Japanese director of 'Millennium Actress' had cult following

TOKYO — Japanese anime helmer Satoshi Kon, who directed “Millennium Actress” among other films died Aug. 24 in Tokyo of pancreatic cancer. He was 46.

Kon first came to international attention with “Perfect Blue” in 1997. His directorial debut, the pic was notable for being the first feature-length horror anime and became a cult hit soon to be followed by others.

Working under the aegis of the Madhouse studio, Kon forged his own path in Japan’s often formulaic toon biz, exploring unusual subjects in various combinations of the emotionally and pictorially real and the boldly imaginative surreal. His work was widely screened abroad, while winning many awards and noms, including a 2004 Annie nod in two categories: feature directing and scripting.

Toons include “Millennium Actress” (2001), “Tokyo Godfathers” (2003) “Paranoia Agent” (2004), “Paprika” (2006 and said to have inspired “Inception”), the “Good Morning” segment of the “Ani*Kuri15″ shorts anthology (2008) and “The Dream Machine,” a feature toon skedded for release in 2011.

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