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Groundbreaking Anime Director Satoshi Kon, 1963-2010

Groundbreaking Anime Director Satoshi Kon, 1963-2010 (photo)

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British site UK Anime Network is reporting that director Satoshi Kon passed away yesterday at age 46, apparently due to cancer. This marks the untimely death of the filmmaker second only to Hayao Miyazaki in making inroads for anime films both internationally and as weighty works of cinema worthy of serious critical consideration.

From the 1998 Hitchcockian tale of a menaced pop idol “Perfect Blue” to 2001’s look into the life of a aging performer “Millennium Actress” to 2006’s saga of shared dreams (out-“Inception”ing “Inception”) “Paprika,” Kon was fond of exploring and blurring the lines between reality, memory and dreams. These are themes animation is particularly suited to, and ones that can be seen early in his career, in the “Magnetic Rose” segment of omnibus film “Memories,” for which he wrote the screenplay, and later in “Paranoia Agent,” the series he created.

2003’s “Tokyo Godfathers” was his lone linear narrative, though it too was a complicated story of three homeless people with loaded pasts who discover a baby in the trash on Christmas Eve. These are grown-up features all, ones that use the visual freedom of their medium to inventive, sometimes astonishing (particularly in “Paprika”) effect.

Kon was working on his fifth feature, “The Dream Machine,” which he described to an interviewer as a “like a ‘road movie’ for robots.”

Here’s “Good Morning,” a one-minute short Kon made for NHK in 2008:

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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