Streaming Japanese movies #4: Paprika and River’s Edge

Each week members of the CAMERA JAPAN team pick their favourite Japanese shorts, anime and features to watch at home on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, MUBI and YouTube.

Lotte STEERNEMAN (Education Coordinator) picks Paprika (KON Satoshi, 2006)

Though he regrettably passed away at a fairly young age (47 years old), anime director KON Satoshi’s small but impressive repertoire explores what happens when divisions between reality and the imaginary begin to blur. Paprika introduces us to the realm of dreams, in a modern imagining of Japan, where a device called the DC Mini has been developed to monitor people’s dreams. While initially in the hands of researchers and doctors to use for medical purposes, the device ends up in the wrong hands. 

Slowly but surely dreams start to spill into reality.

The beautiful use of animation and direction makes Paprika a mesmerizing watch. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine how Christopher Nolan’s Inception may have taken inspiration from this anime film. For anyone interested in an exploration of the world of dreams by the use of anime, I would highly recommend Paprika!
Click here to stream Paprika on YouTube

Sietz VAN DER AA (Programmer) picks River’s Edge (YUKISADA Isao, 2018)

Having had its Dutch premiere at CAMERA JAPAN’s 13th edition in 2018, River’s Edge is a dark and gloomy adaptation of the manga by the same name. With its ‘old school’, narrow 4:3 aspect ratio, director YUKISADA Isao brings you back to the Japan of the 1990s, where troubled teenagers are trying to figure out the meaning of life in their small habitat in one of Tokyo’s grey suburbs.

Instead of creating a complex story, the film focuses on the moody, realistic atmosphere and a web of interesting characters who somehow all become connected when a body is found at the banks of a stinking local river.
Click here to stream River’s Edge on Netflix