Mamoru Oshii Names 5 Films Essential to Ghost in the Shell Film's Creation

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Oshii cites This Island Earth, Bride of White Castle, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Day for Night, and Blade Runner.

Acclaimed anime and live-action director Mamoru Oshii will appear on the Movie Plus program Kono eiga ga mitai ("I want to see this film") in February. Oshii will share stories about his formative experiences through watching and creating films. In anticipation of the episode's first broadcast date on February 4, Oshii listed five films that he believes were essential to Ghost in the Shell's creation: This Island Earth, Bride of White Castle, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Day for Night, and Blade Runner.

In an interview posted on PR Times on Tuesday, Oshii went into further detail about the influence the latter three films had on him. He said that 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he first saw while he was in high school, was what inspired him to become a science fiction writer. At the time, he was wowed by the visual spectacle, but it was only when he watched the film 30 years later that he realized that the film was really about exploring the concept of humanity. "It took me quite a long time to realize that it wasn't just a film with great story and actors, but rather a film about big ideas."

Day for Night inspired Oshii to become a film director after he first saw it as a second-year student in university. He recalled the famous line: "Movies go along like trains in the night. And people like you and me are only happy in our work." Oshii said, "The idea that we should stop trying to make peace with reality put tingles down my spine. I thought the same way. Although afterwards I decided that I had the wrong idea," he added with a laugh.

Oshii concluded by discussing Blade Runner, a film which he holds in such high esteem that he'll always include it in his top 10 favorite films, even though his rankings normally change day by day. "I've often thought about what is it that films can do that no other form of storytelling can achieve, and after watching Blade Runner, I've become certain that it's the world building." He said that Blade Runner has become so influential that any creator depicting a world set in a technological future has been inspired by Blade Runner in some way. Many films similar to Blade Runner were created soon after its original release in 1982, and Oshii believes that Ghost in the Shell is one of them.

However, Oshii also admitted that he took the wrong lessons from Blade Runner at the time. He assumed that the only necessary component for films is a strong setting, but afterwards he has come to acknowledge that the story and characters are important as well. He said that he has reached his current philosophy toward directing only after a painful process of trial and error.

For more stories about films that inspired and moved him throughout his life, Oshii recommends that everyone watch his episode of Kono eiga ga mitai. One of Oshii's classic films Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, the second Urusei Yatsura film, will also be broadcast on the Movie Plus channel in Japan in February.

Source: PR Times

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