Go see the new Pixar film Cars 2 at Regal Governor’s Square Stadium 12 or AMC Tallahassee Mall 20!
Watching Ghost in the Shell, it’s hard to tell where to draw the line of what it is inspired by and what it inspires. Some Asimov, a little Stanley Kubrick here, a little Fritz Lang there, a hearty helping of Blade Runner… the list goes on and on. And it has a clear and definite mark upon the creative minds of everyone from the Wachowski brothers and The Matrix films to whoever makes those two-bit, critics’-fodder, crap-masterpieces like The 6th Day and Surrogates. James Cameron called it, “the first truly adult animation film to reach a level of literary and visual excellence.” It is a portrait of simultaneity, moving so seamlessly from one psychological or philosophical idea to the next that this technology-meets-religion epic is as much a part of the past as it is a part of the future, belonging everywhere and nowhere.
In 2029 computer technology is an integral part of human life almost to the point where it is no longer human, and therefore the advancements in crime must be combated by equally adept task forces such as Section 9. When Ghost in the Shell begins, Section 9’s best cyborg officers are working to apprehend the illusive hacker known only as the Puppet Master. Investigation leader Major Kusanagi is increasingly perplexed by the Puppet Master as the entity has the ability to hack not only the “ghosts” of cyborgs but also human minds. With the line between Man and machine becoming more and more distorted Kusanagi begins to question her own cybernetic existence; is she more than her artificiality? What is truly is the “ghost” – her essence – inside her cyborg “shell”?
This movie is a minefield in all metaphorical meanings of the word. The plot is only equaled in its complexity by the intricacies of the technological mythology and the future’s back-story; after two of three viewing it becomes a bit more digestible though (think of it as an animated, less eloquent version of Inception). And if the multi-layered complexes of the film are not as appealing, there’s always the everyman aesthetics to admire. It is fast, brooding, violent, and sexy as hell with all of the Anime flavor that comes with it, undoubtedly Mamoru Oshii’s best work ever. With the prowess of modern CGI, it’s a wonder no America studio has snatched it up for an above-average-though-not-as-good-as-the-original American reimagining (except that they are too busy adapting its more emotionally impactful and far more relatable predecessor Akira [June 30th]).
Tomorrow’s Feature: The Secret of Kells