10 June 2008

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (4/5)

[ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ]

Late in the movie our two protagonists, partners Batou and Togusa from an elite security force, case the inventively decorated mansion of a criminal hacker who's the main suspect for a recent stream of homicidal androids. As they walk down a hallway bordered on one side by tall, stained-glass windows, human silhouettes within the windows cast shadows against the opposite wall. The shadowed hands reach for doorknobs or various objects on shelves. This short scene is iconic for much of the movie's intent: intentionality can easily be simulated, and observers can be tricked into perceiving nonexistent consciousness.


Along with somewhat slow philosophical discussions, Innocence contains vibrant scenes of violence, moments of dramatic tension, and elaborately rendered tableaux that stand as unique expressions in cinematic art. Within the framework of police procedural, we're immersed in examples of how human society has detached from nature by replicating a false environment. The movie examines the extent to which we will be able to extend such an environment in the future. Similarly, rituals and ceremonies are depicted as reimaginings of that ideal we are attempting to attain.

The mix of action and contemplation, more believable and more subtle than from The Matrix, is well-balanced, and as with the first GitS the cinematography is outstanding.

[ posted by sstrader on 10 June 2008 at 11:10:02 PM in Cinema | tagged anime, ghost in the shell ]