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Avalon
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Avalon (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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Avalon -- CT #1

Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   11,146 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Kazunori Itô (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Avalon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 January 2001 (Japan) See more »
Tagline:
Dare to enter a world of future videogames
Plot:
In a future world, young people are increasingly becoming addicted to an illegal (and potentially deadly) battle simulation game called Avalon... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Brilliant, but not for everyone See more (144 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Malgorzata Foremniak ... Ash
Wladyslaw Kowalski ... Game Master
Jerzy Gudejko ... Murphy
Dariusz Biskupski ... Bishop
Bartlomiej Swiderski ... Stunner (as Bartek Swiderski)
Katarzyna Bargielowska ... Receptionist
Alicja Sapryk ... Gill
Michal Breitenwald ... Murphy of Nine Sisters
Zuzanna Kasz ... Ghost
Adam Szyszkowski ... Player A
Krzysztof Szczerbinski ... Player B (as Krszysztof Szczerbinski)
Marek Stawinski ... Player C
Jaroslaw Budnik ... Cooper (voice)
Andrzej Debski ... Cusinart (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elzbieta Towarnicka ... Soloist at Philharmonic
Zdzislaw Szymborski ... Man at Philharmonic (uncredited)

Directed by
Mamoru Oshii 
 
Writing credits
Kazunori Itô (screenplay)

Produced by
Takehiko Chino .... associate producer
Ryoichi Fukuyama .... associate producer
Kazumi Kawashiro .... co-producer
Tetsu Kayama .... executive producer
Shinji Komori .... associate producer
Atsushi Kubo .... producer
Takenari Maeda .... associate producer
Yasuki Miki .... associate producer
Katsuharu Nagata .... associate producer
Katsuhiro Ogawa .... assistant producer
Naoyuki Sakagami .... executive producer
Toru Shiobara .... executive producer
Nobuyuki Tohya .... associate producer
Shin Unozawa .... co-producer
Shigeru Watanabe .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Kenji Kawai 
 
Cinematography by
Grzegorz Kedzierski 
 
Film Editing by
Hiroshi Okuda 
 
Production Design by
Barbara Nowak 
Takashi Watabe 
 
Costume Design by
Magdalena Biernawska-Teslawska  (as Magdalena Teslawska)
 
Production Management
Masato Araki .... production manager
Janusz B. Czech .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Makoto Kamiya .... special assistant director
Isao Kaneko .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Hiroyuki Hayashi .... digital art director
Yoshihisa Kato .... imageboard designer
Tom Miller .... property master
Tanake Watabe .... art designer
Waldemar Weiss .... construction coordinator
 
Sound Department
Shuji Inoue .... sound designer
Tom Myers .... sound designer
Tom Myers .... sound re-recording mixer
Randy Thom .... sound designer
Randy Thom .... sound re-recording mixer
Kazuhiro Wakabayashi .... sound director
Stuart McCowan .... assistant sound designer (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Nobuaki Koga .... visual effects supervisor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Piotr Obloza .... gaffer
 
Animation Department
Atsushi Takeuchi .... mechanical designer
 
Editorial Department
Reiko Saitoh .... assistant to editor
 
Music Department
Tomoyuki Asakawa .... musician
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist
Kenji Kawai .... music arranger
Kenji Kawai .... music producer
Kenji Kawai .... synthesizers/percussion
Shigeru Otake .... music coordinator
Jerzy Swoboda .... conductor
Elzbieta Towarnicka .... musician: soprano
 
Other crew
Seiichi Tanaka .... title designer: main titles
Kazue Yoneda .... production assistant
Akiko Yukawa .... production assistant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gate to Avalon" - Hong Kong (English title) (video box title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for some violence
Runtime:
107 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color | Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Bishop is played by Dariusz Biskupski. 'Biskup' is Polish for bishop.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Ash is holding Murphy after shooting him, he is holding a gun in his right hand. The shot then switches to his other hand dropping bullets and when the shot returns to both of them the gun is missing.See more »
Quotes:
Ash:Let me ask you something. Are you accessing from a terminal somewhere or are you part of the system itself?
Game Master:What does it matter? You couldn't confirm it anyway.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Avalon VFX Making (2003) (V)See more »

FAQ

What happened to the dog ?
See more »
115 out of 136 people found the following review useful.
Brilliant, but not for everyone, 8 March 2003
Author: Onderhond from http://www.onderhond.com/archive/onderhond/category/movies

* Director

Oshii Mamuro. Known for his slow pace, attention to detail, quite complicated storylines and his moodsetting. Always works together with Kenji Kawai (sound) and Ito (story). Other movies include Ghost In The Shell, Patlabor 1/2/OAV/Minipato, Urutsei Yatsura:Beautiful Dreamer. Also contributed to Jin-Roh and Blood. All these are worth a peek, especially if you like Avalon. Strange little fact : Oshii's a total dog freak. Watch his movies carefully.

* Story

Well, I can be short here. Set in an alternative present/future, a girl (Ash) sets out to find a hidden level in a VR-game (Avalon). It may be a bit thin, but a good setup for the main theme of the movie. Besides that, Oshii's movies were never all that story-based to begin with, as he pays a lot more attention to general moodsetting of his alternate realities. Oh, and for those who claim it's too confusing, try to focus a bit. After two viewings, most of it can be understood (minus a few little details). One warning though. The pace is as slow as ever. Oshii is one to leave you a lot of time to think about certain things that happen. Some like this, most of you probably won't.

* Acting

Kinda hard to judge, as the movie was made in Poland, with Polish actors. Personally, I find the acting adequate. No oscar nominations here, but good work from the leading actress and the guy that plays Murphy. It all depends on what you like. To me the charm came from the exotic language, some will probably find this a turn-off. The conversation is minimal and not so important. It's just there to deliver the facts, not to explain emotions. Comments about the coldness of Ash have nothing to do with bad acting, but with the character she plays (another one of Oshii's trademarks).

* Characters

Typical Oshii. A cold female in the leading role. The only time she shows emotion is when she's in the vicinity of her dog / dogs in general. Besides that, she's an ice cube. Personally, I like 'em like that. The others are interesting because of their little quirks and oddities, not because of their background stories, emotional struggles or deeper motives. All in all, they're a memorable bunch, but only there because you can't make a movie without characters.

* Themes

Every Oshii movie has it's own theme. Beautiful Dreamer was about the boundary between dream and reality, Patlabor 1 about the relationship between mankind and machinery and Patlabor 2 about war in general. Avalon tries to question the boundary between reality and virtual reality, using the first-person game genre as an ideal setup. Which world is real, which isn't, does it actually matter and is there a way to find out what's real and what isn't. Oshii poses all these questions, but doesn't deliver any answers. Which, in my humble opinion, is the best way to handle it. When a movie does try to give you an answer (Existenz), it doesn't stimulate the viewer to think about it afterwards. So, it all depends on what you're looking for. You want some questions to think about, this is your movie, you want a quick story with cheesy moral (Existenz again), avoid.

* Special effects

Again, the opinions here are diverse. I think it's one of the most visually impressive movies I've ever seen. Everything looks absolutely gorgeous, especially when you compare the original shots with the result. But allow me to stretch the term SFX a bit. This isn't The Matrix with twirly, flashy, in-your-face SFX. Instead, the first hour or so is completely reworked with a superb sepia-colored filter, which gives the movie a 1940 postcard kinda look. Besides that, the SFX are a lot more subtle. Those which are in-your-face (like the rendered vehicles) are done nicely. I especially liked the Citadel, and although the rendering is not perfect, the designs are marvelous.

* Music

Oshii regular Kenji Kawai made all the songs for this film. Oshii's one of the last to realize the effect a good soundtrack has on a movie. And I don't mean finding some pop idols and putting them on a CD, but really incorporating the songs in your movie for extra effect, and even working the other way around, by adjusting the images to the sound. All the songs were written for Avalon and vary from ambient to something close to opera. Even if you don't like the movie or haven't seen it yet, the soundtrack should be part of your CD/MP3 collection.

* General Moodsetting

Well, this is what makes the movie one of the best there is. It requires a special kind of taste to like it though. The characters' reality is a bleak and cold one, with little room for emotions, yet portrayed in such a way that it still feels kind of warm and cosy. It's hard to explain but I believe it's best compared with the darker side of romance. The feeling you get when you're sitting in front of your window, it's raining outside and your girlfriend just left you. It's a sort of gentle comforting sadness. He atteigns this through the music, the sepia filter, slow pace and briliant camera swoops/positions. One of the fears I had before I saw the movie, was that he wouldn't be able to capture this mood in a live action (he normally makes animated movies, which all have a certain style of their own to begin with), but he did a magnificent job. Very unique and stylish.

* Overall

I would like to say this movie has no similarities with The Matrix or Existenz whatsoever. People who expect a movie like the afore mentioned will be disappointed. This is 100% Oshii. It's a bit difficult to recommend to people who don't know him and his way of working. My advise is, try to watch Ghost In The Shell first. It has an easier job holding your attention (if you like animation that is), but is still representative for his other work. Personally, I think this ranks among the five best movies ever. It's refreshing, it's unique and made with passion. Hollywood fans beware, others, try it out.

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