Summer is going great for teen math whiz Kenji - his secret crush, Natsuki, wants him to pose as her boyfriend at her grandmother’s 90th celebration. But when a near-impossible math problem turns up on the boy’s cellphone - and he solves it - it unlocks the door to Oz, a virtual world upon which millions depend for everything from online shopping to traffic control to national defense. A malicious program takes advantage of the security breach, growing stronger as it rampages through Oz, and Kenji must put a stop to it, all while maintaining his masquerade for Natsuki. An inventive mix of traditional family fun and cyberpunk sci-fi, SUMMER WARS is brilliantly animated, particularly in the pulsing pop-art visualization of Oz. In Japanese with English subtitles.
The final film from animator Satoshi Kon offers a mash-up of fantasy and waking life that would be echoed in Christopher Nolan’s INCEPTION a few years later. In the near future, an experimental device called the DC Mini allows people to view others’ dreams. A promising tool for psychotherapy, Dr. Chiba uses it on her patients, adopting the alter-ego “Paprika” to enter their nocturnal reveries. But when the DC Mini is stolen by those who would abuse its power, dream worlds begin to impinge on reality, and only Paprika can bring an end to the chaos. Named one of the 25 All-Time Best Animated Films by Time magazine, PAPRIKA’s hallucinatory logic and dazzling visuals are mesmerizing. In Japanese with English subtitles.
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