Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brief post about "Summer Wars", excellent new film by Hosoda

This is not a well-written or incisive post, I am tired and need to get to bed ASAP, but I had fun.

Just got home from seeing the New England première of "Summer Wars", a new anime film by Mamoru Hosoda, also the director of "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time". Not sure when official release will be, but 2011 Hugo voters, add this to your lists! Yum. Q&A was even not that bad, some good questions.

Definitely sf, interesting parallels between new and old forms of social networking; a pride in Japaneseness (beautiful image of many fortified houses which won't make sense out of context, and a tracksuit sort of uncle who proudly tells tales of how their ancestors defended the land despite becoming ronin in the era of the Tokugawa shogunate) -- will also be familiar.

Despite the colorful friendly cartoon animal white background Murakami cyberspace (which he said he designed the look of to appeal to women and girls since the black background with neon stripes cybersapce is always in internetty things that appeal to boys, and the film is full of strong female characters), there is some actual as Mike says leet hackerism in this, resorting to pen and paper and even mental mathematics for some serious equations, which makes up for it.

If you've seen "WarGames" or enjoyed Neuromancer, or indeed films by Kubrick (who Hosoda names as an important influence here, and specifically named "Dr Strangelove") you'll enjoy this movie. Which also has a touch of "Real Genius" to it --- I don't know all the anime it resembles.

I don't want to say more, for all I know I've given spoilers, although I don't think so.

I will say a few things that might spoil it for you . . .

Do you want to play Global Thermonuclear War?

Really great bit later on too when they're trying to cool the supercomputer they borrowed and one of the uncles steals the ice to put around grandma to keep her cool instead, which poses a the middle of the summer in an ancient house with no electricity . . .

You have to highlight above this to see the spoiler. saving you ( :

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