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Author Topic: Ghost in the Shell  (Read 1485 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #15 on: 06 April, 2017, 03:06:42 pm »
"Who's in it?"

Scarlett Johannson.

"Who else?"

No-one.

"Pass."

SIP

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #16 on: 06 April, 2017, 04:06:41 pm »
I haven't seen it yet, but am intending to next week.  My brother saw it on Monday, he's a big ghost in the shell fan and he really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to it.

positronic

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #17 on: 06 April, 2017, 04:58:11 pm »
My question is why does it even need to be live action in the first place, before some people will acknowledge it as legitimate science fiction? What is this insane prejudice that people have that just makes them slough off animation as if it's never going to be worthy of respect unless they make it into a live action film starring a popular and expensive actor/actress? Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the most incredible, intelligently-written (and beautifully-animated) television series I've ever seen.

I don't even really know anything about the film. Is she still called Major Motoko Kusanagi in the film, even though it's obvious she's not Japanese? I don't know... I'm just trying to come up with some reason to care about this (and I'm already a HUGE GitS fan).

SIP

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #18 on: 06 April, 2017, 05:13:14 pm »
...but it's not her real body. It's her mind state basically in a robot body. Why does she need to look Japanese to be called Motoko Kusanagi?

And yes, she is Kusanagi in the live action movie.

The original Shirow comic strip (still what i consider to be the definitive ghost in the shell) considerably pre dates the animation, so couldn't we use the same argument about why wasn't a superb comic enough, why do we need to make it into a cartoon for people to give it a chance?

I'm happy to see these things evolve on to as many different platforms as possible. I like reading dredd, I like watching the Dredd film, I enjoyed the Dredd audio dramas and I like the games.........s'all good  😊
« Last Edit: 06 April, 2017, 05:18:52 pm by SIP »

HdE

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #19 on: 06 April, 2017, 06:16:44 pm »
Hearing that this movie hasn't done too well at the box office hasn't come as too big a shock to me. But it's kind of disappointing as well, just on a personal level. As a fan of the franchise, I thought it was about as good a stab as we'll ever see Hollywood take at it.

I've seen articles today where Paramount reps have expressed disappointment in the film's performance, and of course, some statements are being pounced on by media outlets to paint it as though they've agreed wholeheartedly with the idea that Scarlett Johannsson's casting is what sunk it. That just seem to further what I consider a trend of DEEPLY irresponsible reporting on the movie. The vast majority of negative reviews I read online seemed to cite 'whitewashing' as a flaw in the movie, when it's really not a huge problem in the context of the movie's plot or concepts found in the material it's based on. 

And that's why this whole 'whitewashing' debate makes me see red. I dont see how anyone can have a shred of familiarity with the source material and claim the casting is a huge problem. Sure, that whole discussion is worthwhile. But it doesn't really apply in this case. For God's sake - it's a movie where characters originally established as Asain ARE PLAYED BY ACTORS OF APPROPRIATE ETHNICITY. The exceptions to the rule make good sense, even in keeping with the source material. Not to mention commentary by both Mamoru Oshii and Masamune Shirow on the subject, then and now.

But no. Some ignorant idiots HAVE to wave all that away when they feel their cause is just.

I'd be much more understanding of criticism if it was levelled at the parts of this film that really warrant it. The script creaks, it approaches characters from the angle of debatably re-writing them, ADDS a character that was never a part of the franchise to begin with, and sees fit to get bogged down in stuff I sincerely don't think established fans will be all that concerned with.

But all that said, it was a pretty watchable movie. And it's a shame to think it'll go down as a commercial flop because of a controversy that was misplaced, and picked up by folks with a social axe to grind.

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JOE SOAP

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #20 on: 06 April, 2017, 07:04:22 pm »
And it's a shame to think it'll go down as a commercial flop because of a controversy that was misplaced, and picked up by folks with a social axe to grind.


The white-washing controversy doesn't really explain how the film has tanked. It never harmed Doctor Strange. More likely it's a flop because outside of genre fans the general audience were simply disinterested in seeing it and the advertising struggled to create a buzz or make it appealing even for someone like me. Paramount knew they had a flop on their hands; releasing the first 5 minutes of the film online was a last desperate move, and they only lifted the review embargo 2 days before release. Always a bad sign of a less than great film.





« Last Edit: 06 April, 2017, 07:09:53 pm by JOE SOAP »

positronic

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #21 on: 06 April, 2017, 07:05:20 pm »
...but it's not her real body. It's her mind state basically in a robot body. Why does she need to look Japanese to be called Motoko Kusanagi?

And yes, she is Kusanagi in the live action movie.

I don't know, maybe "suspension of disbelief". Or maybe the same reason I wouldn't want to see a movie based on Luke Cage or the Black Panther in which the title character was played by a white actor.

The original Shirow comic strip (still what i consider to be the definitive ghost in the shell) considerably pre dates the animation, so couldn't we use the same argument about why wasn't a superb comic enough, why do we need to make it into a cartoon for people to give it a chance?

Well, I didn't. But I felt the anime was faithful while adding something. Both the manga and the anime are very Japanese to my way of thinking, the setting as well as the characters. To me that "Japanese"-ness is an integral part of its identity as a work, both in manga and anime form. Maybe if the Japanese had made the movie, I wouldn't have a big a problem with it. Then again, they don't have a good track record over there of adapting most things to live action. There's a few exceptions, but what comes to mind more easily are a lot of epic fails in the last couple of decades.

Then again, I had no interest in the DREDD movie either, so there you go!

SIP

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #22 on: 06 April, 2017, 07:42:12 pm »
Or maybe the same reason I wouldn't want to see a movie based on Luke Cage or the Black Panther in which the title character was played by a white actor

I think that might be pushing it. Luke cage and black panther are both specifically black characters.
Kusanagi ion the other hand is an artificial person of no specified ethnicity in either the comic or in the animations.

I'm arguing here as a ghost in the shell fan since year 1. I've got all the comics, graphic novel reprints, all the animations on several formats, I've even bought the figures and I really just can't see the issue.  The whitewashing thing ( in this instance ) is just the usual media bs.

TordelBack

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #23 on: 06 April, 2017, 09:46:48 pm »
My tuppence: as an longtime admirer of Johansson and whatever the manga/anime equivalent of a nonscrot is, nothing about the movie as presented by the marketing interests me. The animated GitS bits I've seen look more interesting and come highly recommended, but Scarlett's permanent scowl bobbing about on top of a CGI bodysuit leaping about in neon environments... Not even a flicker of a chance I'm going to expend a precious cinema trip. Saving that for Raw.


radiator

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #24 on: 06 April, 2017, 10:03:30 pm »
Aside from it (imo) not looking like a very good movie (I thought the trailer looked pretty cheesy rather than cool), I also think its because it looks like nothing the audience hasn't seen a hundred times before. Ghost in the Shell was influential in its day, but has been borrowed from so heavily that the source material itself now looks derivative and generic.

I'd also argue that the Cyberpunky/Blade Runnery/neon skyscrapers aesthetic is simply a very old-fashioned and passe conception of a sci fi setting that stems from a very different time (the 80s and 90s). It feels very dated and doesn't ring as relevant to me. As far as I'm concerned, it's very much been supplanted in recent times by a much grungier, grounded sci fi aesthetic as seen in the likes of Minority Report, District 9 and (yes) Dredd.

positronic

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #25 on: 06 April, 2017, 10:27:40 pm »
Or maybe the same reason I wouldn't want to see a movie based on Luke Cage or the Black Panther in which the title character was played by a white actor

I think that might be pushing it. Luke cage and black panther are both specifically black characters.
Kusanagi ion the other hand is an artificial person of no specified ethnicity in either the comic or in the animations.

See, I've never bought this argument. If being black is important to who the character of Luke Cage is, then why isn't being Japanese important to who the character of Motoko Kusanagi is? It doesn't matter that she has a machine body. I'm talking about her identity. She was born and lived part of her life as an organic being, but her mind is still part of that person. You're kind of leaning into a sort of reverse-racism or saying something like skin color is the major difference here, not nationality or cultural components or the totality of factors that make a person. It doesn't determine what they're capable of or not, but it's part of who they are, a pretty significant part, whether the individual will even admit to it or not.

TordelBack

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #26 on: 06 April, 2017, 11:03:46 pm »
Is Kusanagi a traditionally oppressed and marginalised Other from a racially ghettoised and largely impoverished urban environment who can be seen to represent the changing pop-cultural depictions of her community as empowered actors? Or is she just a Japanese person living in Japan?

I ask because i genuinely don't know, but if not the former, the comparison with the importance of Luke Cage's race isn't really apt.

Buttonman

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #27 on: 06 April, 2017, 11:28:11 pm »
Saw the trailer but underwhelmed and no interest in going. Promised a lot of Scarlett in the nip but you need look no further than the excellent 'Under the Skin' for that.

positronic

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #28 on: 07 April, 2017, 05:44:18 am »
Is Kusanagi a traditionally oppressed and marginalised Other from a racially ghettoised and largely impoverished urban environment who can be seen to represent the changing pop-cultural depictions of her community as empowered actors? Or is she just a Japanese person living in Japan?

Well, if you think being part of a marginalized culture is really the only important thing about Luke Cage being black that defines him differently from some other character. My argument is that the cultural aspect still applies whatever the race in question. There is no "neutral" or "default" human being outside of the cultural context that gives rise to that person. None of us exists in a vaccuum, we are part of the history and life experiences that made us who we are up to this point in time -- including the stuff we never even think about, or may be effectively blind to, because we can't see ourselves from outside, from another perspective. Although the foregoing is obviously changing in the time in which Kusanagi lives, the world is still far away from being all Ghosts with interchangeable Shells. Maybe in a further future extension of the same sf timeline, there IS no local culture, no nationality, no ethnicity of any kind - only global/cyber culture, a great leveling homogenization where the only distinct subcultures or groups are the ones people choose for themselves.

They're already building some human-looking robots in Japan. Interestingly, Japan seems to be the only culture where there exists a great desire to prove this can be done. Since they're not real biological creatures, they could choose to build one in any image they wish. How many humanoid robots do you think they're building in Japan that have human features that look like some other ethnicity than Japanese? In the few convincing instances of this I've seen, the robots do look like Japanese people. No great surprise there.

I could almost accept this if it were something established in the manga and anime as part of the cultural background of that future -- if cyber-bodies were like suits of clothes, where fashions come and go, and when swapping out bodies, one might commonly choose to "wear the clothes" of another culture/ethnicity than one's own, to graft that image onto oneself as part of one's outward avatar that interacts with others in the physical world - no differently than someone might get a tattoo or decide to dye their hair blue. "The Scarlett Johannson look is in this season." It would seem incongruous to Kusanagi's character and occupation as established in the stories, though. It's the future, but there's nothing here indicating that people in this future Japan don't still think and act Japanese. It's simply a cultural baseline for them.

The movie was being made for international audiences most of whose consumers aren't Japanese, and they wanted a star with drawing power, so the role goes to a Caucasian female, rather than an actress of similar popularity (not sure if there is one) who is Asian and might therefore convincingly play the part of someone who was born and grew up in Japan (or who has a cyber-body made in Japan to be an avatar for a Japanese person, interacting with other Japanese people in the physical world, the locale of which is still a future Japan). All right then, if you're "localizing" the original work for a different culture, then just keep the core sf ideas and chuck out anything specific to the country of origin, changing "Go Mifune" into "Speed Racer". But that lessens Ghost in the Shell for me and makes it into a much more generic cyberpunk story, and changes the character of Kusanagi into a "generic sexy female action hero" cyborg role that can be doled out to whoever fits that description in the current vogue of movieland.
« Last Edit: 07 April, 2017, 05:49:51 am by positronic »

JamesC

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Re: Ghost in the Shell
« Reply #29 on: 07 April, 2017, 06:30:46 am »
^Yeah but that's just like...your opinion man.