28 June 2007

Ghost in the Shell (4/5)

I have a lot of notes that I don't think I can/want-to structure. Here they are:

  • References the cult sci-fi movie Dark Star where the agent is in a claustrophobic, shotgun control center. This looks exactly IIRC like the control center on the space ship in Dark Star. References Bergman's Persona when the puppet master and the female lead (names?) were on the floor talking near the end. The final scene where TFL wakes up references 2001's bedroom scene in The Infinite and Beyond. I may be stretching a bit on that one.
  • Interesting comment with the human as eternal rookie to the cyborg cop. It keeps the cliched cop movie trope, but re-purposes it in an AI world.
  • Obvious symbolism: birth when TFL was diving (although emotional and effective), the evolutionary tree being shot up (we're on the threshold of a new etc.). Rich overall in its symbolism though. High signal to noise.
  • Voice work was monochromatic, may be translation issues. They, all, talked, like, they, had, commas, in, between, their, thoughts.
  • Directing was in the same class as the best directors in cinema history. Just because it was animated doesn't change that.
  • The freeze frame (only the character's mouth moves) during heavy dialog does not help you focus on the importance of the dialog. In theory it should, but in practice it only illuminates lazy animation.
  • Oh MAN, in many of the city shots without narration or dialog this was so very Tarkovsky. Beautiful stuff.
  • The emphasis on water and glass reflections was subtle symbolism to mind/body/consciousness issues even though it sounds trite in the telling.
  • Much more heart than the cheap wire-fu-retread of The Matrix.
  • Even though it's an animated future, their clothes look too Miami Vice. Sorry, they just do.
  • The layered plot within a genre narrative was much like good film noir: it rises above its basic genre vocabulary. Great noir breaks the bounds of its language while still using its language. That's what GitS did.
  • More symbolism: the puppet master and TFL looking up at the shattered skylight when they were crippled (and child-like?) saw a birth canal in the elongated lozenge of light.
  • I do recommend this to non-anime people (which I am). I saw the second film with Kabao when it came out in the theaters and loved its heady dialog and exhaustive animation. I was just as happy with the origin story.

    [ posted by sstrader on 28 June 2007 at 8:44:44 PM in Cinema | tagged ghost in the shell ]