Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ghost In The Shell (1995)

Now, shall we begin?

Ghost In The Shell, one of the breakthrough movies from Japan that hit America in a big way follows a government branch titled Section 9 that help solve cyber crimes among other things, led by Major Kusanagi in the year 2029, where humanity has augmented itself with cybernetic enhancements which range from slight brain augmentation, to full cybernetic bodies with only a human brain that controls it. A pretty spectacular vision of the future don't you think? But all is not well, a mysterious hacker known only as the Puppet Master, has been hacking into people's cybernetic bodies to do various high stakes crime so Section 9 is brought in to stop him. What really strikes me about the movie is not it's surreal visuals, haunting music, outstanding animation, or quite frankly brilliant character potrayal of cyborgs but this great sensation of disconnect. This world filled with augmented cybernetic lifeforms, has a surprising dark and chilling look and feel to it all, you can almost tangibly feel this massive disconnect between you and the characters in the movie. And there are many examples of this. The movie raises the question, "What is huamnity? What makes a human, human?" and that alone makes for a quiet, uncomfortable feel to the whole film, and you do think about it. Needless to say this is a very cerebral movie, and it can get under your skin a little bit. It does sort of challenge the line between man and machine, what differentiates us from them? And in a world where the dividing line has become so muddled, what the hell does make a human? Science and philosophy does not fully have an answer, is it memories? Is it because we have a conscious? I think therefore I am? It's really quite brilliant how unapologetic this movie goes into asking these questions. That alone makes it a great film for adults, but then you add every other thing done so well in the movie that it rises above and beyond what you would expect. I say, go find this movie, rent it, buy it, whatever. Delve into the deeper, darker parts of your mind and see what you become when the credits start to roll.

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