Legendary, award-winning anime screenwriter and director Satoshi Kon has died.
This is seriously depressing, folks. If you asked me who my favorite anime creator of all time is, I'd be hard-pressed to choose between Kon and Hayao Miyazaki, and anyone who's ever seen a Miyazaki film will know that's high praise for Kon. For both of them, really.
He's probably best known in the states for either Perfect Blue, a psychological horror film about the perils of fame and the loss of identity it brings, or Paprika, a wildly imaginative romp about dreams and storytelling in the unconscious that makes Inception look like a pop-up book by comparison. He's also the creator of the weird and disturbing 13-episode anime series Paranoia Agent and the surprisingly straightforward (but no less hilarious) comedy Tokyo Godfathers. For my money, though, his masterpiece was his 2001 film Millennium Actress: two documentary makers interview an old, long-retired actress about her many roles, but as they explore her past, they're slowly drawn into it, exploring her life and her films, and where the two intersected. It's a lovely film, with much of the same themes as Paprika and Perfect Blue but without the extravagance of the former or the horror of the latter. It's a beautiful, affecting work, and I can think of no better tribute to the man than checking it out for yourself.