Interwebs and Arts: in praise of “Ghost in the Shell”

I have sometimes linked to particular sites which caught my attention for non-professional artistic skills, but recently I’ve been considering the commercial side.

For example, the ability to purchase movie videos not available even in the speciality rental stores – like “The Muppet Frog Prince”, or “Bell Book and Candle” (that is the predecessor of “Bewitched”, and shows that Jimmy Stewart really could act,) or “Separate Tables” (not flashy, but brilliant acting.)

More interesting is the finding of videos not commonly known, and the art they include. I have been struck by the quality of some of these, and particularly the start and end credits of the animé series “Ghost in the Shell”

(Aside:  End credits have great music and some important details, including who was that actor I thought I recognised — which is part of why I promote a revolt against those TV stations which shrink end credits and put ad visuals and sounds over  them.  Media and Arts Alliance take note.)

I was impressed by all the opening and closing versions, but I want to focus on “Inner Universe”.

The lyrics from Yoko Kanno/Origa’s “Inner Universe” have a fascinating net-presence.  There is argument on who wrote what and what the lyrics mean, and argument on what the lyrics are (sorry about the advert links on that site!).   The subtitled versions on the DVD set,  alternating between Japanese and English subtitles per episode, are worth seeing:

A follower of such things told me (I omit ver name for privacy preference) that the animation was devised with the music and subtitle placement in mind.  I am inclined to believe that, as the subtitled  sequence calls me to view it from time to time (in both forms) without watching the episodes.

On this basis I feel the video is an artwork in its own right.

Go on, get hold of a copy.  All you need to know is that the female character is a law operative in an artificial, internet/computer/brain linked, almost indestructible body.  Now, try to analyse what the video does and how.  Maybe discuss it with visual arts and music specialists.   There you have a major multimedia education experience, unavailable but for the internet allowing oddballs to chase up overseas interests, with totally fair financial rewards to the DVD company which made it available internationally.

Appreciating excellence is a joyful activity.

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