Ghost in the Shell Trailer Questions Identity, Kicks Ass

By  · Published on November 13th, 2016

After many teases, finally a full-length look.

For all our technology, the modern world can be quite isolating. Social media and texting, facetiming, all these sorts of things, we think they bring us closer together but studies and research show they can also make us lonelier, because in essence we’re swapping personal relationships for public displays of friendship, we’re involved with each other without actually being involved. Think about it: there’s a good chance you know what someone you went to elementary school with had for dinner this week, either because they posted a picture of their meal, they tagged themselves at a location, or they mentioned it in one update or another, and despite the fact that you haven’t been in the same physical space as them in years, maybe decades. That doesn’t make you friends with that person, not by far, but because you’re up-to-speed with the day-to-day of their lives, you feel like you’re friends, and the resulting imbalance between perception and reality leads to loneliness. And that’s not even getting into the comparative issues…

Point is, the more we connect with each other in virtual space, the more we disconnect from each other in the world. You see it reflected in media everywhere from Wall-E to Her to Mr. Robot, this sense that we’re trading individual identity for technological process, that we’re slowly turning ourselves into data and nothing more, just numbers to be processed, none distinguishable from any other, simply things to be counted.

Add the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell – which today released its first trailerto the list of films that reflect the effects of techno-isolation on the individual. In between the vibrant displays of violent acrobatics and dazzling VFX sequences, there are contemplative musings on identity, reality, verisimilitude, and everywhere they overlap.

Recalling Blade Runner and Inception in its design, Ghost in the Shell certainly has the look of its source material dead-on (unless you count decidedly non-Asian Scarlett Johansson, which many, many people do), and things appear for the most part to be faithful narratively as well (except again, ScarJo is white as hell). If you don’t know the story, here’s the official synopsis:

Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.

Check out the trailer below, then the poster below that. The film – directed by Rupert Sanders and co-starring Takeshi Kitano and Juliette Binoche – opens March 31st, 2017.

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