This preview shows page 129 - 131 out of 238 pages.
I asked Bandai if I could direct something else, and they said ‘Dowhatever you want.’”1With Bandai’s blessing, Oshii directed Talk-ing Head(1992), his personal meditation on the art and industry offilm and animation. Although the film sometimes is billed as a mixof live action and anime, the animation does not occupy very muchscreen time (and only a very small bit of animation at the begin-ning is in what has come to be accepted as the anime style). LikeOshii’s other live action films before Avalon(The Red SpectaclesandStray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops,which are discussed brieﬂyin chapter 7), the style of Talking Headis very different from thatof his animated films.Talking Headtakes on an obvious staged
form, drawing from both Japanese and Western styles, with most ofthe action taking place as if in a play. In true Oshii fashion, the endreveals that most of the film’s events had been dreamed by themain character.Bandai also was responsible for Oshii’s involvement in Ghostin the Shell,the film for which the director became best knownaround the world.After completing work on Patlabor 2,Oshii con-sulted with Bandai Visual about what direction to take with hisnext project. Originally he was planning to direct an OVA seriesbased on his manga Kenroh Densetsu (released by Dark HorseComics in English as Hellhounds: Panzer Cops), set in the sameuniverse as his previous live-action films The Red Spectacles(1987)andStray Dog: Kerberos Panzer Cops (1991). Instead, Bandai sug-gested that Oshii next work on their proposed adaptation of themangaGhost in the Shell.His work on the two Patlaborfilms situ-ated him perfectly to work on this film, as the plot coincided withmany of the themes he had been pursuing. Although he had notcreated the story on which the film was based, Oshii managed tomake the work his own; original manga author Masamune Shirowgave him permission to reformulate the plot as he saw fit. Oshiisaid that he was given the license to direct the film “in my ownstyle, with my own ideas. . . .I had the freedom to put Ghostintomy world, without having to further ask his [Shirow’s] approval.”2With its mix of concerns about technology and the nature of real-ity, the Ghost in the Shellmanga was perfect for adaptation byOshii. Although largely excised from the film version, the originalmanga contained a good deal of political critique, and dialoguelike “Emphasizing a lifestyle based on consumption is the ultimateviolence against poor countries”3made the source material a goodthematic fit with Oshii’s previous work in Patlabor 2.As a manga artist,Ghost in the Shellcreator Shirow is uniquein both style and production. Many manga titles are drawn quicklyto meet tight deadlines. In contrast, Shirow’s manga is very de-tailed, with complex lines and an equally complex plot. Unlikeother manga artists, many of whom employ a stable of staffers tomeet publication demands, Shirow draws all of his art himself. Infact, he is something of an enigma; no publicity pictures of theartist exist, and his name is a pseudonym. He made his debut in120*STRAY DOG OF ANIME