- Member: ExtremeKitsch
- Studio: Sic Friatur Crustulum
- Title: Quest and Conquest
- Premiered: 2005-08-24
- Loudermilk Mai
In this video, I sought to explore the thematic elements present in the movie I took the anime from, "The Ghost in the Shell". The title of the video, "Quest and Conquest", highlights the main idea of the movie - the quest for and conquest of the human nature. The "quest" can be seen in The Major's deliberations on the nature of ghosts - her ghost, the Puppet Master's ghost, and if possessing a ghost (synonymous with "soul" or "animus") is enough to make one human. The "conquest" is in the control over these ghosts that the cybernetics manufacturers engineer - the ability to create human dolls, whether or not they possess a true animus, is a thinly-veiled step towards godhood, towards controlling creation, and thus, the human nature.
With those ideas in mind, I also wanted to explore the cycle of evolution present in the movie. We see in the progress of the movie something akin to the human experience. The Major goes through phases - she is 'born' or 'created', she is, she begins to question her existence, she engages in union with another being (The Puppet Master), her physical form dies, and she is reborn into a new form. There are both mental and physical manifestations of these transitions - the physical being primarily violent, and accounting for the violent scenes in this video.
I created a linear timeline for the evolution of the major, but not all the scenes are part of the literal temporality. I also used a great deal of footage symbolically. The literal timeline goes like this: birth (the use of the ocean scenes is symbolic for The Major's birth, as she is a cyborg and has a somewhat Freudian confusion towards her true mother; the ocean is her surrogate womb), physical experience (the assassination of a diplomat), reflection (on her dual human/mechanical nature), major conflict (the battle with the tank), union (the scenes with The Puppet Master), death of the physical form (her destruction), and rebirth (the transition to the body of the child). That is the direct order of movement in the video. Along the way are cut-scenes and meditative insertions designed to enhance the temporal movement. [The ones I particularly like are towards the end: a scene of the evolutionary tree being destroyed right up to the word 'hominis' (Latin for men), and then a scene of The Major rising and walking off into darkness, a symbolic rendition of her death and rebirth.]
For those not familiar with the movie, I think the symbolism of the video will be better understood if you see it. There's a lot more to the video I haven't covered here, but you have eyes, and I'm sure you can see it for yourself. Enjoy!