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You can watch all of Satoshi Kon’s movies for free this weekend

The National Museum of Asian Art is hosting an online retrospective of the late anime auteur’s films

Paprika falling through the sky Image: Madhouse

If you’ve somehow never had the pleasure of watching any of Satoshi Kon’s films, this weekend is the perfect time and opportunity to start.

In partnership with the Japan Information & Culture Center and the Embassy of Japan, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art is hosting an online retrospective dedicated to the legacy of the late anime auteur, streaming each of the director’s four feature-length films — Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika — in addition to Pascal-Alex Vincent’s 2021 documentary Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist.

A former manga artist and assistant to Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, Kon made his mark on the anime medium through his genre-blurring body of work centered on the inextricable relationship and tenuous separation between reality and fiction.

Chiyoko stares at a portrait of her younger self among the ruins of a devastated city in Millennium Actress Image: Madhouse

Beyond anime, Kon’s films are known for having inspired the work of live-action Hollywood directors including Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky is one of several admirers of Kon’s featured in Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist. Both 2000’s Requiem for a Dream and 2010’s Black Swan feature homages to Kon’s Perfect Blue, homages that have since been characterized by several fans and critics (including the late Kon himself) as bordering on plagiaristic.

The retrospective is only accessible to audiences in the United States and will run from March 26 to April 10. Viewers will be able to stream Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika, and Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist in Japanese with English subtitles starting on March 26 at 12 p.m. ET, after which they will have seven days to begin streaming and 48 hours to finish after a stream has begun. Going by the stated timeline, it’s unclear what will be available to watch April 2-10, but we’ll update this post if or when that is clarified.

Audiences can register for the retrospective via the Eventive page here.

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