Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

 
Cannes-do

The Cannes film festival opens today. Since the majority of my readers seem to be from the other side of the Pond, perhaps they could tell me whether anyone bats an eye about this festival? It's pretty big news over here - maybe the Sundance receives more coverage as it's held on US soil?

Anyway, the reason I'm paying any attention to it this year is the fact that there's a Japanese Anime feature film on the shortlist for the Palme d'Or, the top prize. Even better is the fact that it's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. The first GITS movie is pretty old now (1998), but it spawned a fantastic TV series called Stand Alone Complex, which just rocked.

In fact, currently there is a second series called "2nd Gig" which is being shown in Japan. The best thing about this is that there are groups of fans who acquire the digital data of the show, translate it, encode subtitles and then distribute these new "fansubs" on the internet. Best of all, it's completely legal!! Well, until the production compoany responsible signs a deal controlling the distribution rights in other areas, but this only really happens if the series is really popular.

Back to Innocence, I wouldn't hold out great hopes that it's gonna win, especially with Michael Moore's latest offering competing as well, but it seems that steady progress is being made by anime to be accepted in the West as a serious media, and not just as a cartoons.