7:30 PM, 5th May, 2017
Ghost in the Shell tells the story of the Major (Johansson), a cyborg policewoman who is tasked with taking down a notorious hacker.
The film met with accusations of ‘whitewashing’ when Scarlett Johansson was cast as the Major who, in previous renditions, has been Japanese. However the view from Japan was much different, with the majority of people actually impressed with the casting of Johansson, who already has several sci-fi films under her belt, including Under the Skin and Lucy.
This is a new, live-action adaptation of hugely popular Japanese anime series set in a dystopian cyberpunk future. It deals with questions of ambiguous identity in a world of sophisticated artificial intelligence. These questions – first asked in the mid-1990s before the social media revolution, and before internet access and smartphones became ubiquitous – seem all the more pertinent in today’s world.
The name ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is taken from the work of psychologist Arthur Koestler who describes the ‘Ghost’ as the primitive parts of the human brain left over from an earlier stage of human evolution that can overpower higher logical functions. To the writers of Ghost in the Shell, A.I. represents the next stage in human evolution, but one which is not yet fully separated from the human minds that created it.
9:40 PM, 5th May, 2017
An unidentified body has been found in a house in a small town in the US. Coroner Tommy Tilden (Cox) and his son and medical technician Austin (Hirsch) are performing the autopsy. But this is no ordinary body, and this will be no ordinary autopsy. As the Tildens investigate for a cause of death, strange things start to occur and it seems quite possible that by the end of the night there may be a few extra corpses to go around…
Norwegian director Øvredal gained a reputation with the film Troll Hunter six-and-a-bit years ago, a clever mix of humour and scares. The Autopsy of Jane Doe doubles down on the scares, with the morgue proving a suitably spooky location for unnerving events. It’s about as grisly as the title suggests, with a whole lot of scalpel-work and skin-peeling – but it’s also got a fair bit going on to get into your head and startle you with something other than just gore. Hirsch and Cox make an effective team as they discover more about what makes this cadaver different from all the others they’ve seen. So come along for a film to make you shiver.