ghost in the shell - avalon - stray dog - tachiguishi retsuden - innocence - patlabor
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).
What motivated you to take on this project, "Tachiguishi Retsuden", after "Innocence" ?
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.
Why did you use the idea of the 2D, stop-motion style characters?
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): ghost in the retell
"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?
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.
The new movie is obsessed with fast-food. How important is food to you personally?
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) - ash weapons up
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?
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.
The world of "Tachiguishi Retsuden" is a very surreal place. Do you think the real world is just as surreal?
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.
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?
He lives in a world of fantasy; in other words he's a citizen of the moon.
What are your thoughts on American fast food franchises like McDonalds and KFC?
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.
How do you feel now about "Innocence" and its reception (in Japan & internationally)? Did people understand
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.
"Tachiguishi" is a project you've been thinking about for almost two decades. What would you like to do next?
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.