13 January 2008 | cheathamg
A work that can be viewed only within the context of Oshii's total output.
I watched the trilogy by Mamoru Oshii. The words surreal, Orwellian and Kafkaesque come to mind. However, despite all their bizarre aspects I believe they are essentially jokes. The darkness was there as a chiaroscuro backdrop to highlight the humor. The first, Red Spectacles, is about a man who can not let go of his past not matter how painful and dangerous it was because he never felt more alive that when he was facing death. The second, Stray Dog, shows that man during an interim period when he seems to be almost at peace, being brought back to that death-seeking modus operandi which precipitates the events of the first film. The third film, Talking Head, while not directly related to the events of the first two, does refer back to them as a man attempts to create truth out of illusion. The idea is that film, as an art form, is essentially an exercise in madness and that illusion is finally a higher truth, an idea that was touched on in the first film. But it is the humor that is Oshii's ultimate goal. He doesn't want to make highly significant pronouncements on the nature of humanity and reality. He just wants to tell a story, and if the story is funny, all the better. I suppose that many parallels could be drawn between Oshii's work and that of Philip K. Dick.