Tagged tv

Ghost in the Shell Live Action

What exactly is the definition of human in a society where a mind can be copied and the body replaced with a fully synthetic body? Where is the boundary between human and machine when the differences between the two become more philosophical than physical? Ultimately how do we define what it is to be human?

I’m not going to try and answer this today but these are the philosophical questions that form the basis of the futuristic manga and anime series ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ created by Masamune Shirow (first published in 1989). Whilst being nearly 30 years old the franchise is still alive and well with three movies, a TV series, game and trilogy of novels being spawned from it along with many aspects having slowly percolated into popular culture (it heavily inspired The Matrix).

With such a strong pedigree it’s rather worrying that Production I.G has sold the rights for a live-action movie to DreamWorks under the direction of none other than Steven Spielberg. For fans this is a pretty worrying development. Whist there is no denying Spielberg’s talent it’s an altogether different proposition when applying it to something like this, the main fear being that it will be severely dumbed down for a Hollywood audience.

If they can respect and stay faithful to the original maybe this has a chance but then again the likelihood of that is pretty low – the precedent is already pretty well established for ruining Asian cult classics.

Update (10/2009): Apparently Dreamworks has hired Laeta Kalogridis as lead writer (who also worked one of the Tomb Raider movies) along with Avi Arad (formerly of Marvel) and Steven Paul to produce what’s being called a “3D live-action film”. Anyone care to speculate what that means?

Hello to Tomorrow

Eurostar, the high speed train which runs under the English Channel (through the Channel Tunnel) between London and Paris, has recently relocated to St. Pancras International station in London (from Waterloo). It’s grand new home, celebrated for its Victorian architecture and often termed the ‘cathedral of the railways’, features heavily in a recent TV advert for the service which clearly draws heavy inspiration from another classic (in style, if not in substance at least):

The Eurostar AD (2007):

Koyaanisqatsi (1982):

For an iconic film which so few people know of, but had such a deep impact on the way we viewed the world, it’s nice to see this little homage (complete with Philip Glass soundtrack). Even though purists may see this as denigrating the originals’ artistic integrity isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

From a purely marketing perspective it definitely gets the right message across.