Art(h)ist\’ry

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Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Dreaming of Paprika and Gustave Moreau: Anime and the Arts

Posted by gninja on July 7, 2007

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.

paprika4dc1.jpg

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

oedipus_and_the_sphinx.jpg

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.

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