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Avalon (2001)

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In a dystopian world, a woman spends her time playing an illegal and dangerous game, hoping to find meaning in her world.

Director:

Mamoru Oshii

Writer:

Kazunori Itô (screenplay)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Malgorzata Foremniak ... Ash
Wladyslaw Kowalski ... Game Master
Jerzy Gudejko ... Murphy
Dariusz Biskupski ... Bishop
Bartlomiej Swiderski Bartlomiej Swiderski ... Stunner (as Bartek Swiderski)
Katarzyna Bargielowska ... Receptionist
Alicja Sapryk Alicja Sapryk ... Gill
Michal Breitenwald ... Murphy of Nine Sisters
Zuzanna Kasz Zuzanna Kasz ... Ghost
Adam Szyszkowski ... Player A
Krzysztof Plewako-Szczerbinski Krzysztof Plewako-Szczerbinski ... Player B (as Krszysztof Szczerbinski)
Marek Stawinski Marek Stawinski ... Player C
Jaroslaw Budnik Jaroslaw Budnik ... Cooper (voice)
Andrzej Debski Andrzej Debski ... Cusinart (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elzbieta Towarnicka Elzbieta Towarnicka ... Soloist at Philharmonic
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Storyline

In a future world, young people are increasingly becoming addicted to an illegal (and potentially deadly) battle simulation game called Avalon. When Ash, a star player, hears of rumors that a more advanced level of the game exists somewhere, she gives up her loner ways and joins a gang of explorers. Even if she finds the gateway to the next level, will she ever be able to come back to reality? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dare to enter a world of future videogames


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Japan | Poland

Language:

Polish

Release Date:

20 January 2001 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Авалон See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color | Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All military vehicles and helicopters were borrowed from the Polish army for free. See more »

Goofs

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

Bishop: Just as I thought, you are the only one who got through the gate.
Ash: Is this "Special A"?
Bishop: We call it "Class Real". Building it has taken huge amounts of very sophisticated data. In many ways, it's still very experimental.
Ash: In many ways?
Bishop: There's just one thing you have to do to complete it. That's finishing off the Unreturned. Your equipment and skill parameters are returned to default. All you have is a pistol and one clip of ammunition. There are neutral characters operating under free will. Hurt ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

North American (Region 1) DVD release in 2003 features additional narration by the lead character "Ash" in the English dubbed version -- most notably after the pre-credits battle scene, and at the end of the film, the latter of which initially played out without any dialog. As a result of the added narration, the enigmatic ending becomes easier to understand for North American viewers. The added narration actually creates a very large problem with the 'Polish with English subtitles' option on the Region 1 DVD, since the 'traslantion' subtitles are actually dub-titles (they simply transcribed the Enlgish dub as the Polish dialog). This results in innumerable inaccuracies in the script (almost all mention of the connections to the King Arthur myth are lost on any language of the Region 1 version), and the subtitles also show up during the sequences where the English version has narration, meaning that in the middle of a dialog-less scene, the subtitles will show up anyway. Miramax has not recalled or corrected the DVD, but an uncut anamorphic version with proper subtitles is available from UK company Blue Light. See more »

Connections

References Ghost in the Shell (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Otherworldy and Beautiful, but not for all.
17 December 2003 | by KatatoniaSee all my reviews

Avalon is a beautiful movie, but not for everyone. If you mainly like action or fast-paced movies you may be turned off by some of the slow scenes during the movie. Avalon has action though, and explosions galore. Some of the story is a little ridiculous and hard to follow, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing at all.

This is the only film I know of that was a co-production of both Japan and Poland. Directed by Mamoru Oshii, but filmed mostly in Poland and in the native Polish language.

While watching this movie you get a feeling of a very unique quality. It was filmed (or altered in post) to resemble an old Sepia toned film, but still with the high-resolution of today's film standard. This adds a very bleak and depressive visual style to much of the movie. That's a good thing, because this is not a happy movie in the least.

Avalon relies heavily on CGI throughout the movie, due to the "cyber game world" that the movie is largely dealing with. Much of the CGI effects are quite interesting to watch. You can often tell they are CGI effects, but it's obvious that it's a computer dominating world with players inside it.

Another effective element to the film was the excellent music score by Kenji Kawai. This has to be one of the most beautiful and engaging film scores I've heard in a long time. It ranges through many different forms, even to the operatic. Very layered and complex, yet easy on the ears. Recorded with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, tons of people played the various musical instruments in the recording of the score, according to the end credits. I would compare it in a sense to Christopher Young's otherworldly and haunting score for the first two Hellraiser films. It's a shame that the soundtrack to Avalon is currently only available as an expensive import CD.

Even if you dislike the film, you must watch it once just for the amazing music...it really is that good.


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