Paprika (2006)
November 17, 2014 10:19 AM - Subscribe

CRFC4: The 2006 film Paprika features a team of psychotherapists who have invented a device that allows them inside the dreams of their patients. When the device is stolen, they attempt to solve a mystery that blends the real world and the dream world.

This is installment 4 of the constructed reality film club. Previously we've watched eXistenZ, Strange Days and Source Code.

The original NYT review.

Unfortunately this was one of Satoshi Kon's last films before his death. Tony Zhou of "Every Frame a Painting" looks at Kon's masterful skill with editing.

Comparing Paprika and Inception.

Steven Shaviro on Paprika and fantasy.
posted by codacorolla (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What a gorgeous movie. These are dreams as people actually experience them, confusing, strange, terrifying and sometimes delightful.

One aspect I found interesting were the living / work spaces of Himuro and Totika. Both of them are piling over with junk (both anime figurines and computer parts), mirroring the recurring imagery of the parade of junk advancing through the forest and the city. I think that, at least in part, the movie is concerned with the way that "junk" media associated with adolescence continues to dictate our fantasies and dreams as adults. Especially with Konakawa's last line in the movie, and his longtime ambitions to be a director while he's settled with being a detective...
posted by codacorolla at 10:45 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

You do realize that the character of Paprika is literally a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, right? She really is a girl who becomes a manic pixie version of herself when she visits people's dreams.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2014

I don't understand your point.

Paprika isn't really manic or pixie. She doesn't have any sort of emotional problems that the strong men in the movie fix, and aside from being less reserved than her reality-side persona (Atsuko) she's also not particularly bright or bubbly. Both Paprika and Atsuko are pursuing goals outside of relationships with men (stopping the terrorists who are using the DC Mini as a weapon). Relationships are hinted at with both Totika and Konakawa, but those are ancillary details of the larger plot, and really only introduced at the end. The closest Paprika comes to fitting any sort of the idea of the MPD is that she's the avatar Atsuko is using to pursue her guerilla dream psychoanalysis, and is therefore trying to help Konakawa through his problems with his previous failed case. I supposed she is magic, but then again so are all of the other characters in the movie.
posted by codacorolla at 1:20 PM on November 17, 2014

One of the best things about this movie is the fantastic soundtrack by Susumu Hirasawa.
posted by Librarypt at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I literally mean literally. A Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:33 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Entertaining movie I esp. liked when they showed the reality vs dream sequences and the long chase scenes. I wonder if some day a dream machine will really exist somewhere.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 2:04 PM on November 17, 2014

The movie for next week is going to be the immortal (and original) Total Recall, which just came back on streaming services.
posted by codacorolla at 6:43 AM on November 20, 2014

I think Kon did a great job of portraying fascism as a party. Perhaps we grow old and stagnate without keeping hold of our childlike wonder. The old guard with their ultra conservative views that hold those views sacred above the many's needs. Throw some confetti around and make 'em wobble, they're still all in lockstep to the same song. Automatons.
I really enjoyed rewatching this movie a few times. Just watching how Kon constantly used light and dark to aid the narrative. From what I could tell, in just about every scene a character would be moving into or out of darkness. Some characters were always in the shadows, like the Chariman, or were always bathed in light, like Tokita.

There's a lot to say about this film...
posted by P.o.B. at 10:33 PM on December 9, 2014

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