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Watch of the Week Edition 5: Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue

Questioning reality is a seldom thought that pops up in one’s head very sparsely throughout life. From experiencing deja vu to experiencing extremely vivid dreams, or seeing things that you think you saw to genuine psychosis. The surreal nature of blurring the lines between reality and illusion is often a concept that is tackled in film, usually by absurd or imaginative means. However, in the case of Satoshi Kon’s directorial debut, Perfect Blue, this concept is conjured up in an atmosphere of terrified paranoia. 

On the surface level, Perfect Blue, serves to be a damning critique on the entertainment industry and its treatment of its stars. However, beyond that, the eye-opening commentary on the inherently misogynistic structure of media and entertainment seem to stand center stage. Blurred by deceit, confusion, and sinister motives; each meticulous cut grants us a terrifying entryway into the psychotic downfall of crisis in identity. This crisis is implicitly compounded by the patriarchal pressures and expectations that come along with the various “celebritized” roles famous women fulfill. Whether that be sexually motivated or monetarily motivated. Although, in the case for this film, it’s abundantly clear that sexual projections made from societal expectations create a bubble of uncertainty and downright maliciousness. 

All in all the controlled paranoia of Kon’s direction and the unstable dread of Harutoshi Ogata’s chilling cuts hold up incredibly well to this day. 

An Aside: Check out all my reviews on Letterboxd. Just search my name on the site’s search function and you’ll be directed to my profile. 

Films I watched this week, 3/15 - 3/21: 

House - Nobuhiko Obayashi: 4.5/5 

Aparajito - Satyajit Ray: 5/5

Perfect Blue - Satoshi Kon: 5/5 

The Bob Emergency - Jon Bois: 4.5/5

Hamlet - Kenneth Branagh: 3.5/5

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