The Curious Cabinet of Kon Satoshi: Phantasm, Feminism, and Fear


Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium

Melek Ortabasi, Ph.D., University of Washington

Animator and manga author Kon Satoshi passed away suddenly in the fall of 2010 at the age of 46. In tribute to the small but impressive legacy he left behind, this presentation explores some of the visual and narrative themes that distinguish his work in anime. Both a love story and a love letter to the history of Japanese cinema, his film Millennium Actress (Sennen Joyû, 2002) develops these themes in particularly compelling and often disconcerting ways. By drawing comparisons with some of Kon’s other work, Ortabasi’s analysis of this award-winning film will discuss his use of animation’s phantasmagoric potential to depict fantasies of female power and nightmares of identity crisis.

Ortabasi specializes in Japanese literature and culture, teaching modern literature, film, and the theory and practice of translation. Her research interests include cultural studies, comparative folklore studies, and film and popular culture in contemporary Japan.