Hollywood's "Ghost in the Shell"

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby Bagheera » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:17 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Finally, anyone of any color can be Superman. A dark toned Superman would not "be awkward". Certainly it would be less awkward & more faithful to the character of Superman than the fascist, cold, aloof, human hating murder bot that Henry Cavill has been stuck with for two films.


When I was in my crazy supers phase (i.e., making tons of them for Mutants and Masterminds and other systems), I made Superman expies for northern Europe, India, and Black America. The trope works amazingly well in any of a number of cultural contexts.

View Original Postrobersora wrote:Also, the only thing people in charge will learn will be "Oh, Lucy's financial hit was not because of Scarlett Johansson, let's take her off the A-list, shall we?"


Yes, please. Thank you.
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Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:54 pm

I've never seen the show or read the manga so I don't know if those things directly say what city the story takes place in but the city on screen is basically Hong Kong for all intents & purposes. Take away the eyesore CG holograms & it sure looks a lot like the Hong Kong I passed through a few years ago.

Anywho, one would hope the lesson Hollywood might learn from this is A) Anime adaptations might not be worth it & B) If you have to jump through actual hoops to explain why you're casting a person not of the characters race it may just be better to go with a ethnic appropriate performer.

Sadly though, I agree that the general blame in Hollywood circles will be placed on Scarlett Johannson being "not a big star when taken away from Marvel"... which actually is true of all actors really. But women get stung in the industry when their films fail. Charlize Theron was almost persona non grata after Aeon Flux & only recently has returned to super stardom days thanks to smart choices & a little thing called Mad Max: Fury Road. I don't believe Halle Berry (Catwoman) or Jennifer Garner (Elektra) have recovered. Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth (Rush, lost over $20 million. Blackhat, lost over $100 million when advertising is included. In The Heart of the Sea, lost over $100 million or much much more when advertising included. The Huntsman: Winter's War, maybe $200 million or more lost?) is doing pretty damn well I heard.

If Warner Brothers is still foolishly pushing ahead with that Akira reboot (could Ghost in the Shell have killed it? Let's see where that non-talk of Jordan Peele goes after all this) I wouldn't be surprised to see Chris Hemsworth's name at the top of their list to play Kaneda Shotaru. Or Kellan Smithson. Or whatever they'll call him. They're surely already looking at Dane DeHaan for Tetsu- I mean, Travis.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:57 pm

In what city is GitS 2017 set in then? It would have to be one that justifies all of the Asian people plastered in the holographic advertisements in the background of the film.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby movieartman » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:08 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:So much of the defense for this film basically falls down to this mindset: I really like Asian pop culture. Actual Asian people? I'm kinda indifferent.

That is the mindset of mass American movie going audiences not the creators, blame the demand not the makers of the product who have to work under such constraints.

Kinda rendering the already flawed "We Need a Star" argument as nonsense.

It wasn't flawed at all, it was 100% the entire reason Scarlett Johansson was cast, you seriously think if they could have gotten a cheaper lead actress and sold the film like they have that they would not have done so?
Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu & Ming Na Wen are the biggest name Asian actresses working today to American audiences, all of them are too old for the character and none of them have half the pull Scarlett Johansson had
Even if the film bombed the concern is 100% sound on the creator's parts. The thousands of people who were employed thanks to the making of this film and were able to feed their families is more important then some hurt feelings.

Actually, I take that back.... people will probably bring this film back into discussion in July 2018 right before ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL gets released. Just looked at the cast list for that film...

In contrast with it right because that film has quite a diverse cast besides the stand out names of Connolly, Waltz & Haley.

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Finally, I don't want to unpack the gross line "a DARK TONED HEAD over the traditional colors just seems awkward to me" regarding Superman because ANYONE can be Superman when you come down to it.

I fully agree from a character stand point anyone could, I meant strictly from a visual stance the contrast comes off odd with the red.
Like when we got Morrison's president Superman here they make the primary part of the S yellow which made the contrast work better.
http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/sup ... 96987g.jpg
It's not gross to acknowledge there is a difference in the visual tonal look of white & non white people and so the individual's contrast with certain colors will work differently.
Let me be 100% clear, I am NOT in anyway saying or implying dark toned skin is not visually pleasing or is unattractive. Not better or worse just factually different.

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:fascist, cold, aloof, human hating murder bot that Henry Cavill has been stuck with for two films.

Making up insane irrational provably wrong descriptive lies sure proves your point.
SPOILER: Show
Mod's I agree this is off topic but he said that just to lash out at me personally I have the right to defend my point.
- If he was fascist he would have agreed with Batman or dragged him to the police on their very 1st encounter.
- He is cold to strangers as he is used to hiding, he is plenty warm around Lois, Martha and even the girl at the bar in Mos.
- Fearing how humans naturally react to certain things doesn't equal hating them.
- Killing in self defense or defense of others isn't murder.


View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth (Rush, lost over $20 million. Blackhat, lost over $100 million when advertising is included. In The Heart of the Sea, lost over $100 million or much much more when advertising included. The Huntsman: Winter's War, maybe $200 million or more lost?

Wow, that sucks, I heard Rush was really good. Both Rush & Heart of Sea are Ron Howard movies, his western The Missing was great IMO.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby Bagheera » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:20 pm

View Original Postmovieartman wrote:Making up insane irrational provably wrong descriptive lies sure proves your point.


You are way too invested in this, and should probably back off.
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I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby movieartman » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:27 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:You are way too invested in this, and should probably back off.

I agree and have tried but he keeps bringing it up in unrelated topics whenever we disagree on other things and does so in the most insufferably exaggerated ways possible.
I have zero care if people dislike the films, I have a problem with people who prod people who did like them out of spite.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby Tumbling Down » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:34 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Rather, GitS 2017 is a half-decent flick that compares to other mediocre film adaptations. (Think of the film adaptation of The Watchmen, but it's Ghost in the Shell instead.) It's got enough visual call-backs to convince fans that the filmmakers have seen the original(s) and "know what it's all about," but still ultimately lose their handling on the core appeal of the material to begin with, to the point where you wonder why they simply didn't make another sci-fi film that homages it just like The Matrix did

Eh, Watchmen isn't a good comparison here, because it was slavishly faithful to the original work.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:50 pm

View Original PostTumbling Down wrote:Eh, Watchmen isn't a good comparison here, because it was slavishly faithful to the original work.

It's faithful to the work's aesthetic (to a point), even to the point of recreating much of the work panel-for-panel. But it's clear throughout the film that the film's approach to violence is way more fetishized than the graphic novel's approach. Snyder shows Dr. Manhattan blowing up heads in a series of grotesquely detailed slo-motion shots, covering the event with extensive, porn-ish coverage. Meanwhile Moore and Gibbons show the same event in less detail and more disconnected. In the comic, the use of violence in Dr. Manhattan's backstory gets more and more visceral as he slowly rediscovers the importance of human life. This adds more moral weight to the graphically violent scene where Veidt's monster invades the city. The graphic presence of bloodshed punctuates the tragedy of Veidt's actions, and only Veidt's own logic was enough to try to justify it all.

The film's reframing of the violence in earlier scenes, as well as it's less-bloody nuclear ending, neuters the film's messaging from the source's original message. It becomes less about humanity and more about imaging and marketing. The film approaches the violence as though it needed to look cool in an 'R'-Rated comic book movie, so they refrained from depicting violence in a way that makes audiences question the hero's actions, even if questioning the hero's actions was the point of the depiction of the violence in the source material. It misses the core appeal in its approach to the source material, just like GitS 2017 did with its approach to its source material. Don't get fooled simply because both Sanders and Snyder know how to copy-paste cool looking cinematography.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby movieartman » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:54 pm

Ok full confession, I am one of those rare people who likes multiple versions of stories, a good number of remakes I tend to actively want to see happen. Even if they merely turn out decent rather then great/on par with the original, I still find it was worth the effort just for their to be a different and interesting in their own way variation on the original.
This whole concept of "ruining the original" is alien to me, the original will always still be there.

So I will admit I prefer to get a white washed GITS live action adaption rather then no live action adaption at all.
I think Scar looks more like the character honestly but Rinko Kikuchi would have made me plenty happy also, I just don't believe it ever would have happened.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:59 pm

With Ghost in the Shell they could have taken that risk on an Asian actress. They didn't. They gave an Asian leading role to a white woman. Now the biggest speaking role for an Asian actress in a major motion picture called Ghost in the Shell based on a Japanese movie set in a universe that fetishizes Asian culture is an middle aged woman making tea having to look across a table at Scarlett Johannson & ask if she's her daughter.
I think of some small Asian-American girl watching that scene & shudder.

Pop culture matters in the world. If you really are a movieARTman than fucking engage with it. Challenge it. Demand it to be better & mean something! Yes, a good movie can just be a feature you sit down with for two hours & let wash over you - I love 'The Shallows' & there is zero insight in that movie but it's got Blake Lively in a skin tight suit & a goddamn evil shark, also of note is Deep Blue Sea - but when discussions about a film point out flaws or issues that are problematic don't just shrug & go the film is what it is & that's okay. Don't just throw back some superficial scenes or plot points back as evidence like you do every time you take offense with something someone said about a popular movie.

The problem of Ghost in the Shell washing over an entire culture because white is normal is a far bigger issue than "tarnishing the original". It's a discussion about the world we live in & how we treat other people & want to be treated. It's a discussion that goes far beyond the fucking movie. I mean, your outlook on the issue is so myopic I really think you need to step back & think about the fact you’ve walked into the WHITE WASHING & DIVERSITY thread & your major contribution to the discussion is essentially “LITTLE TO NO DIVERSITY IS OKAY.” People shouldn’t all agree to engage in a discussion (in fact it’s better if they don’t) but basically you’re saying it’s a non-issue. When all is said and done the movie can go screw itself. It's just a 100 minute bit of commercial fluff designed to make money.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby NemZ » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:20 am

Without a big name attached to it this movie would never have been made in the first place. No star = no budget, no budget = shit cgi, shit cgi = why bother remaking it at all?

So no, nothing was lost at all by ScarJo taking that role because nobody, tea-making lady included, would have been cast for anything otherwise.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby movieartman » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:21 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Without a big name attached to it this movie would never have been made in the first place. No star = no budget, no budget = shit cgi, shit cgi = why bother remaking it at all?

So no, nothing was lost at all by ScarJo taking that role because nobody, tea-making lady included, would have been cast for anything otherwise.

Exactly my point.
I genuinely believe this film did more tangible good for the world by existing and providing the jobs it did then it would have by not existing and not offending anyone.

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:1 - With Ghost in the Shell they could have taken that risk on an Asian actress.

2 - Don't just throw back some superficial scenes or plot points back as evidence like you do every time you take offense with something someone said about a popular movie.

3 - “LITTLE TO NO DIVERSITY IS OKAY.”

4 - but basically you’re saying it’s a non-issue

1 - No, not a chance in hell they would ever have approved half the budget with a Asian lead. Maybe if they got a big name for one of the side characters but then they would have probably overshadowed the lead.

2 - In regards to the DCEU when I throw out examples of scenes & such, it's not superficial. It's what factually transpired on screen. Interpretation may vary I give you but when you say things like Superman hates humanity, no that is factually wrong. Not a single moment transpired in ether film that showed him even remotely holding malice towards humanity in general. Fear/distrust yes but that is far from hate.

3 - I'm not trying to argue if it is ok on a ethical level, I am trying to argue that it has zero barring on the film's film making quality or worthiness of being seen.

4 - Your right my last post made it sound like I meant that.
Sorry, It IS a issue. I just don't think tearing down this individual film will help. Nor do I believe the creators deserve it. I believe the blame lies in the audience who want brand actors above all else or actively don't want non whites as leads.

Now I'm not blind/dumb enough to fail to realize I contribute to that brand loving culture to a extent when I acknowledge I personally like remakes/reboots more then not. But I can't really help that. It's what I enjoy.

For the record "art" is in movieartman because I am a illustrator, not for any pretentious reason & because I suck at making usernames.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:12 am

View Original Postmovieartman wrote:Exactly my point.
I genuinely believe this film did more tangible good for the world by existing and providing the jobs it did then it would have by not existing and not offending anyone.

But if they hadn't made this film, they would have made another - there's no reason to think it was that or nothing. And in any case, there are plenty of arguments to suggest it could have been made in such a way as to cause less offence.

(Disclaimer: I haven't seen it yet, and so haven't yet set my own offence level.)
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:19 am

View Original Postmovieartman wrote:Ok full confession, I am one of those rare people who likes multiple versions of stories, a good number of remakes I tend to actively want to see happen.

This is why the original Ghost in the Shell exists, which is really more or less a different spin on a Blade Runner remake.

So I will admit I prefer to get a white washed GITS live action adaption rather then no live action adaption at all.

This is why The Martix exists.

Honestly, you can watch almost any sci-fi film out there and get better representation of GitS than you would with the actual live-action adaptation of GitS. GitS' aesthetic has been borrowed by so many other movies that it's impossible to enjoy GitS for what it really is unless the adaptations are really able to capture the core elements of the original work's enjoyability.

Within terms of modern book-to-film adaptations, I seriously think that Jurassic Park is one of the best examples. Not even LotR comes close to being as good of an adaptation than Jurassic Park. (I'm not saying that one book or movie titles better than the other, I'm simply stating that the adaptation process of one title was more adherent to the core values of its source material than the other was.) I could go into detail here, but this thread is more about white-washing and a lack of diversity in Hollywood. Maybe I'll go into detail later today on the actual Hollywood GitS thread.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby EvangelionFan » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:26 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Without a big name attached to it this movie would never have been made in the first place. No star = no budget, no budget = shit cgi, shit cgi = why bother remaking it at all?

So no, nothing was lost at all by ScarJo taking that role because nobody, tea-making lady included, would have been cast for anything otherwise.


if there is any doubt left that this is the case, there is an interview with direct Rupert Sanders on Motherboard in which he basically affirms this point (I'll quote some of the relevant sections, you can read the whole interview here):

SPOILER: Show
Rupert Sanders wrote:All films of this scale are hard to get made because it is a huge investment. You put the production fee, and then the marketing fee, and it's a big investment. I think my passion for the project is what kept is alive. There were a few times when it could have died. And then getting Scarlett was very key to getting this film made. Without her, we wouldn't have made this film.

Q: When the trailers and clips of the film first began to drop, did you hope people would also begin to view the film's casting on its merits?
Sanders: No, not really. I think the controversy to me is…look, I obviously have put a lot of thought into this. I don't think there is any smokescreen that because you cast Scarlett Johansson in a role in a Japanese anime that is now not a Japanese anime but is an international film. I think Oshii said it best—she is a cyborg shell and she has no race, and he said Scarlett is the best person in the world to play Major. That was reassuring. She is not playing a Japanese person, she is playing a machine in a shell created by an American multinational corporation, in this case.

Q: You mentioned the film might have died at several points. Would this whitewashing controversy have contributed to that?
No. People weren't calling up [Martin] Scorsese when he was making The Departed and said 'Why aren't you using Asian actors?' He took an Asian film, and made an American and international film out of it. We have an incredibly diverse cast. We have cast members from Syria, from Zimbabwe, from Fuji, Australia, Denmark, from England, from America.

I think when people see the film, it is ultimately an international and global film starring a global lead. You need Scarlett Johansson if you are opening a film in Russia as well as in Tokyo.


The point that Scarlett Johansson is an actress will international appeal is significantly important to understanding why the film found it financial support: though it's a Hollywood adaptation, it's one that has been advertised and screened in many parts of the English-speaking world (we had TV spots here in Australia and I won't be surprised to see another one before the end of the week) and will undoubtedly be subtitled in several other languages in the course of its run.

Also relevant are Sander's remarks about The Major's cyborg body: though I'd argue that it isn't so clear if this is the case in the film, he states that Hanka Corportation (the creators of the cyborg body) is an American multinational corporation. In the context of the story, I feel this sheds some light on the reason as to why the corporation would create a Cyborg body that has Caucasian features and then use that as the new body for a deceased Japanese woman: it was likely going to be an American body no matter whose brain was tested with it.

Additional points which are spoilers  SPOILER: Show
In the course of the story, Dr. Ouelet (an original character who is the creator of The Major's cyborg body, portrayed by Juliette Binoche) admits that The Major is actually the 99th test subject, and so far the only one to successfully accept transplantation into a cyborg body. I believe it'd be ... uneconomic for a corporation to design and create a fresh body for each experiment. And in that sort of sample size it's probably unlikely that all of the test subjects would've been the same racial background given the diversity of the setting. It's sensible for the American corporation to model their after themselves, and for Dr. Ouelet - who acts as a pseudo-mother figure for The Major, offering guidance about her memory-glitches, and tending to her wounds - it probably seemed natural to design a cyborg body that had a Caucasian appearance as she does.

I find this line of thought particularly compelling given that Kuze had also been a test subject, only, he had been seen a failure as his brain had been unable to fully accept the cybernetic body. Both Mokoto (the Major's original 'being') and Hideo (obviously, Kuze) had been homeless people who were killed by the Hanka corporation/Cutter and were used as test subjects for the experiments. Even though Hideo/Kuze is implied to have originally been Japanese, he too appears to have been inserted into a cyborg body with a Caucasian appearance - and as there's no suggestion in the film that the body he has isn't also the one he was inserted into, and nothing is said to suggest he had to scavenge another body (only parts for repair - and not that there'd be another body, as both he and The Major are regarded in the film as prototypes), it's fair to believe that Hanka corporations 'male' cyborg body is Caucasian for the same simple explanation.

In the movie The Major and Kuze are both prototypes, and as their predecessors were as well, I highly doubt the engineers would've bothered with individualizing the bodies beyond male/female while they were still testing to see if they could implant a consciousness into one.

The Hanka Corporation is implied to abducted people to use as test subjects, by the way - and so when I was watching it was pretty worrying that somewhere to the tune of a hundred people had been abducted and underwent surgery in which their brains were taken out of their bodies and inserted into artificial bodies against their will, with the strong possibility that they would not survive the process as it had never been attempted. And to me, that's scary - scarier alone than that body happening to have a different appearance than the one you naturally had when you were born human. I have to note that in The Major's case it's somewhat diluted as she had a year of adjusting to the lifestyle of the artificial body presumably without access to any memories of her life before the transplantation, and before she began to investigate those memories in any serious way.

Which brings me to the 'medicine' that The Major takes 'in order to keep her brain stable in the cybernetic body'. There's a scene in the first act when she tells Batou that she has to take it, otherwise her brain will reject the cybernetic body. But it's also said by Dr. Ouelet that the medicine keeps her code stable and suppresses the 'glitches' that occur in her vision from time to time, and IIRC the Doctor acquires consent from The Major to delete the glitch data. It's unclear if Dr. Ouelet is honest about this, though, and this is doubt is affirmed by Kuze who states that the medicine actually has a different purpose - to suppress the memories of her original life. The 'glitches' are the original memories of Motoko.

I'm aware that this is all a bit around the block on the new argument that the story actually 'whitewashes' Motoko by inserting her into an artificial body which is caucasian, suppressing her memories of her life in her original body, and providing her a name which is apparently anglo-saxon in origin. That is why I've been at pains to point out that, in the context of the story, the cyborg bodies - The Major's and Kuze's - likely would've probably been caucasian in any case because of the interests of the people who were creating it. I don't believe that the altogether different racial appearance of their artificial bodies is more serious of a concern than that they had been abducted, sedated for surgery against their consent, had their brains removed from their bodies against their consent, and had their brains inserted and connected to a cybernetic body which their biology would likely reject (or, in Kuze's case, struggle to adapt to) ... and on top of all that, if they survived the transplant, having their memories suppressed and being lied to about their past so that they would participate in what was essentially a extended test phase as a soldier/agent in Section 9.

That's what I feel is important to take away from this adaptation - the unprecedented violation of their humanity. (I have to say, in the original work and other adaptations I'd always assumed that The Major had wanted to acquire and/or willingly accepted a new cyborg body as a necessary part of her profession - IIRC in 2nd Gig, the Major did have cybernetic bodies when she was younger for medical purposes, and though I thought this film would toe that line, the films' story and interpretation of it is strongly compelling for the ethical questions that it poses. (It's probably a little too similar in that regard to the recent Robocop remake - that's what I thought of an hour or so after walking out of the theater - though it does a serviceable job of it all the same.)

One last point. Mokoto's original Mother (portrayed by Kaori Momoi) upon meeting the Major for the first time, is shown to have inklings about the Major's identity and IIRC remarks that the Major reminders her of her daughter. It did come across a bit awkward at first given that the Major has no physical resemblance to her daughter Motoko, but apparently she senses similarities to her daughter's nature in The Major. And might I mention that the Cat is immediately friendly to the Major? My point is that, if there's anywhere in the film that there's an inkling of a Ghost in the Shell it's here, and it's affirmed in the ending in the cemetery scene where Mokoto's mother embraces The Major as her daughter (and is later shown uncovering all of Motoko's original belongs, which had been covered when The Major first visited as her mother had been believed her to be dead) as she is alive: and that her daughter is alive and is with her is more important than that her daughter is in a different body speaks volumes about what actually matters in this film, and what doesn't.


I admit the above is ... in the vein of what we could call fanwankery. These forums are (in)famous for that though ( :wink: ), so I feel it's appropriate, at least to offer some insight into why things in the film are the way they are, and what that means for it.

If you can guess from what I've said so far, I feel the whitewashing arguments about this film aren't all that compelling. I can see where they come from, though in the end, I am inclined to agree with Sanders (and NemZ and MovieArtman by association) that this film - and any Ghost in the Shell adaption of this scope - would have unlikely have been greenlit in this day and age if not for the involvement of an internationally recognisable lead actress such as Scarlett Johansson. And as others have pointed out, it's difficult to identify an Asian-American actress - or Asian actress - in the appropriate age group to play the part and with a similar level of broad appeal to sell the film to internationals audiences and to potential investors.

In that regard - and as I said in my remarks in the other thread - the film is the way it is and there ain't no changin' it, and so though it's undoubtedly weaker than the other major works in the franchise, I feel it's important to roll with it and if you find something to appreciate in it, that's great.


P.S. for Mods - I notice that the past page or two has been bleeding onto the sort of discussion I anticipated in the 'Hollywood's Ghost in the Shell' thread. If you feel this post belongs there, feel free to move it.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:13 am

I spoiled the whole thing in my post, so I'm just gonna tag it appropriately. If you haven't been spoiled to the film yet, just know that all of its racial issues could have easily and effortlessly been solves in the scripting without very many changes on the production level. If you still wanna know the details as to how, read the spoiler.

SPOILER: Show
It's weird how Hollywood will try to make a claim about a movie being "internationally marketed" because they have other races surrounding their white protagonist. I sense some accidental nationalistic self-centeredness around those claims by the studios. That all being said, it would have been no-harm-no-foul if they had treated it like either The Departed or even The Great Wall. (Or, heck, maybe even Kong: Skull Island, which is indeed an internationally produced film.) Don't have a white person playing someone named "Motoko" in a densely Asian-populated part of the world. It doesn't even make sense canonically. Why would Section 9 use non-native looking cyborgs for undercover missions where the agents being inconspicuous is essential to the mission's success? (Also, did we get any confirmation about the actual setting of this movie? I feel as though that would be important to either side of this debate.)

ScarJo playing Major Formerly Known As Mokoto is more tone-deaf than anything else. The film makes a racially ambiguous statement, then doesn't do anything with it. It doesn't explore what the characters think of the racial implications of the situation. And since the racially ambiguous statement already rides the line of being too controversial in the first place, many people are going to naturally react to that controversial statement adversely.

Sure, we can still have ScarJo play Major, but not Major Formerly Known As Mokoto. We can have a heavily technologically integrated setting in which the narrative could take place, but not have it look like Hong Kong. It's so easy to get off of the racially controversial statements made by this movie without have to do very many changes on a production level that it astounds me that none of the filmmakers or there studios involved took the bait. If the studio was convinced that they need ScarJo (or Margot Robbie, as was discussed early on in the production) for either their idea of international appeal, or to simply feel more comfortable spending all this money, then they could have solved all of these race issues on a scripting level. And they could have done that by either completely Westernizing the location or by scripting an actual exploration into Major's racially weird canonical situation and making a solid statement on it within the narrative. They chose to do neither of those things.


But, in the end, I don't know if anything would have made a difference financially. This movie wasn't going to make lot of money either way. It's only coming in a $1.8 Million domestically this Monday morning after the premiere. It's a dud, and, racial issues aside, feels only as competent as a direct-to-video early 90's action flick with some surprisingly impressive production design.

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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:59 am

The real irony here is that ScarJo isn't inappropriate for the role -- in most GitS media Motoko doesn't know who she really is, and for all she knows she might been a white girl or a black boy or any of a hundred other things. The fact she doesn't know, and is trying to establish and maintain an identity for herself when all she has to work with is her cyberbrain, is the core struggle that makes GitS work. The movie fell down hard when it gave the Major a concrete identity, because in addition to creating all sorts of whitewashing problems it also essentially nuked the conflict that makes GitS what it is.

In short, this was all avoidable, and that's true even with ScarJo headlining the cast. All the filmmakers really had to do was watch the original films and pay attention.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby xtr00kvltcorex » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:46 am

I was worried the live action GitS would drain some of the depth from the original and SAC, and here we are, unfortunately not proven wrong. Sigh.

Hopefully they take note with this AKIRA remake they continuously try and get off the ground, though history dictates it'll suffer the same fate as GitS.
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Re: Whitewashing And Diversity In Hollywood?

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Postby movieartman » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:51 am

Thanks for the detailed breakdown & Sanders quotes EvangelionFan.

View Original PostBagheera wrote:and for all she knows she might been a white girl or a black boy or any of a hundred other things.

This is true, in SAC its implied the Major may not be female, as Batou at one point resentmentally ponders why she choose a female form.

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Re: Hollywood's "Ghost in the Shell"

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Postby robersora » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:37 pm

I've watched Ghost in the Shell in cinemas. It was pretty, and I was not bored. This is all I could hope for coming out of a Hollywood movie.
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