Polarizing Avalon: The European virtuosity and global virtuality of Mamoru Oshii's filmic imaginary
Abstract:This article traces Asian and transnational imaginings of Europe in Avalon, Japanese anime director Mamoru Oshii's (Ghost in the Shell) ten-years-in-themaking feature film. Like The Matrix, which successfully combined video-game culture aesthetics with Asian anime and martial-arts style, Oshii's film is similarly indebted to game culture and also spawned its own worldwide cult audience. What sets Avalon apart in this tradition is that it was filmed entirely in Poland and engages with one of the most pervasive European mythologies, the Arthurian legends. The article pursues the traces of history and memory on which the film (literally) builds its computer graphics spaces, and explores how mythological images are mobilized as a response to the problems of place in game culture, rewarding success in the game with a particular grail, one with an uncanny resemblance to a global consumerist version of the European Union.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-10-09
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