Satoshi Kon – Editing Space & Time
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Satoshi Kon – Editing Space & Time

August 24, 2019


Hi my name is Tony and
this is Every Frame a Painting. Today I’m going to talk about one of
the greats of the last twenty years the Japanese filmmaker Satoshi Kon. Even if you don’t know his work you have
certainly seen some of his images. He is an acknowledged influence on both
Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan And he has a fan base that includes just
about everyone who loves animation. In one decade, he made
four feature films and one TV series all of them amazingly consistent,
all of them about how modern people cope
with living multiple lives. Private, public. Offscreen, onscreen.
Waking, dreaming. If you’ve seen his work you’ll recognize
this blurring of reality and fantasy. Today, I’m only going to focus on
one thing: his excellent editing. So as an editor, I’m always looking
for new ways to cut especially from outside
the realm of live-action. Kon was one of the most fascinating.
His most noticeable habit was matching scene transitions. I’ve mentioned before that Edgar Wright
does this for visual comedy–Scott!
–What? It’s part of a tradition that includes
The Simpsons and Buster Keaton. Kon was different. His inspiration
was the movie version of Slaughterhouse-Five
directed by George Roy Hill.–I can always tell, you know,
when you’ve been time-tripping This is more of a sci-fi tradition
that includes Philip K Dick and Terry Gilliam But even among peers,
Kon pushed this idea pretty far. Slaughterhouse-Five has basically
three types of scene transitions: a general match cut an exact graphic match and intercutting two different time
periods, which mirror each other. Kon did all of these things,
but he would also rewind the film,
cross the line into a new scene, zoom out from a TV,
use black frames to jump cut, use objects to wipe frame, and
I don’t even know what to call this. To show you how dense this gets,
the opening four minutes of Paprika has five dream sequences and every
single one is connected by a match cut. Number six is not connected
by a match cut, but there is a
graphic match within the scene. Just for comparison, the opening
fifteen minutes of Inception has four interconnected dreams.
Number of match cuts: one.–What is the most resilient parasite? Cuts like this aren’t uncommon,
but they’re definitely not something most filmmakers build a style out of. Usually you see them as one-off effects.
Two of the most famous examples: Oh and this one because it’s amazing Kon’s work was about the interaction
between dreams, memories, nightmares, movies, and life. The matching images were how
he linked the different worlds. Sometimes he would stack transitions
back to back, so you’d be getting used to one scene
before you got thrown into the next. All of this made him really
surprising to watch. You could blink and miss that
you’re in a different scene. Even when he wasn’t dealing with dreams,
Kon was an unusual editor. He loved ellipses and would often
just jump past part of the scene. So you’d see a character look at a key. You expect to see her take it,
but that doesn’t happen. The scene just moves on.
Later on, in a different scene: Or you’d see a man jumping
out of a window and fade out. We’d then cut to a scene we didn’t
understand, reveal that this is a dream, back out, and then show the
conclusion of the previous scene. Even things like murder, he would
do the build-up and cut away. But he would show us the gory result. I particularly love the way
he handled character death. Here, an old man dies and
the windmills of his hut stop. Then it turns out he’s alive,
so they start up again. When we finish the scene,
the windmill shot doesn’t repeat, but you’ll notice they aren’t moving,
implying he is dead. Kon also had a habit of starting scenes
in close-up and you’d figure out where you were as the scene went on. Every once in a while,
he’d use an establishing shot. And then reveal that it was actually a
point-of-view. So without you noticing, he brought you
into the character’s world. He was constantly showing one image and
then revealing that it wasn’t what you thought it was. Your experience of space and time
became subjective. He could also edit in ways that a
lot of live-action filmmakers could not. During an interview, Kon said that
he didn’t want to direct live action because his editing was too fast. For example: This shot of the bag is only 6 frames.
For a comparable moment in live action that was 10 frames.
Or how about this insert of a note? 10 frames. But in live-action… 49 frames. Kon felt that as an animator,
he could draw less information in the shot, so your
eye could read it faster. You can actually see someone like Wes
Anderson doing this in live-action removing visual information
so his inserts “read” faster. It’s worth noting: you can actually cut
much faster than this, but the images pretty much become subliminal.
Some of these shots are 1 frame. None of this was for cheap effect.
Kon felt that we each experience space, time, reality and fantasy
at the same time as individuals and also collectively as a society.
His style was an attempt to depict this in images and sound. In the course of
ten years, he pushed animation in ways that aren’t really
possible in live action. Not just elastic images, but elastic
editing — a unique way of moving from image to image, scene to scene. And he
was helped in this crusade by the studio Madhouse, who did
some of their finest work on his films. If you want to see a perfect summation
of his work, I present his final film: a one-minute short about how we feel
when we get up in the morning This is Ohayou–Ohayou Farewell, Satoshi Kon.

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  1. I always thought Kubrick's bone/spaceship 'match' cut was terrible. I didn't even realise it was supposed to be a match cut until I read that it was.

  2. I know this channel is like almost dead is there anyway or a chance to get you back and do more videos. I just love the way your videos are done and they just brighten up my days so much

  3. Its the second time I've watched this video, the first time I hadn't had seen all the films, but this second time I have, and it is still very refreshing.

  4. RIP Satoshi Kon. May he rest up in heaven alongside the other great directors who had to unfortunately leave us as well like Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, Frank Capra, Robert Altman, Billy Wilder etc.

  5. Creo que muchos deben saber que Ohayo significa "buenos días", y esa es la gracia del último corto, donde la protagonista finalmente se encuentra con ella misma, en el mismo cuerpo, y también simbólicamente frente al espejo… y se saluda.

  6. You are the closest thing to an artistic surgeon.The way you deconstruct a scene is just.WoW
    Just saw the article on Medium, Sad.

  7. I’m glad anime has become way more mainstream and accepted. Compared to Hollywood and western film and TV, there is definetely more great anime, than bad or medicore anime.

  8. Love your work. Many thanks. Just wondering if you have a source reference for the statement that he says 'we each experience, space, time, reality and fantasy as both individuals and societies'.

  9. Love this review Thank you for sharing….what are the titles to these movies your showing or can you give me a few titles of Kon's work..
    Thank U again 😜

  10. I took a film class recently and Ive never been so grateful to be introduced to Paprika, I loved the film and the animation so much

  11. That one minute film of his you showed…. please tell me that's somewhere on this site by itself, it was too amazing to not be a stand alone thing.

  12. And where am i supposed to find great anime videos like this if the Channel is inactive and others Arent that active either?

  13. If a western movie has such mind boggling animation, watch it, its bound to be good.
    If a japan anime has such mind boggling animation, watch at you own risk….its gonna be good animation with some twist of the story that might or might not leave some scar in your mind.

  14. Hm it was interesting to see this analysis – I wasn't particularly impressed by Paprika, but not for lack of appreciation of the animation, direction and cinematography. It's nice to see them looked at separately to better appreciate those aspects on their own merits.

  15. Millenium Actress is by far his best work in my opinion. So many layers to the film and a very emotionally moving story. No anime has had such a reward for rewatching it as this one. The way it transitions from the present into the past and into the movies the actress performed is amazing

  16. He was great. But just for the reference: waking up, going right up to the fridge and drinking milk from the pocket is such a movie cliche!

  17. I've never been a fan of his work as a whole personally, but I can appreciate the individual techniques he uses.

  18. Paranoia Agent Episode 8 is an absolute visual puzzle. There is so much cross-reference hidden, every time I rewatch it, I pick up a new clue.

  19. I feel the need to point out that most anime runs at 8 – 12 fps and most movies/TV shows at 24 (sometimes 30?) so the point about how Kon uses less frames for the same action isn't entirely accurate. I'm not sure why you're going by 'frames' rather than just 'time' for those examples, but realistically they're not THAT different.

  20. Im gonna take this oppurtunity to let you guys know that Paprika is an amazing and beautiful movie and you should most definitely watch it, preferable with your significant other or if you lack one, with copious amounts of intoxicants

  21. "we still haven't quite caught up to Satoshi Kon"
    Meanwhile mostly you are just showing how he used already existing things for his work. WTF?

  22. YouTube recommend actually worked today, this was a refreshing video and I was instantly hooked!!!! This is amazing work!!!

  23. It’s a bit obnoxious to say that live adaptation is incapable of cutting down frames for a shot- you’re completely neglecting the individual choices of directors and producers. Any pillow slap to the face can be 6 frames, but you get so much more nuance with the extra four frames seen in the live filming because it was an elective choice to see the girl smirk a bit before methodically whacking the other girl with a pillow. You can film any pillow zoom at the camera for three frames and splice in the girl getting smacked. People can edit just as quickly as this fucker’s animation- they just don’t want to because it’s not their style. This guy made it part of his style to have this type of editing but he didn’t define it as some sort of revolutionary style. Literally could see this type of quick splicing in Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov in the 1920s. That movie had multiple exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, match cuts, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, reversed footage, stop motion animations and self-reflexive visuals, many of which he actually came up with himself.

    This guy isn’t a revolutionary, he just produced animations that followed an uncommon style and normalized it to a small degree.

  24. Hey! Guy! You should put the titles of the film the scenes were taken from I'm the corner I'm lazy. Now I have to imbd this guy I never heard to watch the rest of these films… I loved paprika

  25. So hollywood steals from anime, and then when they try to do an anime adaptation, they turn into generic garbage.

    /facepalm

  26. I always thought Inception was a rip off of Paprika! Nobody knew wtf I was talking about though because they don't watch anime XD

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