Ghost in the Shell Director Mamoru Oshii Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Fantasia Opening Night
Thursday evening, not more than 10 minutes after 7:45PM, the DB Clarke Theatre, hidden in the Sir George Williams underground, became a gathering place for a great number of fans and press alike. A little chaotic at the beginning but mainly a warm and welcoming atmosphere, there couldn't be a better environment in which to present Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii his well-earned Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ghost in the Shell. The 1995-anime depicting a dark world where humans and computers are practically one reignited waves of nostalgia, appreciation for the many philosophical questions it allowed us to pose, and of course, was more than well-received by the heated audience. Seeing the manga-based tour de force remastered on the big screen was more than a gift to all those who waited--a sold out crowd of nearly 400.
But while submerging ourselves in such a rare pleasure was one thing, the true prize of the night was the chance to hear Mamoru Oshii answer our questions, just before his piece transported us to another realm. What was this man--dressed so casually, donning a statement black tee and a gray hat nearly covering his eyes--going to be like? He seemed very sweet yet entirely shy at first, but what followed revealed to us a man who knew exactly where he had been and where he was going, and mostly, one unafraid to be himself.
Mamoru Oshii definitely knows how to keep an audience at the edge of their seat. Throughout the Q & A session, he had everyone in tears, laughing ridiculously at his playful truths, while also having them approve of his ideologies. On one end he stated the main difference between the original manga and his own version of Ghost in the Shell was the size of Motoko's breasts. At another, he illustrated that every movie has its own lifespan, and once it is no longer shown in theatres, that is when it meets its fate.
His answers were thoroughly genuine, always powerful and built up to a climax. He admitted he likes women who are passionate and destructive, he doesn't enjoy going to the movies often, nor does he watch his films after the first screening. He demonstrated to us that he is creative and carefree, and that he can do whatever he wants.
And as he went unto some other venture, he left us with three gifts: the screening of Ghost in the Shell, a preview of his upcoming work Garm Wars: The Last Druid, and of course, a wonderful memory of such a charismatic man.