As a student, Mamoru Oshii was fascinated by the film La Jetée by Chris Marker as well as the films of Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Andrzej Munk and Ingmar Bergman. In 1976, he graduated from The Fine Arts Education School of the Education Department of Tokyo Liberal Arts University. The following year, he entered Tatsunoko Productions and worked on his first anime as animation director on Ippatsu Kanta-kun. In 1980, he moved to Studio Pierrot under the supervision of his mentor, Hisayuki Toriumi. During production of the Nils no fushigi na tabi (“Wonderful Adventures of Nils”) and Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman II TV series, Oshii first met longtime collaborators, writer Kazunori Itō and painter and character designer Yoshitaka Amano. Mamoru Oshii’s work as director and storyboard artist of the animated Urusei Yatsura TV series brought him into the spotlight. Following its success, he directed two Urusei Yatsura films: Urusei Yatsura 1: Only You in 1983 and Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful… read more
One of the great 'near-future' science fiction films and definitely one of the better political thrillers of the '90s, this vision of a terrorist attack via hijacked planes pushing a gentrified city towards marshal law is alarmingly prescient, to say the least. The long lyrical montage of military force watching over tokyo, mostly reflected in monitors and windows, is enough to argue for early Oshii's lasting power.
This might be the best giant robot movie yet made, period. It doesn't have the flash-bang spectacle you'd expect from a movie about large mecha - and that is precisely why it's so great. The robots here are mostly a background element used to bolster the film's latent technophobic themes. The simultaneously gritty and dreamlike visual style and nuanced, subtle characterizations give the film an absorbing tactility.