t know the work, might be compelled to check it out. I loved the continental flavor of the entire affair. Having Japanese, French, and English all spoken at once. You owe it to yourself to check this doc out whether or not you’re a fan of Kon’s work. It’ll at the very least get your interests and curiosity going. I can’t lie it’s not the best-edited piece. Nonetheless, I found the entire doc to be one of my very favorite documentaries of the year.

Our Grade: A, The forest that’s through these trees is exceptional. Check out our discussion on Perfect Blue and watch Kon’s films. The man certainly has influenced science fiction filmmaking in a way I don’t even think we truly and fully realize yet. This doesn’t have an American release date but thanks to the Calgary Underground Film Festival for allowing us to check it out! You should all do the same when it reaches our star-spangled shores.

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