Looking for Japanese film showing futuristic visions of modern architecture

Neal Baker bakerne
Thu Jul 11 11:55:24 EDT 2002

These two suggestions might seem rather obvious, but here goes.

Rintaro's anime extravaganza, Metropolis (2000), is at the intersection of 
science fiction, urban design, and cinema. Written by Katsuhiro Otomo 
(Akira), from a 1949 comic book by Osamu Tezuka, the film opens with a 
quote by 19th-century French historian Jules Michelet -- ''Every epoch 
dreams its successor." The subsequent action is predicated on a skillful 
blend of computer and cel animation, buttressed by a lavish mise-en-scene 
that offers an early 1900s version of the future. Sadly, the plot is an 
unwieldy assemblage of cliches anthologized from various genres.

Second, Ghost in the Shell (1995) offers a "Japanese" science-fiction 
vision of Hong Kong. See Wong Kin Yuen's essay, "On the Edge of Spaces: 
Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and Hong Kong's Cityscape," in the March 
2000 issue of Science Fiction Studies. Don't be put off by the journal 
title; Baudrillard and Jameson both publish in this periodical. The article 
is available online at http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/wongess.htm

Neal Baker
Information Technology & Reference Librarian
Earlham College
Richmond, IN 47374
765.983.1355 / bakerne at earlham.edu

Dear KineJapan members,
One of my graduate students is looking for a film he can use in a
comparative project on films from different cultures that incorporate some
sort of futuristic vision and show images of what life may be like in the
future. The films don't have to be contemporary. The student is an
architect, and is interested in the relationship between architecture and
film-specifically how filmmakers envision the design and portrayal of cities
in the future. Any ideas on what films might fit the bill would be welcome!
David Phillips

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