Eurêka !

IIIe siècle avant J.C., Rome et Carthage s’affrontent au cours de trois guerre puniques pour la suprématie. Au cours de la première guerre punique, Carthage vaincue perd ses possessions en Corse, Sardaigne et Sicile.

La seconde guerre punique voit Carthage envoyer une armée, conduite par le grand Hannibal, vers l’Italie via l’Espagne, le sud de la Gaule et les Alpes. Rome, surprise, est vaincue dans le nord de l’Italie mais Hannibal commet l’erreur de ne pas attaquer directement la cité latine ! Hannibal ne dispose plus de puissance nécessaire pour asseoir sa victoire et prendre Rome. La guerre va s’enliser et Rome va pouvoir se ressaisir car Carthage n’envoit pas tous les renforts demandés par Hannibal.

Syracuse profite de la situation pour tenter de se libérer de la tutelle romaine. Si Rome perdait sa main mise sur l’ïle, toutes les routes maritimes entre Carthage et le sud de l’Italie seraient ouvertes. Rome envoit donc le grand Marcellus conduire le siège de la cité grecque rebelle dont le grand savant Archimède a organisé efficacement les défenses avec ses multiples inventions !

Une sublime et émouvante fresque historique !”  (Texte de la couverture arrière)

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Astérix et la Transitalique

“Célèbres pour leurs nombreux voyages à travers le Monde Connu, Astérix et Obélix vont cette fois découvrir les nombreux peuples de la péninsule italienne : les Italiques !

En effet, si Astérix et Obélix ont plusieurs fois arpenté les rues de Rome, ils vont pour la 1e fois découvrir que les habitants de l’Italie ne sont pas tous des Romains, n’en déplaise à Obélix ! Les multiples régions de la péninsule sont au contraire habitées par une grande diversité de peuples qui tiennent à préserver leur indépendance, et voient d’un mauvais oeil les velléités de domination de Jules César et ses légions.

Pour Astérix et Obélix, s’engage dans Astérix et la Transitalique une grande aventure aux confins de la péninsule, à la découverte d’une Italie telle que vous ne l’avez jamais vue !”  (Texte du site de l’éditeur)

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Edu-Manga: Anne Frank

“For two years, Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex. Though her young life was threatened on a daily basis, Anne channeled all of her fears and dreams into the pages of a private diary. Anne kept her hope for peace alive in the midst of the tragedy of war. Her indomitable spirit lives on to this day in the words of her very special diary.”

“Astro Boy can’t wait for you to meet this incredible young girl! Join him as he shares the day-to-day life of Anne Frank, her family, and the time they spent in the secret annex. Anne’s strength of spirit and joy in the face of impossible odds come together to create one of the most inspiring stories of our time.” (Text from the back cover)

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The life-changing manga of tidying up

“From the #1 New York Times best-selling author and lifestyle/cleaning guru Marie Kondo, this graphic novelization brings Kondo’s life-changing tidying method to life with the fun, quirky story of a woman who transforms her home, work, and love life using Kondo’s advice and inspiration.”

“Marie Kondo presents the fictional story of Chiaki, a young woman in Tokyo who struggles with a cluttered apartment, messy love life, and lack of direction. After receiving a complaint from her attractive next-door neighbor about the sad state of her balcony, Chiaki gets Kondo to take her on as a client. Through a series of entertaining and insightful lessons, Kondo helps Chiaki get her home–and life–in order. This insightful, illustrated case study is perfect for people looking for a fun introduction to the KonMari Method of tidying up, as well as tried-and-true fans of Marie Kondo eager for a new way to think about what sparks joy. Featuring illustrations by award-winning manga artist Yuko Uramoto, this book also makes a great read for manga and graphic novel lovers of all ages.” [ Penguin Random House website ]

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L’art subtil du commentaire-critique

On me demande souvent quels sont les critères que j’utilise quand j’écris des critiques (reviews) de livres ou de films. En fait, j’utilise les même critères que j’ai développé au cours des années alors que j’écrivais des critiques d’abord pour Samizdat (un fanzine de science-fiction et fantastique québécois, 1987-1994) et, par la suite, pour Protoculture Addicts (un magazine sur la culture, le dessin animé et la bande-dessinée japonaise, 1987-2008). J’ai été rédacteur-en-chef pour ce dernier pendant plus d’une vingtaine d’années et ce sont ces même critères auxquels je demandais à mes collaborateurs d’adhérer. Je vais donc profiter de la présente occasion pour vous expliquer un peu comment je procède. Et je suggère à quiconque qui désire écrire des critiques de suivre ces quelques lignes directrices.

J’aimerais d’abord définir la critique comme étant un simple commentaire et non pas une critique analytique. Cette dernière cherche à étudier, en profondeur, les moindres aspects d’une oeuvre: les motivations des personnages, les choix narratifs, le message de l’auteur, etc. Une simple critique, quant à elle, n’est qu’un commentaire qui se veut ni objectif, ni constructif, ni négatif : c’est juste une opinion, un ressenti, que l’on exprime. On aime ou on aime pas, et on tente d’expliquer pourquoi, en décortiquant brièvement les impressions que l’oeuvre nous a laissé.

Je préfère d’ailleurs parler de “commentaire” et non de “critique” car ce dernier terme fait plus pompeux et peut aisément être confondu avec son cousin analytique. Un commentaire donne une impression plus modeste. On ne cherche pas a donner de leçon mais simplement à dire ce qu’on en pense. Dans le cas d’un livre, on pourrait parler de commentaire de lecture mais comme on peut commenter aussi des documents audio-visuels (des BD ou des manga, des films (vu au cinéma, en Dvd, ou Blu-ray), ou même de la musique (concert, CD)) je préfère m’en tenir simplement à “commentaire.” Bien sûr, l’approche sera un peu différente selon le type d’ouvrage  que l’on commente (livre, cinéma, musique).

Une autre question que j’entend parfois c’est “pourquoi se donner la peine de faire un commentaire” alors que l’on pourrait bien se contenter d’apprécier une oeuvre pour ce qu’elle est sans trop se poser de question. Je dois avouer que pour moi c’est plus une déformation professionnelle. J’ai écrit tellement de commentaires pour les publications pour lesquelles je travaillais que maintenant je ne peux pas m’empêcher d’analyser et de penser à ce que je ressens au fur et à mesure que je progresse dans le livre que je lis ou dans le film que je visionne. Et tant qu’à avoir des idées ou des opinions, pourquoi ne pas les partager? Car la raison fondamentale d’un commentaire c’est cela: partager ses coups de coeur (ou de foudre!), son amour (ou parfois son aversion) pour une oeuvre, ou simplement donner son opinion. Parfois, aussi, il s’agit de vouloir aider les autres à comprendre et à mieux apprécier une oeuvre ou, tout au moins, à partager la façon dont nous percevons une oeuvre (à travers le prisme de nos expériences personnelles, de notre savoir, de notre vécu). Si nous sommes passionné par un sujet, il est tout naturel de vouloir partager cette passion. Le lecteur (du commentaire) en fera bien ce qu’il veut…

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FFM 2017 wrap-up

The 41st Montreal World Film Festival (FFM) is now over. This year was a slim pick for the Japanese cinema aficionado since there was only two Japanese movies (two others were co-productions with non-Japanese directors). Besides that, the festival went smoothly for me. However, the only question remaining above our heads is: will there be a festival next year? Of course Serge Losique wants to be reassuring and said that the FFM was here to stay. He even announced the dates for the next two years: August 23rd to September 3rd 2018 and August 22nd to September 2nd 2019 !!

One of the event that I would have liked to attend (but couldn’t by lack of time) was the press conference and Master Class held at L’Astral by Chinese Martial Art Filmmaker Xu Haofeng (The Hidden Sword) on Monday August 28th. It seems that it was one of the rares (if not the only one) press conference held at the FFM this year. I really miss those… (and the film market and the press room!)

The closing film of the festival was a surprise to be announced after the awards, just a few hours before its free screening. It was meant as a gift for the movie fans.

A press release announced the awards for the 48th Student Film Festival: for the Canadian competition it went to Land by Samiramis Kia (York University, Toronto) and for the International competition it went to Elene by Seven Kayhan (Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey).

Another press release announced the awards for the festival itself: the Grand Prix of the Americas (Best Film) went to And Suddenly the Dawn by Silvio Caiozzi (Chile) and the Special Grand Prix of the Jury went to Dear Etranger by Yukiko Mishima (Japan). Check the press release for the other awards.

To summarize, I’ve seen and commented on two Japanese movies:

I also wrote a few informational posts about the festival:

Finally, here are the latest comments about the FFM in the media:

 

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Capsule reviews (02.017.247)

Bande-dessinée

Yoko Tsuno #28: Le temple des Immortels

Une autre aventure plutôt invraisemblable de l’électronicienne nippone. Leloup développe ici des éléments de récits qu’il avait laissé en plan dans des albums précédents ( #12: La Proie et l’ombre, #25: La Servante de Lucifer, #27: Le Secret de Khâny ). Comme c’est souvent le cas dans ses oeuvres plus récentes, le récit semble un peu précipité alors qu’il essai de raconter son histoire dans le cadre étroit  du format traditionnel de quarante-deux pages. On a l’impression de vivre le récit en accéléré…

Le problème avec des albums qui font sans cesse référence à des volumes précédents est qu’on ne se rappelle pas toujours des détails qui s’y étaient déroulés, ce qui laisse des lacunes dans la bonne compréhension (et l’appréciation) du récit. Toutefois l’idée de moines médiévaux avec des Vinéens et des tributs celtiques vivant au creux de la terre, dans un gouffre profond, a quand même du charme. C’est une lecture nostalgique mais tout de même un peu décevante, donc d’un intérêt moyen…

Cela donne le goût de relire de vieux albums (car étrangement je suis resté sur ma faim — c’est presque toujours le cas avec ces très court albums à l’européenne). Comment un artiste peut-il vivre en publiant juste de tels albums aux deux ans? C’est un dur contraste avec les mangakas nippon qui produisent en moyenne une quantité de pages similaires (en noir et blanc toutefois) CHAQUE SEMAINE (!) pour la pré-publication en périodique…

[ AmazonBiblioDupuisGoodreadsWikipediaWorldcat ]

Commentaire aussi disponible sur Goodreads et Les Irrésistibles.

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Magazine

AnimeLand #216

Le numéro de juin-juillet 2017 nous offre des dossiers sur l’importance du visuel dans la société nippone (“Quand la 2D se tape l’incruste”), sur le marché de l’anime en France en 2016 (qui ne progresse pas aussi positivement que celui du manga car divisé, à 70% / 30%, entre le DVD et le Blu-ray et considérablement affecté par la popularité du simulcast, qui a toutefois l’avantage de faire régresser l’utilisation de sites illégaux de diffusion), et sur les anime “engagés” (socio-politiquement: Harmony, Genocidal Organ, Ghost in the Shell S.A.C., Galactic Hero Legend, Gundam; ou écologiquement: L’école emportée, Conan: Fils du Futur, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Pompoko, Ponyo sur la falaise, Earth Girl Arjuna, etc.).

Comme toujours, AnimeLand nous fait découvrir de nombreux anime (Hirune Hime, Dans un recoin du monde, Golgo 13, Le grand méchant renard, My hero academia, Atom: The Beginning, la saison 2 de L’attaque des titans, Dragonball Super, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Capitaine Flam), mangas (Kenshin, One Piece, Mob Psycho 100, Les mémoires de Vanitas, Reine d’Égypte, Voyage à Tokyo, Tenjin, Gloutons et Dragons), et jeux video (Persona 5, et un article sur les mondes ouverts). On nous trace aussi des portraits de seiyu (Mamoru Miyano) ou de musicien (Akira Yamaoka) et nous présente une dizaine d’interviews avec Kenji Kamiyama (Hirune Hime), Eric Goldberg & Neysa Bové (Vaiana), Masashi Kudo (Chain Chronicle), Yasuyuki Muto (Rolling Girls), Studio La Cachette, Nobuhiro Watsuki (Kenshin), Kiyo Kyujyo (Trinity Blood), Tatsuki Fujimoto (Fire Punch) et Chie Inudoh (Reine d’Égypte). Finalement, on retrouve les indispensables actualités et commentaires sur les parutions récentes.

Nul doute que AnimeLand est une source inépuisable d’information sur l’animation et la bande-dessinée japonaise, et le seul magazine francophone sur ces sujets. Toutefois, je n’ai rien trouvé de bien excitant dans ce numéro…

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Manga

Pline #2: Les rues de Rome

Ce second tome, s’il nous offre beaucoup moins d’action que le premier, n’en est pas moins intéressant car il approfondit de beaucoup notre connaissance des protagonistes. Euclès découvre la maison (remplit de manuscrits!) de son nouveau maître, Pline. Celui-ci souffre grandement de l’asthme mais se méfie beaucoup des médecins. Il finira cependant par se soumettre au traitement du médecin grec Silénos, qui lui recommande surtout l’air pur de la Campanie. Euclès tombe amoureux d’une jeune esclave, Plautina, qu’il a rencontré par hasard, mais celle-ci est aussi tombé dans l’oeil de l’empereur Néron! Celui-ci se sent un peu égaré sans les conseils de son précepteur, Sénèque, qu’il a exilé. On y découvre une image plus humaine de Néron, qui apparait moins comme un tyran qu’un jeune homme cultivé mais moralement faible. Poppée, qui n’est pas très aimée du peuple, se fait lancer des pierres. Elle annonce à Néron qu’elle est enceinte, ce qui le convainc finalement de la marier et de régler le sort d’Octavie. Felix, le garde du corps un peu frustre de Pline, a une famille à Rome mais sa femme se plaint de ses absences prolongées et surtout des conditions de vie difficile dans les insulae romaines. Alors Pline leur offre de s’installer dans l’une de ses maisons. Mais le personnage le plus important de ce tome, c’est sans doute Rome elle-même alors que l’on découvre plus en détails ses bas fonds et ses lupanars!

C’est une lecture passionnante si vous êtes amateur de manga historique et de Rome antique. Et ce qui est particulièrement remarquable dans cet ouvrage c’est le grand détail et la qualité du dessin de Mari Yamazaki et Tori Miki. À lire absolument!

Voir aussi mon commentaire sur Pline #1: L’appel de Néron

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Movies

Jackie

Slow, boring movie that shows a not very sympathetic, selfish Jackie, control freak of her image and obsessed with Lincoln funeral and the fact that his widow died destitute and penniless. Is this a well researched bio pic or just an iconoclast fiction? In the end, it is all about the making of the modern myth of the American camelot.

After John‘s death, Jackie meets with a journalist and reminisce about her traumatic ordeal in order to reshape her husband’s presidency. What makes a president great and be remembered like Lincoln was? His accomplishment or his image?

 

[ AmazonBiblioIMdBOfficialWikipediaYoutube ]

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TV Series

Samurai Gourmet

Someone recommended to my wife this Japanese TV series streaming on Netflix. The subject is cool, I had already heard about the writer of the original manga and the main character is played by an actor that I like, therefore I had no hesitation to subscribe to Netflix in order to binge on this mini series of twelve episodes of twenty minutes each. I have absolutely no regret. It was quite funny and very interesting as I leaned a few things about Japanese cuisine. Highly recommended!

Nobushi no Gourmet (???????) is based on a manga written by Masayuki Kusumi and drawn by Shigeru Tsuchiyama (first pre-published in November 2013 by Gentosha Plus web magazine and then in print in June 2016 — I have already commented on the very similar manga that Masayuki Kusumi did with Jiro Taniguchi in 1994-96 titled Kodoku no gourmet). It tells the story of 60-year-old salaryman Takashi Kasumi (Naoto Takenaka) who just retired. Having lost his corporate title and the support of his company, he finds himself with lots of time on his hands. His wife Shizuko (Honami Suzuki) is always busy with something (choir practice, etc.), so he goes for a walk, wandering around and decides to enter a restaurant. For the first time he has a beer in the afternoon and rediscovers the pleasure of a good meal! Being a great fan of Sengoku Period samurai stories, he often imagine what a masterless samurai (played by Tetsuji Tamayama) would do in his situation — which always creates hilarious scenes!

As most of the episode is made of showing off food and the protagonist inner monologue, you might think it is quite boring: in the contrary, it’s an excellent series (see comments on Japan Times, Eater, Thrillist) as proven by a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes!

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Dear Etranger

Based on the novel from Kiyoshi Shigematsu, this is the story of Makoto Tanaka, a 40-years-old who has remarried. His wife is Nanae and they care for 2 daughters from Nanae’s prior marriage. Makoto tries to have an ordinary family but Nanae becomes pregnant and things are bound to change.

 

 

 

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot’s elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

Dear Étranger is an average Japanese family drama: it’s both funny and sad, offers excellent acting but is rather slow moving. It’s a touching story about Makoto, a man in his forties, who has remarried and must deal with the difficulties of a blended family. He has one pre-teen girl (Saori) from a previous marriage (with Yuka). His new wife, Sanae, has two daughters (Kaoru, a tweenager, and Eriko, a preschooler) from her own previous marriage (with Sawada, who used to beat her and the children). When she gets pregnant, the delicate balance of their couple is challenged. Of course, in such situation, the children are suffering the most (with emotional or psychological stress). Can they really call themselves a “family”? Can he call himself a “dad”? Can he succeeds to keep a good relationship with BOTH his tweenage daughters? Or is he just a “dear stranger” to them?

The movie tackle quite realistically many aspects of the modern Japanese society: divorce, one of its causes (domestic violence) and one of its increasingly frequent consequences, the stepfamily. Divorce in Japan is relatively similar to what it is in the West (although there is no joint custody). Still not as frequent as in the West, the Japanese divorce rate has been steadily increasing (up to one in three marriages, quadrupling the rate of the post-WW2 era — mostly among retiring-age couples) but it has recently started to decrease due to a corresponding diminution in marriages (men are too busy at work and don’t feel economically confident enough to seek marriage and have children). The Japanese society is evolving and it is not surprising that we also see an increase in the number of female movie directors, who are more likely to want to use sociological theme in their storytelling.

I cannot pass over in silence the superb inclined elevator that regularly appears in the film. The Nashion inclined elevator (????????????  / Nashion shak? ereb?t?) is located in Higashiyamadai, Nishinomiya (Hy?go prefecture) near Kobe and Osaka. Many scenes were shot in that area. It offers a beautiful scenery but might also symbolise the hardship of the main protagonist as he must step up to resolve his delicate situation.

Anyway, when you put together two interesting writer and script-writer, a skilled director (who already came to the FFM in 2014 with A Drop of the Grapevine) and a great cast of actors, you can only get a good movie. And, apparently, the Jury of the 2017 Montreal World Film Festival agreed with this, since they awarded Dear Étranger with the Special Grand Prix of the Jury (a kind of “second best” award).

Dear Etranger (?????????? / Osanago Warera ni umare / lit. “Children born to us” or We’re having a Baby): Japan, 2017, 127 mins; Dir.: Yukiko Mishima; Scr.: Haruhiko Arai (based on a novel by Kiyoshi Shigematsu); Cast: Tadanobu Asano (Makoto Tanaka), Rena Tanaka (Nanae), Shinobu Terajima (Yuka), Raiju Kamata (Saori), Sara Minami (Kaoru), Miu Arai (Eriko), Kankurô Kudô (Sawada), Shingo Mizusawa, Narushi Ikeda.

Film screened at the Montreal World Film Festival on Friday September 1st 2017 (Cinema Imperial, 19:00 — the attendance was about an hundred people) as part of the “World Competition” segment. Shinji Sakoda, the international sales representative from Pony Canyon, was there to introduce the movie.

 

For more information you can visit the following websites:

[ AsianWiki — IMDbOfficial webVimeo —  Youtube ]

Dear Etranger © 2016 ????????????????? .

See also the comments of Mark Schilling (Japan Times) and Claude R. Blouin (Shomingeki).

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Noise

Eight years have passed since the Akihabara massacre. A pop star whose mother was killed in the incident, a teenager who left her home of Akihabara, a delivery boy who turns his anger to the city. This is a story about the characters striving to grasp the string of hope within the darkness surrounding the city, the incident, and the people.

 

 

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot’s elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

In this movie we see Japan like we rarely see it in movies: people being poor, homeless, destitute, at their wits’ end. Japan is interiorizing everything, hiding the pain, the ugliness and sometimes the boil needs to burst. The Akihabara massacre wasn’t the cause of anything, it was a symptom. It also shows the ugly underside of Akihabara, the low level idols that are struggling, the delivery guys who deliver goods by feet because they lost their driving licenses in accidents, the almost-sex industry exploiting young girls, etc.

This docudrama is interesting because this director is willing to show us what others wouldn’t dare: the price Japan is paying for past economic crises and for a rigid society that must always preserve the appearance. Unfortunately, this young director is lacking the skills to express all this in a beautiful, well-organized manner. The result is a loud (it’s called noise isn’t it?), disjointed, awkward, disorganized movie. There are too many characters, scenes transition that comes without warning or coherence which makes the story quite difficult to follow. However, it is  compelling and the actors’ play is excellent.

It is a hard movie that requires patience like most unpolished gems. In the end, it gets easier to understand as we get to know each character better. Noise has potential with such an interesting subject and its great acting, but it unfortunately doesn’t succeed to be artistically good enough. However, it is entertaining and well worth watching.

Noise : Japan, 2017, 124 mins; Dir.: Yusaku MATSUMOTO; Cast: Kokoro Shinozaki, Urara Anjo, Kosuke Suzuki, Kentaro Kishi, Takashi Nishina, Kenji Kohashi, Hiroshi Fuse.

Film screened at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 25th, 2017 (Cinema du Parc 1, 20:15 — the attendance was around fifteen people out of a capacity of about two-hundred seats) as part of the “First Feature Competition” segment. There was no production team member to introduce the movie or do a Q&A.

For more information you can visit the following websites:

[ IMDbOfficial WebVimeoYoutube ]

Noise © ?Noise?????? 2017. All rights reserved.

See also the comment on this movie by Claude R. Blouin (in french).

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Ghost in the Shell

At first glance, the story of this live-action version seems rather faithful to the original. If the manga offers the base of the story (chap. 1, 3, part of 8, 9 and 11), it follows more the storytelling of the animated movie. Shirow’s manga is rather disorganized with lots of silly or humorous moments, while Oshii’s anime movie is more linear, but with lots of reflective and philosophical pauses (maybe a little too much). In this regard, the live-action movie seems more balanced. Of course, they changed a few things here and there but the spirit is all there (no pun intended). My main complain is that this story doesn’t show any Fuchikoma (think tanks, a.k.a. Tachikoma (in the TV series): spider-like robots with great sense of humour that assist in combat) and it is missing the incredibly beautiful music by Kanji Kawai, which is heard in the movie only in the end credits. However, the biggest change is in the background stories of both the puppet master and of the Major, which were completely altered in order to link them together. I am not sure (I can’t really remember) but I think they may have taken a few elements from the TV series and OVAs (at least the part on the origin of the Major). They also kept a hint of philosophical reflection (not too much, but just enough) to preserve the mood of the original movie—the age-old existential question of what’s make us “us”. They also paid an homage to Mamoru Oshii by putting his favourite dog (basset hound) in the story (actually, Batou’s dog comes from the second movie, Innocence — which is itself based on chap. 6 of the manga).

I heard plenty of negative comments. People complained they chose an American actress to play a Japanese character (first, this comment came out in the midst of the Hollywood whitewashing scandal and, anyway, not many Japanese actresses would have the action and language skills to play that role — although I like that Takeshi Kitano acts only in Japanese). They also complained that her acting lacked expression (come on, she plays a human turned into a machine, wondering if she’s still human, so it’s part of her role). On the other hand, some purist fans complained that they changed this or that. It’s not a perfect movie (personnally, I hate the design of the spider-tank!) and it was obviously not good enough for many since it didn’t performed well at the box office (which barely exceeded the production budget) and received lukewarm reviews (45% on Rotten Tomatoes !).

Of course, I don’t know if someone who has never heard of the Ghost in the shell universe would be able to follow, understand and really appreciate it. Because I am a fan, I am probably biased. So I wonder: purely in a technical point of view, is it a good movie? I think so. The story is captivating and interesting as it asks some relevant questions about human nature and it remains one of the best depiction of the cyberpunk genre I’ve seen. The storytelling is fluid and easy to follow (unlike Oshii’s movie), the acting is good and the special effects are superb. In the end, what else should we expect from a movie? Ghost in the shell is a complex universe, first in its story (socio-political cyberpunk) but also in its making as the franchise includes several manga, movies, TV series and OVAs, so maybe we should try to see the live-action more as what it is in itself than try too hard to compare it to the manga or anime. For my part, it’s an excellent entertainment and I enjoyed it a lot.

Ghost in the shell: USA, 2017, 107 min., PG-13. Dir.: Rupert Sanders; Scr.: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, and Ehren Kruger (based on the manga by Masamune Shirow); Phot.: Jess Hall; Ed.: Neil Smith, Billy Rich; Mus.: Clint Mansell, Lorne Balfe; Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, and Juliette Binoche.

[ AmazonGoogleIMdBWikipediaYoutube ]

 

Ghost in the shell (????? / K?kaku kid?tai : G?suto In Za Sheru / Mobile Armored Riot Police: Ghost in the Shell) : Japan, 1995, 82 min.; Dir.: Mamoru Oshii; Scr.: Kazunori It? (based on the manga by Masamune Shirow); Phot.: Hisao Shirai; Ed.: Sh?ichi Kakesu, Shigeyuki Yamamori; Mus.: Kenji Kawai; Voices: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio ?tsuka, and Iemasa Kayumi.

An excellent adaptation of the manga although with a little too much philosophical pauses. If the sequel movie is also nice (Ghost in the shell 2: Innocence) it doesn’t follow the manga. My favourite part of the franchise is the TV series Ghost in the shell: Stand Alone Complex (there’s also an OVA series: Ghost in the shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture).

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Ghost in the shell (????? / K?kaku Kid?tai / Mobile Armored Riot Police) by Masamune Shirow (translated by Frederik L Schodt and Toren Smith). Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Manga, 2004. 368 pg. $24.95 US / $33.99 Can. ISBN 1-59307-228-7.

This is one of my favourites manga. It offers an excellent cyberpunk story (although the storytelling is a little episodic and disorganized), with an awkward mix of action and humour. The second part, Man-Machine Interface, has a better graphical quality and incredible cyberpunk scenes, but the complexity of its political and terrorist plots makes it a little hard to follow.

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