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White-washing is a glaring problem with 'Ghost in the Shell'
April 30 2017, 06:47 | Perry Erickson
Scarlett filming in NZ
Now Hollywood gets to produce its own version of this future world.
She's viewed as the ideal weapon, but her mission to locate Kuze (Michael Pitt), a cyber-terrorist capable of hacking into human minds, leads to some revelations that will have Major questioning her loyalties. The new movie gives the lead character a backstory, revealing that Motoko, along with a handful of other anti-tech Japanese runaways, was abducted by Hanka Robotics and subjected to experimentation.
Set in the not-too-distant future where cybernetic enhancements to the human body are the norm, Ghost In The Shell follows the exploits of Section 9, a special counter-cyberterrorism task force led by The Major (Johansson).
One of the first things I noticed in this new, knockoff "Ghost in the Shell" was that Sanders revisits an important image from his "Snow White and the Huntsman", during the shooting of which he had a front-page dalliance with his star Kristen Stewart. There are explosive action scenes involving cars, trucks, helicopters, and big guns. And so, accusations of whitewashing aside, she seems the flawless actor to embody Major, the cyborg-human hybrid at the centre of the existential sci-fi action flick Ghost in the Shell. She also gets to do very well in her introspective dramatic scenes, some of which evoke her role in yet another sci-fi film "Under the Skin". When she was injured in the terrorist attack that killed her parents, her body could not be saved but in a pioneering experiment by Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche), she is turned into a cyborg. "She will join Section 9 as soon as she's operational".
It's had a long and storied production process, with Steven Spielberg acquiring the rights back in 2008, to produce a live-action film adaptation of the original manga. Reviews for the film are now online, and we've rounded up a group of them to help you decide if the movie is worth your time and money. I have to say this hardcore anime is really ahead of its time. Giant advertising holograms tower over the unnamed port city where the action happens; the effect is like Blade Runner on steroids, and the film skirts dangerously close to creating sensory overload in its viewers. The plot is not the same at all, though the basic elements were retained.
In September, the actress appeared alongside her Avengers cast mates in a voter registration PSA meant to rev up support among younger voters and millennials to turn out on Election Day for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Naturally, the anime features Japanese characters, and most of the actors in this film are Caucasian. Some gunmen break in and start shooting, and Major arrives to fight them.
Fans of the original and many left-leaning members of the press have worked themselves into a lather regarding the Westernization or "whitewashing" of the movie, and, to some degree, they have a point.
To be sure, director Rupert Sanders ("Snow White and the Huntsman") delivers a lovely film, from the "Blade Runner"-esque overhead shots of an unnamed Asian city of the future, to the colorfully appointed characters lurking in almost every rain-soaked corner, to the holographic creations dominating the landscape, to some jaw-dropping POV angles, to some fantastically insane human-robot melding reminiscent of the HBO series "Westworld".