Innocence Premiere Sydney

November 7, 2004 on 11:51 pm | In Ghost in the Shell | Comments Off on Innocence Premiere Sydney

Madman Director Tim Anderson with site author Alexander Doenau

Tonight at the Valhalla cinema in Glebe, there was a one night only showing of Innocence (Ghost in the Shell 2) at 7pm. This screening was presented by the Japan Foundation and Madman Entertainment, and introduced by director Oshii Mamoru and Production I.G. President Ishikawa Mitsuhisa.

Tim Anderson, director of Madman Entertainment, began by saying that Production I.G. had made many stunning anime that had brought the form to the fore in Australia and the world. While they are promoted chiefly as the animation studio that worked on Kill Bill, they have made many instantly recognisable landmark anime. Tim said that he was looking forward to seeing Innocence as he had yet to see it himself.

The director of the Japan Foundation came up yet and said that anime was a great way to spread awareness of “the contemporary way of Japanese thought” and hoped that the audience would find it enjoyable and a fine example of culture.

Oshii Mamoru himself came onto the stage, and with the aid of an interpreter told what he said the film was about. Oshii prefaced his speech by saying that he had planned to come to Australia around the Olympics in 2000, but his cat died and he could not come due to his sadness. For this he was truly sorry. However, the death of his pet was the catalyst for Innocence. When the cat died, he felt that a hole had opened in him, and that he had lost something. He still feels this way. It reminded Oshii of what his father had said when his mother died: that a hole had opened, and that he had lost half of himself. Oshii said that in Innocence, he wanted to portray a woman who has given much of herself to the net, to the point where she does not know what her “self” truly is. Oshii wished to show such loss in this film.
It had been suggested that animation was not the right form to tackle such issues as Oshii wished to take on. However, he felt that animation was an excellent form for his ideas as he could express them in as versatile a manner as he wished. Oshii feels that films are not to be “understood” or “interpreted”, but that they should produce a “vague feeling” in oneself. He hoped that the audience would be able to appreciate the “vague feeling” and watch the film as many times as they needed in order to fully absorb the messages.
Oshii said that the film had taken him three years to make (compared to Ghost in the Shell‘s one), and while he was not sure if he would make another animation, he had used all of his skills and efforts into making Innocence. He sincerely hoped that the audience would enjoy it. Oshii was a soft spoken man, but the audience listened with great intent to his words.

Finally, Ishikawa came on and said that because he wished to live in Australia soon, he would give his speech in English and keep it brief. Ishikawa lamented that there was not enough time in the country and that it was largely a business trip, but he would go to shops and buy many gifts for his wife. With that, he hoped that we would enjoy the movie and left the stage.

As for the film itself … it was excellent and well received by the audience. That will follow.

After the showing, Tim Anderson said that full licencing of Innocence was 90% done, and that Dreamworks was happy to licence out to them. If all goes to plan, a theatrical run can be expected around January or February, and a DVD release around the April mark. While this is conjecture on his part, it seems likely.

Look for more similar “Australian Anime News” articles when the opportunity arises.

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