music friday
foreign correspondent (alfred hitchcock, 1940)

perfect blue (satoshi kon, 1997)

Perfect Blue was the debut feature for director Satoshi Kon. The influence of this film, as well as the rest of Kon's productions, goes beyond just the world of Japanese anime. Darren Aronofsky's work, in particular Black Swan, owes a lot to Kon ... Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro are also often mentioned as being influenced by Kon.

Perfect Blue is a remarkable work, justly lionized. It appeals to non-fans of anime, but not because it cheapens its approach ... it's just that Perfect Blue is a movie, not only anime, and while the stylization is highly regarded to this day among anime aficionados, the psychological characterizations and thriller approach makes the movie seem like something Hitchcock might have come up with.

It doesn't need to be compared to other movies to earn our praise ... it stands on its own. But it must be said in advance: the movie earns its trigger warnings. On the one hand, Kon uses a rape scene in a complicated way, and it is not meant to be exciting. But I'm not certain it doesn't go too far, anyway. It's appropriate to the character development of the "victim" (she is an actress, it occurs during a filmed scene, it is not "real"), but it's still brutal, as is much of the film.


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