de-VICE #2

mamoru oshii - 2006

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de-VICE #1

ghost in the shell - avalon - stray dog - tachiguishi retsuden - innocence - patlabor

mamoru_oshii.jpg
oshii in that tuxedo he always swore not to wear...

Mamoru Oshii is one of Japan's best-known animation directors for "Ghost In The Shell" (1995), its sequel "Innocence" (2004), and the "Patlabor" series. But he's also helmed some dazzling (as well as at times bizarre) live-action flicks like "Avalon" and "Stray Dog".

Now he's back with a movie that falls somewhere between anime and reality: "Tachiguishi Retsuden", a.k.a. The Amazing Life Of The Fast Food Grifters.

de-VICE hack journo Andrez Bergen caught up with Oshii-san for a quick Q&A session (below). For a more in-depth overview of Oshi's career, head back to de-VICE #1 (link at bottom of this page).

de-VICE:
What motivated you to take on this project, "Tachiguishi Retsuden", after "Innocence" [2004]?

OSHII-SAN:
There is no particular connection between the two movies. It's just that I made a sort of personal rule according which after each animated feature I direct a something using a different technique.

de-VICE:
Why did you use the idea of the 2D, stop-motion style characters?

OSHII-SAN:
I could not think out of any method but this one, as I realized that this project was not suitable for traditional animation, and at the same time I felt impossible to reproduce Japan as it was 50 years ago with standard live-action techniques.

innocence_2004.jpg
innocence (2004): ghost in the retell

de-VICE:
"Tachiguishi Retsuden" is a lot funnier than some of your darker, more cerebral projects work like "Innocence" and "Avalon" - although there were funny moments even in those movies. Is humour something that's important to you?

OSHII-SAN:
I've always liked humorous movies and gags in the first place. But in Japan, it seems that the audience prefers serious movies. I'd love to make a big budget comedy movie, but the current Japanese film industry would hardly allow such a project.

de-VICE:
The new movie is obsessed with fast-food. How important is food to you personally?

OSHII-SAN:
Eating can be considered as a most primordial desire, and includes elements such as appetite as well as fantasy (imagination). Every single human being attributes particular values to some specific food, and I regard this as a sort of individual fantasy and a primal root of desire.

avalon_2001.jpg
avalon (2001) - ash weapons up

de-VICE:
By now we all know that dogs are important in your life - but how do you feel about cats? ...taking into account the cat burger in the movie?

OSHII-SAN:
I do love cats, too. But unfortunately they do not like humans as much as dogs do. Incidentally, the cat used for the cat burger scene is my wife's.

de-VICE:
The world of "Tachiguishi Retsuden" is a very surreal place. Do you think the real world is just as surreal?

OSHII-SAN:
The post-war Japan I depicted in the movie may not necessarily be faithful to reality. It's Japan as it has remained imprinted in my memory, and this could explain why it looks surreal.

de-VICE:
At the end of the new movie that character says, in English, "I'm standing on the moon". Is there a meaning behind these words? And why in English?

OSHII-SAN:
He lives in a world of fantasy; in other words he's a citizen of the moon.

de-VICE:
What are your thoughts on American fast food franchises like McDonalds and KFC?

OSHII-SAN:
There was a period during which I was quite fond of that kind of food. But then I started rejecting it. I think that big fast food chains tend to standardize human beings.

de-VICE:
How do you feel now about "Innocence" and its reception (in Japan & internationally)? Did people understand the movie?

OSHII-SAN:
I think it will take five more years before being able to answer to this question. Until that, I think that "Innocence" will remain a movie understood by a very limited number of people.

de-VICE:
"Tachiguishi" is a project you've been thinking about for almost two decades. What would you like to do next?

OSHII-SAN:
It is my intention to make a more orthodox animated movie. A love story between a man and a woman. You may not believe me, but I'm quite serious.

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links:

HIT HERE FOR MAMORU OSHII INTERVIEW FROM 2004 - "INNOCENCE" - de-VICE #1

"TACHIGUISHI RETSUDEN" MOVIE REVIEW HERE

KENJI KAWAI INTERVIEW (2006)

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