Friday, May 9, 2008

ghost in the shell, by mamoru oshii

Note: the seventh image in this post is Not Safe For Work. Scroll at your peril.

So. As the first of two (delayed) Sans Soleil follow-ups, Film Club opted to watch Mamoru Oshii's 1996 anime Ghost in the Shell (based on a 1989 manga by Masamune Shirow). Marker's interested in the ways that technology and media manifest in the Japanese cityscape, although he's interested in it from an outsider's perspective: we thought it might be appropriate to see how those topics are tackled by folks who are actually from Japan.

Turns out it's not actually that different. There are no shortage of shots in this film that one can comfortably imagine being slotted somewhere into Sans Soleil:

Both films are pretty deeply interested in the boundary line between the contemporary present and science-fictional future. Oshii's film, of course, actually is science fiction, so it gets the opportunity to allow the visualization of speculation in a way that wouldn't quite be admissable in Marker's film. It reserves its most inventive speculation for the futuristic body:

It's hard to imagine that Marker wouldn't be intrigued or even delighted by the sublime forms that Shirow and Oshii have concocted for us, even when they surge into extremity:

As for what, exactly, he might think that they indicate about the present, I cannot say.

Anyway. We're still waiting on Funeral Parade of Roses to arrive from freakin' Bangkok, and I'm going to be travelling for a bit, so it might be a while before we proceed to the second part of our Sans Soleil follow-up. It's likely that we'll be finishing up with the Production Design Blog-A-Thon first...

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