Once you play an illegal VR game called Avalon you can’t stop. The game seemingly has no end, and can leave you catatonic, or as they say, one of the “Unreturned”. Ash is sort of a big deal in Avalon, one of the best players in it, but like the rest of the addicted players, her real life depends on the money she gets from the game. After she hears of a secret level in the game, she starts a new and potentially deadly mission.
Mamoru Oshii is best known for making anime movies, like the legendary “Ghost in the Shell” films. This is his debut live-action film, and the only bad thing I can say about it is – you could’ve trimmed or edit some silent parts a bit more. For some, this audio-visual cookie could be a bit boring, but to the ones that really love a good cyberpunk story, like me, this is going to be a real treat! Oshii delivers.
The thing I like in his cyberpunk films is that he makes the future seem a bit more real – he takes a fictional story and sneaks a tiny philosophical question behind it, so you get stuck thinking about it, for some time after watching the actual film. For example – in Ghost in the Shell you’re left questioning the possibility of a soul in an artificial body (and even more real subjects of existence, AI autonomy and so on..), and in Avalon you’re left with the question if reality is a completely personal experience and if you can choose your own reality to live in.
Visually, Avalon has it all – the wires, the pretty lady, the trash, the computers, glitches, numbers on screens, strange weapons, cool goggles, games, and all-around weirdness!
So, I think it’s pretty clear by now that if you’re into cyberpunk and haven’t seen this, you should.
Entertaining facts about the movie:
- The director and the film crew are Japanese
- The movie is in Polish, actors are Polish and it was filmed in Poland
- Most of the writings on computers are in English
- The movie is filmed almost entirely in an undefined greenish/sepia fading color
- One of the characters in the movie eats like a pig! Had to mention it, I was really astonished with him eating, you can’t look away!
Avalon 2001 trailer:
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Written by: Kazunori Ito
Stars: Malgorzata Foremniak, Wladyslaw Kowalski,. Jerzy Gudejko