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The Essentials: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.
(R, 82 min.)


Sunday, February 2, 2020

7:15 PM

Monday, February 3, 2020

7:15 PM

The Essentials: Anime

Synopsis: In the year 2029, the world has become interconnected by a vast electronic network that permeates every aspect of life. That same network also becomes a battlefield for Tokyo's Section Nine security force, which has been charged with apprehending the master hacker known only as the Puppet Master. Spearheading the investigation is Major Motoko Kusanagi, who -- like many in her department -- is a cyborg officer, far more powerful than her human appearance would suggest. And yet as the Puppet Master, who is even capable of hacking human minds, leaves a trail of victims robbed of their memories, Kusanagi ponders the very nature of her existence: is she purely an artificial construct, or is there more? What, exactly, is the "ghost" -- her essence -- in her cybernetic "shell"? When Section Six gets involved in the case, she is forced to confront the fact that there is more here than meets the eye, and that the Puppet Master may hold some of the answers she seeks. But little does she know that he has been seeking her as well. [Rovi]

Starring: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Language: Japanese
Genre(s):Animation, Action, Sci-Fi

Essentials tickets are $9/Adult, $8/Seniors & Students, Free for Members.

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"For sheer mind-expanding sci-fi strangeness this is hard to beat."

— Tom Huddleston, Time Out

"Mamoru Oshii's direction deftly merges gritty realism with a dreamlike quality."

— Laura Evenson, San Francisco Chronicle

"Oshii is able to knit together action sequences with extraordinary power and conviction.... Ghost in the Shell is absolutely terrific."

— Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun

"The movie trades in familiar virtual realities. Yet as realized by the gifted director Mamoru Oshii, who imagines cityscapes melting into circuit boards, Ghost in the Shell is where virtual reality meets superrealism."

— Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Technically, Ghost in the Shell is astonishing, not only for its smooth meld of cell animation and state-of-the-art computer animation, but also for its imaginative storytelling and mood-setting (thanks to an eerie, non-thumping score by Kenji Kawai)."

— Richard Harrington, Washington Post