The cinema is an incredible way of art, because it always relies on good storytelling first. And after that on visuals, sound, design, performance, etc. It is surely a mix of them all, but the essence is and will always be to relay an important set of messages through an impressive story. And this is the reason why improvisation will always be a milestone in creating good movies. Because repetitiveness is always going to go into oblivion.
For example “Ghost in the shell” – the anime movie from 1995 will always be this cornerstone in the lives of many young before and now not so young people. It is an essential part of my life too. And I can’t just pass on seeing what Rupert Sanders has done with these incredible set of characters, with this great set of ideas and story.
You see, people get inspired by stories which tell them something new to them, which teach them something they don’t know about themselves and about the surrounding world. And at the same time these valuable fiction pieces show that we’ve had this valuable information in ourselves all the time. We just had to dig deep and find it. To acknowledge it. To accept its existence and then to use it in our lives. To be better people, to live a happier and more fulfilling life. This is the kind of art piece the original “Ghost in the shell” is. At least to me. So it’s important to stress out what a big task this director took.
Now, I want to say that I truly believe that cinema is an eternal form of creation because it refreshes itself by inspiring the film community within. This anime is a beautiful example for this. I cannot give a better example for film inspired by GitS than “The Matrix”. There we see a seamless transition of groundbreaking ideas from one form (mind) to another. This is the living tissue of cinema itself. Ideas about information flow, purpose of life in cybernetic society, gender identity and the future of the human soul flourish from anime to movie life the first breath of a new born baby! And this is exactly what I love.
So seeing the new Scarlett Johansson’s new movie was a test. An awaited test, but still a test. And it performed more or less as expected. The story was dummed down A LOT. I don’t even want to speak about it. It was interesting to see the script writers discussing a fresh look into Motoko Kusanagi’s origins, but this idea seemed not thought in details enough. The performances of the actors weren’t bad. But the characters are part of the flawed story. So yeah – it wasn’t a very good movie.
But it was a decent one, because…they did hire some of the best design, music and graphic artists available on the market. And the atmosphere, sound, costumes, CG were GREAT! It sure looks expensive, but it is for a reason. I really enjoyed what WETA did in this movie. These people put up so much effort into interpreting and creating from the original content, that I want to recommend watching the movie if not for something else, than just for their work. It is worthy of appraisal. And let’s not forget Hong Kong…the main landscape which inspired the original is seen in this movie as well. A future city it still is!
So overall I would like to ask you all – do you prefer to have a shiny shell or a thoughtful ghost? I personally prefer to have both!