Cabinet of Curiosities for Coventry Uni
Ghost in the Shell
This animated series ‘breaks the mould’ in many ways. Ever since its first movie in 1995 its cinematography and plot has been one of the main inspirations which started The Matrix trilogy, it was one of the first Japanese animations (known as ‘anime’) to venture into the European and US markets and was one of the first productions to combine both 3D and 2D animation techniques. Dreamworks has announced a live-action movie of the franchise to be released in 2011.
The older first and second movies differ greatly from the relatively recent 52-episode series and the third movie. The older movies are very weird to say the least. They look like they really went to town with the visual effects, trying to show the western market just how different it is to anything else. Yet the newer productions of the series are much more toned-down while still keeping their deep plots and originality. The computer generated aspects in the later series have been purposely shaded to seamlessly merge into the 2D world, making the robot’s huge variety of moving parts move in perfect unison whilst still appearing to be hand-drawn.
New Wii adverts
In the last 5-10 years computer/console games have made it into the bold new territory of the family living room, which is a big leap from Pong and the dirty teenage boy’s bedroom. And what’s behind this? It’s Nintendo’s clever advertising added with the general growth of technology in the home. See how the people who play them are all attractive, happy people with loads of friends and play their Wii in an impossibly clean lounge. This earns a place in my Cabinet of Curiosities for its extreme change to the face of gaming. Personally the cookie-cut style of it annoys me, yet I can’t help but applaud the advertiser’s success.
Waltz with Bashir
Another animation which brought changes to the industry, Waltz with Bashir is the first and only factual war documentary to be produced as a feature-length animation. By using this production method instead of simply showing stock-footage from journalists, the creators were able to turn Waltz with Bashir into a shocking autobiographical drama which conveys the 1982 Lebanon War in a way that is hard for a documentary or live-action war movie to grasp. This is achieved by combining the drama of a war movie with the added level of realism from showing real events and people 26 years younger than they were being interviewed.
In some ways unfortunately, this has found more relevance as the 2nd Lebanon War started in 2006 ironically whilst this documentary of the first war was still in production, then Operation Cast Lead in Gaza started only a couple of months after its release in 2008.
Edit: Aah, it turns out that this film may be in our media course 🙂