Thanks to a very, very kind anonymous cyber-person, my husband and I were able to watch Paprika in the comfort of home last night– we saw it a couple of weeks ago in the theater and were very much enamored of it. It’s a film I doubt I’m even qualified to categorize, bu, in short, it deals with the encroachments of dreams upon reality and reality upon dreams. It’s a weird film. A highly weird film. The animation is gorgeous. Superlatively gorgeous.
In the movie, I spotted at least two allusions to the art of Gustave Moreau, a mid-to-late 19th century Symbolist. One of which is below:
Oedipus and the Sphynx, 1864
This is not the first time I’ve caught masterpieces and (fairly) well-known paintings tucked away in anime. I believe there are a ton in Sky Blue. I’m not entirely sure why certain artworks are selected for display–although I can guess, with the dreamlike, proto-surrealist images by Moreau–but if there’s been a systematic study done of it, I’d like to know. Anime (and manga) strike me as media in which emulation or allusion are significant components, a way of staking out for the sake of the audience the major influences on the work they’re viewing, as well as claiming a particular artistic heritage /lineage. For all I know, for every Western masterpiece shown in a given film, there could be numerous allusions to Japanese artists and artworks that my Occidentalist education has deprived me of noticing.