Ghost in the Shell ★★★★½

Never actually watched all of this before. Between this and Angel's Egg, I'm absolutely mesmerized by Oshii's use of light, the constant haze of over-bright fluorescence and ghostly ambience. Every single shot pulses with this white glow. The narrative itself is fascinating, less because of its myriad thematic explorations than how Oshii rigorously foregrounds them to dictate movement. This really isn't a thriller because the sporadic action merely punctuates a story that uses nearly every plot element as a macguffin to ruminate on the nature of identity and how technology alters our perception of self. The finale, in which a cyborg evolves to propagate itself, recasts the internet and global networking as the next stage of reproduction.