+ Introduction by Shōji Kawamori, anime creator, and mechanical designer on Ghost in the Shell.
Japan 1995 Dir Mamoru Oshii, 83 min Digital presentation
How human are you if every part of you is cybernetic and you're not even sure who controls your brain?
Based on a successful manga by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell takes us into a world where brains can be hacked, memories erased and fake ones implanted, where it's easy to upgrade your human body for superior cybernetic equipment and where unenhanced people are rapidly becoming an underclass.
It asks what is the purpose, and the future, of humanity, and how we might deal with any sentience we create.
The movie, a Japanese-British co-production part-funded by Manga Entertainment, is recognised as inspiration for The Matrix and the work of James Cameron. Its heady brew of glossy technology, political intrigue and philosophical enquiry remains compelling two decades on, tempting Scarlett Johanssen into the role for a 2017 live action version. Mamoru Oshii's movie is both more primal and more sophisticated than the 2017 remake.