Animation giant Oshii has made a couple of live-action films before, with undistiguished results, but this is some kind of masterpiece. Shot in Poland (in Polish!), it envisages a society in which a virtual-reality war game called Avalon is an illegal, underworld cult. Woman player Ash feels ready to leave team-play behind and go solo in Class A; the one blemish in her record is a game she is rumoured to have aborted by calling 'Reset' - a game which prompted team leader Murphy to go solo and end up apparently brain dead in hospital. Oshii presents her quest to triumph in Class A (and the two astonishing levels that lie beyond it) as a dissection of will and identity considerably more challenging than anything Cronenberg managed in eXistenZ. Using tinted monochrome images (only close-ups of food and the deceptive environment of Class Real are in full colour), elements of Arthurian myth, memories of Eastern Bloc war movies and CG effects of staggering sophistication, this plays like The Matrix re-imagined by Jan Svankmajer.