Friday, July 15, 2005

Film — Ghost in the Shell 2 — Innocence

Shiro Masamunes' Appleseed was my gateway drug into the whole Japanese anime/manga scene; so of course I'd go see this UK premiere.

Loosely inspired by the themes of Shiro's work, and set in something more like the continuity of the movie than the manga (I haven't finished the recent anime yet!), it asks around the question of what is identity as technology begins to blur the boundaries of the individual, both implicitly, and in the dialogue, as characters trade quotations and interpretations. Unfortunately the film is too busy being pretty to explore the issues even as deeply as Shiro does.

And a very pretty film it is too — several longuers with choral soundtrack as CGI cityscapes or carnival processions flow past, screaming out how much budget was being consumed every second, as well as making a valiant attempt at some of the visual metaphor from Shiro's own Ghost in the Shell: Man-Machine Interface v. 2. But it's not all in-yer-face — when Motoko manifests in one of a horde of identical gynoids, there are enough subtle visual clues that this one is different.

Oh, and if you missed the credits, the extensive gratuitous basset hound scenes yelled “Oshii Mamoru film” out loud.

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