Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival welcomed its first day by screening a recently remastered version of Ghost in the Shell, a film originally released in 1995 by Oshii Mamoru and based off Shirow Masamune‘s manga of the same title. The director attended the festival and was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award to commemorate his amazing range of work.
Tickets for the movie sold out very soon after going on sale, and Oshii seemed surprised to see that the theatre was filled to the brim. Before the movie was screened, Oshii Mamoru held a question & answer session with the audience.
The movie may be almost 20 years old, but it remains popular around the world due to its impact. When the age of Ghost in the Shell came up during the session, Oshii answered that he believes “every single movie has it’s very own lifespan”. To him, movies are only alive if they are being played in theatres and was happy that his works were still being played in various locations.
Director Oshii also spoke about how he handles creating adaptations. Despite the difficulties, he enjoys to work on them:
“The most important thing when adapting an original work is the relationship between the original writer and the director. It is hard because you cannot make it to different, but there is no meaning if you make it the same. It is like a bowl, it cannot be overflowing, but it cannot be empty. It is very hard to make a movie that fits the bowl. […] It is easier to make an anime from an original work because I can do whatever I want.”
Each adaptation of Ghost in the Shell also has slight differences. Oshii commented that in the anime adaptation directed by Kamiyama Kenji, the main character Kusanagi Motoko has a more serious personality to her, quite similar to her director. The movie version of Kusanagi has smaller boobs than she does in the original manga, and is passionate and destructive.
Oshii is currently finishing up his latest movie, Garm Wars: The Last Druid. It was filmed last year in Montreal and Vancouver and is planned to be released next year.