Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Ghost in the Shell is not our favorite work from Japan: that honor rests with the even stranger Serial Experiments: Lain.
But Ghost in the Shell would certainly rate in our top five. It is a work of visual beauty and philosophical depth. It avoids the more comical aspects of its genre, developing and maintaining a start tone reminiscent of Blade Runner. Indeed, it owes much to the work of Phillip K. Dick.

And now, for better or worse, it may be remade as a live-action motion picture.

Intellectually, this strikes us as a poor idea. The spectacle of the piece could just as easily be drawn from a hundred other sources, while the ideas and tone which make it stand out will be difficult to capture. Even if the result is successful, it is hard to image it as anything more than a facsimile of the original: thematically appropriate, perhaps, but not particularly advantageous to viewers already familiar with the story.

Yet emotionally we find ourselves excited by this announcement. There is little to explain this reaction rationally, but there it is nonetheless. We fully expect to be disappointed by the final product, and yet, until that occurs, we will await it eagerly.

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