This month, the HWS Media Club and Anime Central will co-sponsor a film series, “Night Dreams of Day: The Life and Work of Visionary Filmmaker Satoshi Kon.” The event will showcase a major film directed by Kon every Tuesday night throughout November. After each showing, there will also be a faculty-led discussion about the movie, the first by Professor of Media and Society Linda Robertson, the second to be led by Assistant Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa, and the others to be announced. The series is presented by the Colleges’ Media Club and Anime Central.
In addition to the faculty, Andrew Upton ’12, an executive board member of the media club, has arranged for his brother, a junior majoring in computer animation at Ringling College of Art and Design, to join the discussion on webcam to share his insights on the movies and to provide expert knowledge on making animated films.
Kon is an internationally acclaimed Japanese animator and director. His films broke the bounds of reality and surrealism, crossing into dreams and challenging our conventional views of animation as a form of expression.
“His films are filled with love, hate, fear, anxiety, paranoia, sexual tension, comic relief and themes of life versus death, reality versus the dream- and he asks us what it means to be human,” says Upton. ” Kon’s works show incredible attention to detail, story and character, facts that have showcased him as one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time. Through animation, Kon is able to show us, unconstrained by physical limitations, the power of the human mind and the depths to which our thoughts can go.”
Kon was born in Hokkaido, Japan on Oct. 12, 1963, and attended Musashino Art University. He originally intended to study painting, but later switched to illustration. He died of pancreatic cancer this past August, in Tokyo, Japan.
“As an aspiring filmmaker and as an artist, Kon’s work has inspired me to go beyond borders that I may not otherwise have crossed,” says Upton. He noted that when he heard of Kon’s death this summer he wanted to do something to commemorate one of his greatest inspirations. The film series will be held not only as a commemoration of the filmmaker, but also as an opportunity for the HWS community to be exposed to a new and different style of filmmaking that they often do not see.
The four events will be held in various locations and will take place from 7:30 to 11 p.m. every Tuesday night this month (except for Nov. 23). The films that will be shown are: “Perfect Blue,” Nov. 2 in the Geneva Room; “Millennium Actress,” Nov. 9 in Stern 303; “Tokyo Godfathers,” Nov. 16 in the Vandervort Room; and “Paprika,” Nov. 30 in the Geneva Room.
Media Club meetings are every other Sunday at 4:30 in Stern 103 and Anime Central meets Thursdays 7 – 9 in Stern 303.