I just watched Ghost in the Shell 2017

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And what was exactly wrong? I mean, it didn't follow the anime fully but I'm okay with that. I don't need things to follow their cartoon representation exactly (Beauty and the Beast, looking at you).

I would have given it a 6 or 7/10 (need more time to process to get a final number). So adequate would be the term. I remember people not liking this. Am I mistaken?

It's less about not following the anime's plot and more about not containing the same level of depth with its philosophical themes and being more of a generic action scifi movie that's the issue. That and anime being really really hard to do justice in live action.

But yeah a 6 is a fair rating, it's not the worst thing ever made nor is it dragonball evolution levels of bad. It's just that Masamune Shirow's masterpiece deserves nothing below a 10/10 movie to feel befitting so anything less will be met with severe criticism.

To be fair none of the movies have done the show real justice. Even the original film had horrible, horrible pacing issues where you had long bouts of nothing happening at all followed by extremely densely packed clusters of stuff happening all at once.

Though apparently this one also had the issue of ScarJo playing the major despite not really making much sense and probably having better actors available who would have fit the role better, though I'm not sure if that ended up mattering much in the end.

Still havn't seen it yet, but will this weekend.

Would you say its simalar to Final Fantasy: The Sprits Within then? There would be alot less hate for it if it had ANY other name?

trunkage:
And what was exactly wrong? I mean, it didn't follow the anime fully but I'm okay with that. I don't need things to follow their cartoon representation exactly (Beauty and the Beast, looking at you).

I would have given it a 6 or 7/10 (need more time to process to get a final number). So adequate would be the term. I remember people not liking this. Am I mistaken?

The main problem seems to be, as I see it, that a bunch of people got pissy over the fact that a white woman was cast to play the role of a cybernetic/prosthetic body that happened to house the memory wiped mind of a Japanese character.

twistedmic:

trunkage:
And what was exactly wrong? I mean, it didn't follow the anime fully but I'm okay with that. I don't need things to follow their cartoon representation exactly (Beauty and the Beast, looking at you).

I would have given it a 6 or 7/10 (need more time to process to get a final number). So adequate would be the term. I remember people not liking this. Am I mistaken?

The main problem seems to be, as I see it, that a bunch of people got pissy over the fact that a white woman was cast to play the role of a cybernetic/prosthetic body that happened to house the memory wiped mind of a Japanese character.

Well, at least they tried to explain the white washing. Doesn't explain some of the other peeps on the team

It's just one of those movies where it's clear from the outset that it's going to pale in comparison to the original, so why the hell even bother. It's like remaking Ben-Hur, or The Shinning, or Robocop. Added to this is that GitS '95 (which is what most people are familiar with) was as memorable as it was because of the animated visuals. Then there's the problem of GitS being a major influence on The Matrix, so remaking GitS into a live-action movie trying the emulate the anime is just going to make it look like a flimsy Matrix rip-off. All this topped off by a white-washing controversy.

Got a 4/10 from me when I reviewed it.

I've never seen the original GitS, but it did come out the same year as Blade Runner 2049, and it really suffers in comparison. The world feels empty and barely fleshed out. The characters are like, ahem, 'shells' - stock, with no real personality. The plot is weak. The action is kinda meh. It's just a dull movie overall.

twistedmic:
The main problem seems to be, as I see it, that a bunch of people got pissy over the fact that a white woman was cast to play the role of a cybernetic/prosthetic body that happened to house the memory wiped mind of a Japanese character.

It's more that people got rightly irritated that in the 21st century Hollywood still literally can't bring itself to put an Asian actress in a starring role to the point of creating a convoluted story explanation as to why it was okay for them to cast a (horrendously over-used and quite mediocre) white actress instead.

I mean, I'm sure there is someone out there who can't figure out the very obvious meaning of the film's title, but for everyone else, the problem wasn't and isn't diegetic. It's not that it's impossible or inconsistent with the film's universe that an asian person's mind could be put into a white cyborg body, although this is a property created by someone who basically decided that minds have a fixed sex/gender in order to get out of drawing a dudes butt or making a character canonically queer, so who knows.

But the real problem isn't diegetic. It isn't to do with the story or the coherence of the story explanations, it's to do with the way non-white people and in this case asian actors in particular are treated by the entertainment industry, still overwhelmingly overlooked for starring roles and, when they are cast, are often asian stereotypes, side characters or comic relief. The fact that a property which seems tailor made for an asian lead was specifically written to explain why the lead character was white is just an example of this problem.

Yeah, it was alright. It wasn't anything beyond and Scarlett Johannson didn't bring anything to the character to justify her playing someone named "Motoko Kusanagi", but script and direction were okay. It's a mostly watchable movie.

I don't know what happened to Juliette Binoche, but her acting in this movie was just - Jesus it was terrible. Combine her wooden performance with ScarJo's stoicism, which is normally mistaken for acting, and you have some truly awkward scenes.

The dialogue was also composed of expositional "future speak", which is fine for stuff like TV, but mixing that garbage with bad actors makes for unintentionally funny moments. And then there was one huge character flaw that I just can't forgive:

Frezzato:
I don't know what happened to Juliette Binoche, but her acting in this movie was just - Jesus it was terrible. Combine her wooden performance with ScarJo's stoicism, which is normally mistaken for acting, and you have some truly awkward scenes.

The dialogue was also composed of expositional "future speak", which is fine for stuff like TV, but mixing that garbage with bad actors makes for unintentionally funny moments. And then there was one huge character flaw that I just can't forgive:

I had similar problems with Cutter. Not one of his (seemingly) huge and well equipped army stopped to think... Maybe this guy is using us to clean house. We're to eradicate a whole section? Because one went rogue? And then, when the protagonist is cornered, he asks his men to go away so he can kill them himself?

The Japanese liked Scarlett Johansson. Literally, people representing the country where GitS came from, thought Scarlett was a good choice. But, true to our nature, us white folks either didn't notice or acknowledge their feelings. As a lowly faculty assistant from my middle school once said, when I rightfully counter-insulted a friend, "Well I'm offended for her, so you're in trouble."

Friendly reminder: The Japanese people felt the "Japanese Juggernaut" boom of the 80's at least as much as us Americans did. For a time, our aesthetics was reflected on their popular culture. Think about it: Why were so many 90's anime influenced at least in part by Western sci-fi/fantasy concepts? The Slayers is pretty much an exaggerated game of D&D, Cowboy Bebop is a fusion of Americanized kung fu and western-movie aesthetic; speaking of outlaws, Outlaw Star is what happens when Ghost in the Shell, a property already heavily influenced by German sci-fi robotics, meets Cowboy Bebop.
Besides, you ever wonder why anime characters for most of the 80's, 90's and 00's were pale? As in, not the same skin shade as the actual Japanese people? It's because they were trying to appeal to us.
And that mentality, whether they know it or not, carried over into their impression of ScarJo as Major Kusanagi. They said that ScarJo looks like the Major, so they're happy with it.
But, again, Western audiences, who were hyper-sensitive to racial blunders in 2017 - something something orange president something - this white-washing was perceived as something probably far, FAR more offensive than it probably was.

As for more cinematic nuts-and-bolts complaints, I got nothing. Never seen the movie. I imagine it's okay, but it might've been better if it had the freedom of imagination that comes from being a 2D animation.

PFCboom:
The Japanese liked Scarlett Johansson. Literally, people representing the country where GitS came from, thought Scarlett was a good choice. But, true to our nature, us white folks either didn't notice or acknowledge their feelings. As a lowly faculty assistant from my middle school once said, when I rightfully counter-insulted a friend, "Well I'm offended for her, so you're in trouble."

Friendly reminder: The Japanese people felt the "Japanese Juggernaut" boom of the 80's at least as much as us Americans did. For a time, our aesthetics was reflected on their popular culture. Think about it: Why were so many 90's anime influenced at least in part by Western sci-fi/fantasy concepts? The Slayers is pretty much an exaggerated game of D&D, Cowboy Bebop is a fusion of Americanized kung fu and western-movie aesthetic; speaking of outlaws, Outlaw Star is what happens when Ghost in the Shell, a property already heavily influenced by German sci-fi robotics, meets Cowboy Bebop.
Besides, you ever wonder why anime characters for most of the 80's, 90's and 00's were pale? As in, not the same skin shade as the actual Japanese people? It's because they were trying to appeal to us.
And that mentality, whether they know it or not, carried over into their impression of ScarJo as Major Kusanagi. They said that ScarJo looks like the Major, so they're happy with it.
But, again, Western audiences, who were hyper-sensitive to racial blunders in 2017 - something something orange president something - this white-washing was perceived as something probably far, FAR more offensive than it probably was.

As for more cinematic nuts-and-bolts complaints, I got nothing. Never seen the movie. I imagine it's okay, but it might've been better if it had the freedom of imagination that comes from being a 2D animation.

You know a lot of this criticism of Western culture is a self regulation thing right? We (as part of Western beliefs) are critical of everything to make sure that we DON'T overstep bounds. Hence the reactionary groups showing up like Proud Boys or MAGAs who can't handle criticism and only care about their liberty and anyone's else freedom is irrelevant.

I thought the salient point was that this was a great opportunity for a Asian-American actress to get a lead and they weren't given the chance. You know because the character is originally Asian.

All the economic side you stated, I can understand. But all you're points highlighted how society and economics reinforce that only whites can have lead roles.

You're literally proving these SJWs right

PFCboom:
The Japanese liked Scarlett Johansson. Literally, people representing the country where GitS came from, thought Scarlett was a good choice. But, true to our nature, us white folks either didn't notice or acknowledge their feelings. As a lowly faculty assistant from my middle school once said, when I rightfully counter-insulted a friend, "Well I'm offended for her, so you're in trouble."

Friendly reminder: The Japanese people felt the "Japanese Juggernaut" boom of the 80's at least as much as us Americans did. For a time, our aesthetics was reflected on their popular culture. Think about it: Why were so many 90's anime influenced at least in part by Western sci-fi/fantasy concepts? The Slayers is pretty much an exaggerated game of D&D, Cowboy Bebop is a fusion of Americanized kung fu and western-movie aesthetic; speaking of outlaws, Outlaw Star is what happens when Ghost in the Shell, a property already heavily influenced by German sci-fi robotics, meets Cowboy Bebop.
Besides, you ever wonder why anime characters for most of the 80's, 90's and 00's were pale? As in, not the same skin shade as the actual Japanese people? It's because they were trying to appeal to us.
And that mentality, whether they know it or not, carried over into their impression of ScarJo as Major Kusanagi. They said that ScarJo looks like the Major, so they're happy with it.
But, again, Western audiences, who were hyper-sensitive to racial blunders in 2017 - something something orange president something - this white-washing was perceived as something probably far, FAR more offensive than it probably was.

As for more cinematic nuts-and-bolts complaints, I got nothing. Never seen the movie. I imagine it's okay, but it might've been better if it had the freedom of imagination that comes from being a 2D animation.

for a post complaining about people taking for japanese people

you sure are

uh

speaking for japanese people

The whole thing with Motoko being Asian or not kinda goes both ways.

In anime, chars who aren't officially stated to be non-japanese (or who don't exist in fictional places) are Japanese. Things like hair color or eye shape do not define race but rather personality traits. For example, the blond drill haired puffy western dress wearing girl is a million times more likely to be a Japanese rich young lady than anything else, while the redhead who yells a lot is not a ginger but merely a Japanese girl with a "fiery red" personality.

In short, appearances in anime are elements that are used to convey information about a character's actual personality more so than their racial background. The same goes for skin tone. Someone with a tanned skin is typically more "working class" because of the old notions about farmers working in the fields getting tanned while nobles being always under umbrellas. So when you see someone super pale in an anime, it's a sign they're wealthy or high class, not that they're non-Japanese.

Now, with the above huge caveat being as it is, GitS was never all that Japanese. It was one of those American-inspired science fiction tales with the Japanese soul inserted into it. These are not my words but rather the words of a Tokyo university professor I discussed such issues with. Japan has this thing with external stuff, taking it and infusing it with their own approach to storytelling. That being so, GitS can have either asian or other race actors play the chars as long as they look reasonably close to the drawings of them, the key factor it must have to not insult Japanese culture is not a token asian lead but rather the Japanese soul I spoke of.

Sadly, this movie lacked it completely, it could have been just another western-based scifi thing. That's what ought to be focused on much much more, but sadly most people who complained either didn't even see the original or don't think as deeply about this subject so they only approach the surface level stuff of the race of the actors.

saint of m:
Still havn't seen it yet, but will this weekend.

Would you say its simalar to Final Fantasy: The Sprits Within then? There would be alot less hate for it if it had ANY other name?

Any sodding Final Fantasy could have been called by any other name, back in the day they never focused on extensive cannons. It's only because most people only played FF7 and mostly had a boner for FF7. Sprits Within keeps true to Final Fantasy franchise because of it's extensive use of mythology used in their storytelling.

Dreiko:

Now, with the above huge caveat being as it is, GitS was never all that Japanese. It was one of those American-inspired science fiction tales with the Japanese soul inserted into it. These are not my words but rather the words of a Tokyo university professor I discussed such issues with. Japan has this thing with external stuff, taking it and infusing it with their own approach to storytelling. That being so, GitS can have either asian or other race actors play the chars as long as they look reasonably close to the drawings of them, the key factor it must have to not insult Japanese culture is not a token asian lead but rather the Japanese soul I spoke of.

Sadly, this movie lacked it completely, it could have been just another western-based scifi thing. That's what ought to be focused on much much more, but sadly most people who complained either didn't even see the original or don't think as deeply about this subject so they only approach the surface level stuff of the race of the actors.

Looking at the movie, I never saw it as that much of a thing. There's white people in Japan, so, first thing that came to mind is that this in the future, and presumably Japan has opened up its borders to immigration or somesuch. Certainly there's a reference to the "African Union" or something, so we can assume that the world's geo-political context has shifted somewhat. If anything, it could be argued that the Major being Japanese and having a non-Asian body adds a level of body horror...

...key word on "could," because the film doesn't really delve into it at all, and arguing that the whole Asian-ScarJo thing is part of some kind of sub-text is giving the film too much credit. But again, like you said, the movie lacks a lot of 'soul.' This comes down to its storytelling, to how sterile the city feels (again, compare that to BR 2049, where Los Angeles feels 'alive').

mad825:

saint of m:
Still havn't seen it yet, but will this weekend.

Would you say its simalar to Final Fantasy: The Sprits Within then? There would be alot less hate for it if it had ANY other name?

Any sodding Final Fantasy could have been called by any other name, back in the day they never focused on extensive cannons. It's only because most people only played FF7 and mostly had a boner for FF7. Sprits Within keeps true to Final Fantasy franchise because of it's extensive use of mythology used in their storytelling.

I can only speak for myself, but Spirits Within is just plain bad. It losing the Final Fantasy moniker wouldn't change that.

Doom is another example where even if it didn't suck as an adaptation, it's still a lacklustre movie in its own right.

PFCboom:
The Japanese liked Scarlett Johansson. Literally, people representing the country where GitS came from, thought Scarlett was a good choice. But, true to our nature, us white folks either didn't notice or acknowledge their feelings. As a lowly faculty assistant from my middle school once said, when I rightfully counter-insulted a friend, "Well I'm offended for her, so you're in trouble."

Japanese people living in Japan don't face any form of discrimination for being Japanese.

This is basically a more globalised form of the "my black friend doesn't mind when I use the n-word" argument. The fact that you can find people of colour who support you doesn't mean you're right. It particularly doesn't mean you're right when your ethnic minority "friends" live in a completely different country thousands of miles away and are foreign to American popular culture.

Japanese people don't actually share some kind of hive mind, they all have unique experiences and perspectives. In particular, Japanese people living as an ethnic minority the US have very different experiences to Japanese people living as an ethnic majority in Japan, and if you've lived as an ethnic minority in Japan you'll know this also works the other way.

For Asian Americans, American popular culture is their popular culture. It's not some outside culture separate to theirs, and yet they are barely present or represented with in it. Countless prominent Asian Americans, including those working in the TV and film industry like Constance Wu, Ming-Na Wen, John Cho and Margaret Cho have spoken openly about whitewashing and the way Asian actors are treated in American media. But I guess listening to Asians means we can only listen to real Asians whose pure Asian souls have never been corrupted by the defiled Earth of other lands, and just pretend that any American who has a problem must automatically be white.

After all, American = white, right? Sounds legit to me..

evilthecat:

PFCboom:
The Japanese liked Scarlett Johansson. Literally, people representing the country where GitS came from, thought Scarlett was a good choice. But, true to our nature, us white folks either didn't notice or acknowledge their feelings. As a lowly faculty assistant from my middle school once said, when I rightfully counter-insulted a friend, "Well I'm offended for her, so you're in trouble."

Japanese people living in Japan don't face any form of discrimination for being Japanese.

This is basically a more globalised form of the "my black friend doesn't mind when I use the n-word" argument. The fact that you can find people of colour who support you doesn't mean you're right. It particularly doesn't mean you're right when your ethnic minority "friends" live in a completely different country thousands of miles away and are foreign to American popular culture.

Japanese people don't actually share some kind of hive mind, they all have unique experiences and perspectives. In particular, Japanese people living as an ethnic minority the US have very different experiences to Japanese people living as an ethnic majority in Japan, and if you've lived as an ethnic minority in Japan you'll know this also works the other way.

For Asian Americans, American popular culture is their popular culture. It's not some outside culture separate to theirs, and yet they are barely present or represented with in it. Countless prominent Asian Americans, including those working in the TV and film industry like Constance Wu, Ming-Na Wen, John Cho and Margaret Cho have spoken openly about whitewashing and the way Asian actors are treated in American media. But I guess listening to Asians means we can only listen to real Asians whose pure Asian souls have never been corrupted by the defiled Earth of other lands, and just pretend that any American who has a problem must automatically be white.

After all, American = white, right? Sounds legit to me..

Just like how every Japanese person in Japan has a unique experience, so do Japanese-Americans, so with your logic we can't expand any personal experience of absolutely anybody at all to cover their entire group. I'd tend to agree with you if you followed your logic to its conclusion but you tend to stop half way and while some people are not a hive mind, you treat others as though they all have a hive mind experience of victimization that doesn't make sense if we want to treat people as individuals.

If anything, it's racist to use Asians who are not Japanese as an example of what Japanese-Americans would experience, cause you're treating them like they're all the same cause they're all from the far east, which is an ethnocentric view of the world that places America as the default place that other places are east or west from.

Now, I sympathize with the general point about whitewashing in American media. GitS however isn't or at they very least SHOULDN'T be American media. It should be Japanese media handled by Americans, kinda like how Dark Souls is a western-feeling game handled by Japanese devs. (but even more so because this is actually based on something with an established identity)

Finally, American popular culture is exported to the entire planet, in a lot of countries it is the ONLY culture that exists (for example, Greece has basically no animation, at all, it's all imported anime and imported american cartoons, so to any kid growing up watching animation, their culture will be a mix of dragonball and pokemon and Disney stuff). It is most definitely not the culture of just Americans and it is not a culture that has social impacts that only affect American citizens. It's just as much the culture of everyone else who basically grew up with it and enjoys it. You don't get any more of a claim to it than the Japanese people simply because you share citizenship with the creators. If anything, the fact that a movie is based on an anime classic gives them more of a claim to it because you're fiddling with people's childhood here.

This is even more pronounced now that we live in the age of the internet, where someone can simulcast a brand new Anime episode in America with english subtitles as it is being shown in Japanese tv. At this point, there's no "our" or "their" popular culture, it all belongs to every fan, outside of nationality. That being the case, the notion that American pop culture that has a worldwide audience has to primarily function to benefit American society isn't a given or something to be taken for granted like your words would imply. That's something you'd do on a case by case basis when it feels like it makes sense, like for example with the Boondocks cartoon.

evilthecat:

It's more that people got rightly irritated that in the 21st century Hollywood still literally can't bring itself to put an Asian actress in a starring role to the point of creating a convoluted story explanation as to why it was okay for them to cast a (horrendously over-used and quite mediocre) white actress instead.

Let's flip the scenario around for a bit, should we expect the Japanese film industry to cast an America/European actor in a movie that calls for a non-Japanese role? Should we get mad if they rarely, if ever, cast American/European actors in lead roles?
Should we expect the British/French/Chinese/etc. film industries to cast non-(insert country here) actors for the sole purpose of having that particular nationality on screen?

It's all fun and games until a white character is made non-white

Dreiko:
Just like how every Japanese person in Japan has a unique experience, so do Japanese-Americans, so with your logic we can't expand any personal experience of absolutely anybody at all to cover their entire group.

We can draw helpful generalisations, however.

I appreciate your commitment to my logic, but you don't need to ride the train that far..

Dreiko:
I'd tend to agree with you if you followed your logic to its conclusion but you tend to stop half way and while some people are not a hive mind, you treat others as though they all have a hive mind experience of victimization that doesn't make sense if we want to treat people as individuals.

So, the thing about victimization is that not literally everyone needs to be victimised in order for it to be bad. Victimization is kind of categorically a bad thing.

But let's interrogate the point. If American media and culture literally struggles this much to cast an Asian person in a starring role. If the entire structure of culture is set up around the idea that it is a white culture for the consumption of white audiences who expect white actors, then is it possible for there to be an Asian American who isn't victimised by that? I'll concede that it's possible for an Asian American not to feel victimized, or not to care, and I respect that because at the end of the day it is only film or only TV and some people do have bigger problems in their lives. However, I don't see how it invalidates those people's experience to point out that it's happening.

Dreiko:
If anything, it's racist to use Asians who are not Japanese as an example of what Japanese-Americans would experience, cause you're treating them like they're all the same cause they're all from the far east, which is an ethnocentric view of the world that places America as the default place that other places are east or west from.

So, this is something that actually does piss off those Asian audiences we mentioned. Remember Memoirs of a Geisha?

But, generally films aren't reflecting real experiences. They're fiction. Japanese Americans don't have cybernetic bodies. They don't become futuristic counterterrorism operatives and hack into people's brains. Representation isn't about respecting people's individual experiences.

Let me put this bluntly. Do you see American culture as a "white" culture. Do you see whiteness as integral to American culture? Because if you don't, if you resent that idea, then maybe stop and ask yourself why it is so important that a character who is literally named after one of the three sacred treasures of Japan be played by a white person? Why is it critical to market every single film with white actors? What do you think that says about American culture? What do you think it says, specifically, to Asian Americans and other POC who live in America?

Dreiko:
You don't get any more of a claim to it than the Japanese people simply because you share citizenship with the creators. If anything, the fact that a movie is based on an anime classic gives them more of a claim to it because you're fiddling with people's childhood here.

Again, who said anyone has a claim to anything? Ghost in the Shell is a literal intellectual property. It is owned by a corporation, and the film rights are rented by another corporation. No consumer "owns" a piece of media they happen to like, or has any claim on it whatsoever. In that sense, we're all just cash cows developing bizarre relationships with our milking machines.

But media is a part of how we learn to live in a society. As you say, it's "people's childhood", and thus it kind of matters if the media you're consuming was created in and thus reflects a society you actually happen to live in, as opposed to one you merely know about or have heard of.

twistedmic:
Let's flip the scenario around for a bit, should we expect the Japanese film industry to cast an America/European actor in a movie that calls for a non-Japanese role? Should we get mad if they rarely, if ever, cast American/European actors in lead roles?
Should we expect the British/French/Chinese/etc. film industries to cast non-(insert country here) actors for the sole purpose of having that particular nationality on screen?

I mean, if you want to. I'm not telling you what you can or can't expect or get mad about.

But again, I think it's kind of creepy that you immediately leapt to "nationalities", because it sounds like what you're saying is that casting "American" actors would obviously mean casting white people, and that there's no question of that..

..which is kind of the point I'm trying to argue against, really. America doesn't have to be a white culture, and it's kind of shameful that the producers of American culture still seem to act like it is an explicitly white culture..

evilthecat:

I mean, if you want to. I'm not telling you what you can or can't expect or get mad about.

But again, I think it's kind of creepy that you immediately leapt to "nationalities", because it sounds like what you're saying is that casting "American" actors would obviously mean casting white people, and that there's no question of that..

..which is kind of the point I'm trying to argue against, really. America doesn't have to be a white culture, and it's kind of shameful that the producers of American culture still seem to act like it is an explicitly white culture..

I used 'nationalities' to specify specific countries and their specific cultures. A brief internet search shows that there are roughly sixty different countries (sovereign states, non-UN states and dependent territories) that would be considered Asian. Each country is going to have its own culture and identity and lumping them all together under one umbrella label could be seen as offensive and insensitive.
Is it okay to have a Chinese actor playing a Tibetan character, or a Vietnamese actor playing a Filipino character because you have an Asian actor playing an Asian character?
What about non-White and non-Asian actors and characters? Is it okay to have an Iraqi actor play an Afghani character, a Lebanese actor playing a Libyan character or an Iranian actor playing a Pakistani character okay because they are Middle Eastern?
Is it okay for a Somali actor to play a Jamaican character, or a Ugandan to play an Ethiopian, a Moroccan to play a Nigerian, because they are black?

As for Ghost in the Shell is it ever stated in cannon (manga, anime series or movie) that the Major was biologically Japanese? That she was born as a Japanese female? Or do we just know that she has a Japanese name? Because if she just had a Japanese name doesn't mean she was physically, biologically Japanese.

evilthecat:

But let's interrogate the point. If American media and culture literally struggles this much to cast an Asian person in a starring role. If the entire structure of culture is set up around the idea that it is a white culture for the consumption of white audiences who expect white actors, then is it possible for there to be an Asian American who isn't victimised by that? I'll concede that it's possible for an Asian American not to feel victimized, or not to care, and I respect that because at the end of the day it is only film or only TV and some people do have bigger problems in their lives. However, I don't see how it invalidates those people's experience to point out that it's happening.

My basic idea is that these decisions are all being based on primarily financial reasons, so if there's someone as big as Bruce Lee, they'll make a dozen films a year with him again like they did back in the day.

If you don't feel victimized and you don't consider yourself a victim, I see zero benefit for other people to put the status of victim on you and act on your behalf. If anything, that's a hindrance and a diminishing of your power and sense of confidence, at least your perceived one.

Let me put this bluntly. Do you see American culture as a "white" culture. Do you see whiteness as integral to American culture? Because if you don't, if you resent that idea, then maybe stop and ask yourself why it is so important that a character who is literally named after one of the three sacred treasures of Japan be played by a white person? Why is it critical to market every single film with white actors? What do you think that says about American culture? What do you think it says, specifically, to Asian Americans and other POC who live in America?

I in general reject the "white culture" notion, since I come from Europe and there everyone's white but you have various different cultures. I do recognize the stereotype of white culture, something about being intolerant of spice in food, being bad at dancing, being lame and being sticklers for rules/boring, but that's not any more real than any other ignorant stereotype.

As for what I see as American culture, it is a mix of a bunch of different European cultures, with a spice of Native American and African mixed in, but since I don't see those European cultures as white but rather as whatever nation they stem from, I don't perceive it as being white culture but more Anglo-Saxon-Italian-German and so on. American culture is a lot more about what the mix of those things ended up being than about what were the forming blocks. People who like to grasp at some form of "white identity" because they have no actual identity will try to make it sound like white culture but it's just American culture nowadays. You know, burgers and pizza and guns and freedom to shoot your uncle in the dick while riding a monster truck. That's American culture.

Oh and Kusanagi isn't really that big of a symbolism in GitS. It's the sword that Susanoo got from the corpse of Yamato no Orochi but this isn't really that big of a deal in the story. It's just like randomly naming something with an Ancient Greek God's name to make it sound cool, like the Zeus Blaster or the Hephaestus Hammer and so on haha. Most people won't expect anything from a story just because it has such a reference.

But media is a part of how we learn to live in a society. As you say, it's "people's childhood", and thus it kind of matters if the media you're consuming was created in and thus reflects a society you actually happen to live in, as opposed to one you merely know about or have heard of.

My point is that we all live in this society because we share so much of that media. It's why you have Resist protest in Romania, for example. A whole ton of people legit learn English partially (or mostly in some cases) through that media and go on to be able to function in the societies the media stems from to a higher degree than natives due to just how pervasive it is.

twistedmic:
I used 'nationalities' to specify specific countries and their specific cultures.

Sure, but this isn't about "specific countries and their specific cultures".

I mean, again, there have been controversies in Asian countries about American films using Asian actors irrespective of national origin, but mostly involving specific films which already have problems. In general, as Asian markets have become more influential, Hollywood has mostly taken these criticisms on board.

But Asian diaspora communities in the US (or any other country for that matter) are not culturally identical to the culture of their ancestral country. They are Americans who are part of American culture, who usually identify with American culture, who overwhelmingly consume American culture, but who have Asian ancestry. What's concerning to a lot of these people is not that a foreign culture is impinging their national honour, but that their own culture is still white dominated, that their own culture is still not willing to include them, it's not willing to allow people who look like them to be anything other than a sideshow in their own media.

Dreiko:
My basic idea is that these decisions are all being based on primarily financial reasons, so if there's someone as big as Bruce Lee, they'll make a dozen films a year with him again like they did back in the day.

Right, but then why is financial success percieved to be predicated on having a white person star in your film? Why are there literally no Asian actors who are percieved to be able to carry a film of this size? Why is this mantra that "colour doesn't sell" allowed to stand?

Again, what message do you think it sends to Asian Americans about the society they live in that the people who make their films genuinely believe that noone will watch a film which stars someone who looks like them?

Not to mention, white actors are permitted to fail. Noone ever asks when Johnny Depp makes another grotesque bomb "hmm, well maybe the problem is that he's white and whiteness doesn't sell."

Dreiko:
I in general reject the "white culture" notion, since I come from Europe and there everyone's white but you have various different cultures. I do recognize the stereotype of white culture, something about being intolerant of spice in food, being bad at dancing, being lame and being sticklers for rules/boring, but that's not any more real than any other ignorant stereotype.

I also come from Europe, there are plenty of non-white people here.

Do you see being part of these European cultures as predicated on being white? Do you think that is true in the US?

Dreiko:
People who like to grasp at some form of "white identity" because they have no actual identity will try to make it sound like white culture but it's just American culture nowadays. You know, burgers and pizza and guns and freedom to shoot your uncle in the dick while riding a monster truck. That's American culture.

So, have you noticed that all those things you just mentioned are stereotypes of white Americans?

Again, do you think that white Americans have a monopoly on American culture?

Dreiko:
My point is that we all live in this society because we share so much of that media.

Sure, but we don't actually live in the society that produced that media.

At best, media produced in another society shapes our expectations of the society we live in and brings about subtle social change, resulting in cultural homogenization (which may be what you're talking about). But, to put it bluntly, you've already outed yourself when you said "I come from Europe and there everyone's white". If you live in a society where everyone is white, how do you deal with media produced in a society where everyone isn't white, or where race is an actual day to day reality rather than an abstract concept? It's foreign to you. It's not a real reflection of the society you live in.

evilthecat:
If you live in a society where everyone is white, how do you deal with media produced in a society where everyone isn't white, or where race is an actual day to day reality rather than an abstract concept? It's foreign to you. It's not a real reflection of the society you live in.

And ?

Personally i have no problems whatsoever of enjoying Japanese or Chinese films without a single white character. It doesn't bother me at all.

Now, i was annoyed that the role in of the Mayor was given to a white actress. And Hollywood does certainly has its problems. But my annoyance came alone from the seeming and unnecessary mismatch to the source material, not from the fact that Hollywood likes white actors. It is not like if i consume that much Hollywood fare anyway.

evilthecat:

Sure, but this isn't about "specific countries and their specific cultures".

I mean, again, there have been controversies in Asian countries about American films using Asian actors irrespective of national origin, but mostly involving specific films which already have problems.

Where and when were these controversies? In the last decade or so the only outcry I hear is coming from Americans claiming that Asians aren't getting enough acting roles. Gone are the days where someone as white as John Wayne would be cast as Genghis Khan or a black wig and a pair of buckskins was enough for someone to be cast as Native American. We don't use blackface anymore, nor do we have white people doing extremely offensive caricatures of Asians (happened in the sixties and seventies).
Nowadays if a character is explicitly stated as being Asian they are played by an Asian character- probably more often than not the specific nationality of that actor.

In general, as Asian markets have become more influential, Hollywood has mostly taken these criticisms on board.

Let's be honest here. It's China. China has become more 'influential' because the Chinese movie market pulls in a shitload of cash. And American movie companies play by China's rules so that their movies will play in China so they can make money, not out of some kind-hearted attempt to honor Asian actors or creative stance. It's all about making money.

Not to mention, white actors are permitted to fail. Noone ever asks when Johnny Depp makes another grotesque bomb "hmm, well maybe the problem is that he's white and whiteness doesn't sell."

Really? Because from what I hear Johnny Depp has become a joke, a sad, pathetic shell of his former self. and he was 'allowed' to fail several times because he had a long string of successful roles (starting in 1984) under his belt before his career went into a nosedive.
If being white guaranteed an actor's success post-flop then Kevin Costner, Geena Davis, Mike Myers, Brandon Routh, Chris O'donell, Alicia Silverstone and Brendan Frasier aren't white.

I wasn't sorry I saw it, but it wasn't great.

It did a good job re-creating some of the more iconic scenes from the anime (I thought the cloaked fight in the reflective water was particularly nicely done), but being told that we're suddenly supposed to suddenly feel sympathetic towards a terrorist who had been enslaving innocents because he was treated badly kind of broke the clutch, so to speak.

It was just an okay, unambitious, meaningless adaptation on par with dubbing or translating something. Its only merit was to abridge the original work so more people could become exposed to it. But so much of what made the original 1995 animated movie special is lost when the medium and historical context are ignored that you're left with an impactless, watered-down version that can only think in terms of shot-by-shot and beat-by-beat accuracy.

It's kinda boring. It doesn't really have anything interesting going on, besides some pretty visuals. It's at best an 'apt' adaptation.
Now that i think about it, it's probably the most 5/10 movie i've seen recent years.

I've never been a fan of the original movies but i like the series! i always liked Ninja Scroll and Akira the most better, but i enjoyed this and thought it was an enjoyable sci-fi film and nice performance by Scarlett Johanason.

One of my faves of 2017.

Casual Shinji:
It's just one of those movies where it's clear from the outset that it's going to pale in comparison to the original, so why the hell even bother. It's like remaking Ben-Hur, or The Shinning, or Robocop.

Isn't it sad that two of these have already happened? I'm sure they'll get around to The Shining at some point.

JUMBO PALACE:

Casual Shinji:
It's just one of those movies where it's clear from the outset that it's going to pale in comparison to the original, so why the hell even bother. It's like remaking Ben-Hur, or The Shinning, or Robocop.

Isn't it sad that two of these have already happened? I'm sure they'll get around to The Shining at some point.

Not sure if Sarcasm, but The Shining was the one who was remade the first.

Starting the Irresponsible Brother from 'Wings'.

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