Ghost in the Shell (Kokaku kidotai)
- 1hr 23m
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The movie trades in familiar virtual realities. Yet as realized by the gifted director Mamoru Oshii, who imagines cityscapes melting into circuit boards, Ghost in the Shell is where virtual reality meets superrealism. [9 May 1996, p.C4]
It's not the mega-tech or the shootouts that make Ghost in the Shell memorable, but the ghostliness of it, its ability to convince us that Kusangai - no less than Rutger Hauer's strangely noble android in Blade Runner - has a human's ability to conceptualize her own mortality. Nor does arid intellectual speculation make Ghost in the Shell what it is. [1 Mar 1996, p.29]
The ghost of anime can be seen here trying to dive into the shell of the movie mainstream. But this particular film is too complex and murky to reach a large audience, I suspect; it's not until the second hour that the story begins to reveal its meaning. But I enjoyed its visuals, its evocative soundtrack (including a suite for percussion and heavy breathing), and its ideas.
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Did You Know?
- The lyrics to the title song "Making of a Cyborg" were written in ancient Japanese. The romanized Japanese lyrics are as follows: A ga maeba, kuwashime yoini keri A ga maeba, teru tsuki toyomu nari Yobai ni kami amakudarite Yoha ake, nuedori naku. T?kamiemitame (x4). English translation: When you are dancing, a beautiful lady becomes drunken. When you are dancing, a shining moon rings. A god descends for a wedding And dawn approaches while the night bird sings. God bless you (x4).
- In the opening assassination scene, after the police infiltrate the building, a number of policemen do not have "Police" written on their helmets like the other officers do. It is safe to assume this is an error, seeing as there are no other visual distinctions between officers with and without "Police" written on their helmet.
- Major Motoko Kusanagi: I mean, have you ever actually seen your brain?