Basement Films: Life Is But a Dream

Sean Strain

I remember one time me and my family were leaving Red Robin after a pretty awkward dinner together (all our dinners are pretty awkward, but I digress). As we were leaving, there was a polite mother and son who held the double doors open for us, but it was difficult for me to say thanks when I saw their attire: both were dressed as the titular character of the anime show Naruto.
I was once into anime when I was in elementary and middle school. I used to buy the manga versions of Inuyasha and other shows. My favorite one was Fullmetal Alchemist and I still have a soft spot for it. While I still watch a few animes, I am not that big of a fan anymore. Those overly hyped shows and some of their crazier fans who seem to simply love anything Japanese killed it for me.

Yet, there are some anime films that are simply too amazing to be overlooked. One such film is Paprika by the late Satoshi Kon. Just to give you an idea how awesome it is, this film was one of the inspirations for Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

It is a stunning film about a newly created device for dream therapy that allows a therapist to enter a patients’ dreams and discover their problems from within. The artworks is beautiful and the 2-D and 3-D animation integrate seamlessly together. As a film about dreams and the unsconcious, the plot is a tad confusing. Yet, it is a film that is meant to be experienced as dreams and reality begin to interact while drifting into nightmares.

This gem reminds me of the old saying that you can’t judge a book (or movie in this case) by its cover. Just because you may not like a certain genre or style, there are sometimes films or other works of fiction that can surprise you if you take the time to delve deeper. You just have to keep your mind open to all possibilities.