Avalon (2001)

Directed by Mamoru Oshii

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?

A sort of live-action Ghost in the Shell, Avalon is what would happen if David Cronenberg and Krzysztof Kieślowski teamed up to make a 107-minute cut scene for a triple-A video game, complete with a sub-Górecki synth score, technology inspired by Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and an extremely pallid colour palette that makes the so-called 'real' world really pop.