Jun 4, 2010

Missed Connections- Ghost in the Shell & The Matrix

4:30 PM

It was in in 1995 (a year from it's release in Japan- fast back in the day before torrents) when I got to peep a non-translated VHS of Mamoru Oshii's adaptation of Masamune Shirow's classic manga- Ghost in the Shell.  I wasn't fluent in Japanese back then, but the visuals and pacing alone was so different from anime I have experienced prior-- The Dagger of Kamui and of course, Akira-- that I was an instant otaku and soaked up whatever I could get my hands on related to GitS.

A year later, me and my roommates were finally able to get the US release and I was still confused, but through deliberation and talking shit thru like we usually did after a film (yeah and the pakalolo helped a lot) I got it, or at least I thought I did.

3 years later we all went to go watch this film that we didn't know anything about besides it being a sci-fi that starred Keanu and some hot, fetish chick that could fly and kicked ass.  Yeah, that was enough.  What I didn't realize was how I would be watching a remixed, live action version of the very same anime that mind-f*cked this poor hapa kid in 96.  We all made the same connections and said how it felt so similar, but how was it possible that this is being done with real people?? 

Every damn thing that the Wachowski Bros pioneered in the film-- wirework, greenscreen mayhem, bullet-time and cinematography that made every shot look like a work of art-- to date, forever changed the face of film and comics.

At Baycon last week during a panel discussion (named Putting the Graphic into Graphic Novels) many of the industry pros and the audience got into lengths of just how great Matrix was at envisioning what was originally a comic and besides say, Sin City, there has yet to be as faithful of an adaptation on the big screen.  Since watching and then reading Vaughn/Millar's Kick Ass last week, gotta say that Kick Ass takes the bragging rights on that now.

From my days as a kid I always saw how comics would be coming out to release with a film to try and capture some sales whether it was Tim Burton's Batman, Predator, Alien, etc. but I find it really incredible now on how film is drawing folks into the original content material of comics- whether its Kick Ass, Iron Man and The Losers.  

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big O
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