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Paprika 2007

R CC

A DETECTIVE AND A PSYCHOLOGIST TEAM UP TO RECOVER A MACHINE CAPABLE OF RECORDING DREAMS IN THIS THRILLER THE BOSTON GLOBE PROCLAIMS "WONDROUS" AND DAVID ANSEN OF NEWSWEEK DESCRIBES AS "ONE OF THE MOST WILDLY AND DISTURBINGLY INVENTIVE ANIMATED FILMS I'VE SEEN."

Starring:
Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Furuya
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery
Director Satoshi Kon
Starring Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Furuya
Supporting actors Kôichi Yamadera, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Emori, Akio Ôtsuka, Hideyuki Tanaka, Satomi Kôrogi, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Mitsuo Iwata, Rikako Aikawa, Shin'ichirô Ôta, Satoshi Kon, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Brian Beacock, Doug Erholtz, Michael Forest, David Lodge, Yuri Lowenthal, Cindy Robinson
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Hartley on September 26, 2007
Format: DVD
It's no secret amongst fans of intelligent, adult sci-fi that some of the best genre films these days aren't originating from Hollywood, but rather from the masters of Japanese anime. Films like "Akira " and "Ghost in the Shell" display a quality of writing and visual imagination that few "live action" productions (post "Blade Runner") can touch.

One of the most adventurous anime directors is Satoshi Kon. In previous work like his incredibly dense and ambitious TV miniseries "Paranoia Agent", and in several feature films, Kon has displayed a flair for coupling complex characterization with a neo-realistic visual style that tends to make me forget that I'm watching an "anime". Most of Kon's work up until this point has drawn on genres that one does not typically associate with anime: adult drama ("Tokyo Godfathers"), film noir ("Perfect Blue"), psychological thriller ("Paranoia Agent") and character study ("Millennium Actress").

Kon's latest film, "Paprika" is actually the first of his animes that I would categorize as "sci-fi"... and it's a doozy.

A team of scientists develops an interface device called the "DC mini" that facilitates the transference of dreams from one person to another. This "dream machine" is designed primarily for use by psychotherapists; it allows them to literally experience a patient's dreams and take a closer look "under the hood", if you will. In the wrong hands, however, this could potentially become a very dangerous tool.

As you have likely already guessed, "someone" has hacked into a "DC mini" and started to wreak havoc with people's minds.
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Format: DVD
Paprika

Paprika is simply the most compelling work of anime and science fiction I have seen in a long time. It may not be easily understood. But it's so amazingly animated and imaginative it has become my personal favorite.

The story is based upon a new invention, the DC Mini, that allows people to enter and experience each other's dreams. The idea is for therapists to enter a patient's dreams to aid with analysis and treatment. But the invention falls into the wrong hands and causes an epidemic. Psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba uses her alter-identity, Paprika, to investigate the nightmare and track down the abusers of the DC Mini.

Most of the story takes place within people's dreams, which allows for some amazing "Alice in Wonderland" type dream imagery. It all ties in with the story. Anybody who has ever read a book on dreams or tried to figure out their own will get a kick out of this.

One thing that I really liked about the story is that it's both playful and grown up at the same time. They resist the need for unnecessary emphasis on sex that is often used in many anime films. Several of the main characters are women, but they wear real clothes. There is almost no nudity to speak of, the only exception being a dream sequence that ties in with the story.

Music is used minimally. There is some cool Japanese electro-pop that plays at a few select points in the background. Still, there could have been a lot more music in the movie. The moderate use of music seems to have been done to make you focus on the images, and the effect is a good one.

Sony Pictures Classics has done an amazing job with the DVD transfer.
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Format: DVD
So the psychologists have invented a "DC-Mini" machine that lets the therapist enter another person's dreams. The only teensiest problem is that it also lets the dreams OUT of the dreamer's mind. And once outside, the dreams coalesce in vivid colors and shapes and then run around loose on the streets of Tokyo. Fortunately for civic order and sanity, Paprika, the flirty and delightful goddess of the Dreamtime, comes along too...

It's a good thing she does, because the Bad Guys have stolen three DC-Mini machines, which - bad planning, this - don't have access controls. So Dr. Chiba, the woman psychologist, and her co-worker, Dr. Tokita, who invented the contraption to begin with, have to chase down the thieves. But they have help from Detective Konokawa, provided he's not dreaming that he's Tarzan swinging through the vines carrying Dr. Chiba, and the two bartenders of a bar located somewhere in the Dreamtime, done with cameo voice acting performances by Satoshi Kon, the director, and Yasutaka Tsutsui, the author of the original novel. Meanwhile, outside - well, it's not really clear what "outside" means anymore - the dreams are bringing dolls, refrigerators, umbrellas, mailboxes, vending machines all to life in a vast and enthusiastically noisy procession through Tokyo. And, as the Bad Guys start gaining control, people commit suicide too, because sometimes dreams are nightmares.

Paprika herself simply runs away with the film. She and Dr. Chiba are alter-egos - which is *not* the same as saying that Paprika is merely Dr. Chiba looking a bit dreamier. Paprika really is a goddess - "kami" in Japanese - of the Dreamtime, and the ending alone is worth the price of the film.

But don't expect psychobabble from "Paprika.
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