Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Geeky Bellyaching: Miscasting Ghost in the Shell

A recent bit of Hollywood stupidity, casting a white woman in an Asian woman role.  I'm not going to touch on the systematic racism in Hollywood.  

It's just the visible part of a larger corporate racism.  An aged old ideal in the American Corporate media that whites should be at the center of everything.  No, the thing I'm going to bitch about Ghost in the Shell is this.

Why does it need a live action film?

Oh.  Right.  "Cartoons" don't could as film.  Even the best anime gets drawn into this.  Rather than change the nature or scope of film, let's spurn traditional animation.  in favor of live action adaptation.  Again.


I'm not talking about computer, 3D animation.  Which is fine.  Digital animation has its perks, and feels like new kind of artform to be explored.  But it feels like something is lacking at a larger level.

Let's Compare to Gaming.

Video games, as seems apt, have a interesting aesthetic divide that films don't seem to share.  As video games solidify as a medium, it'll be interesting to see how much the difference between indie and AAA will matter.  Compared to film though, the video game space seems fine with exploring aesthetics.

They don't discard the old looks of yesteryear.  Video Games, unlike film, can have a critically acclaimed game that is 8bit.  Or borrows from two or three old school mechanics.  Film, has abandoned the beauty of the old school, traditional, or "flat" animation.

Oh, animated films still exist in the US.  They are just relegated to the corner.  They aren't "correct."  Although the traditional aethestic exists online, it still feels like it's missed.

Not as childhood imagery.  Or some corner case adaptations of graphic novels.  Like indie video games, we need new animated, indie films.  Stories that explore that older aesthetic that larger studios have ignored.  I imagine costs separate them these days.  But I wonder.  Animation methods grow and technology improves.  How long until the flash animating generation can match the Disney animation of the 40s?

Last Note.

By the way, yes, there is systematic biases in place for film.  Certain films only will get made if X actor or actress is in a film.  Most often X has that "standard" of white skinned and pretty.

A side effect of a corporate media is that they tend to go for the easiest, lowest common denominator.   People like sugar?  Put more in.  People like skinny, pretty girls?  Put more in.  Shiny?  Put more shiny in.

Popular doesn't necessarily equate to wrong or evil.  But last year, geeky films got not one, but two powerful female characters.  It'd be nice to see more diverse actors shine in the limelight.

I don't disagree with the people upset over the casting of Ghost in the Shell.  I just have a deeper, more fundamental quibble.  I don't like live action adaptations of animated material.  I think animation deserves it's own elaboration and exploration.

There is a beauty in dreams rendered such ways.  Like comics or paintings, there is something to an animated image.  Something that the pure realism of live action can never match.