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GODZIRRA!!!


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Scaaaaaawy. :bluehaironend:

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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He ain't no Trogdor.

That's right... he could kick Trogdor's @$$ to Tokyo and back. :wink:

And technically, I think it's Gojira.

Jason

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Did anyone see that pic from the upcoming Godzilla movie that AICN posted awhile back? You can see it here, and it's pretty sweet. I'm a bit iffy about director Ryuhei Kitamura, who hit the big time with the cult fave Versus (imagine Evil Dead 2 set inside The Matrix with a yakuza/samurai/sorceror twist), but whose subsequent films (Azumi, Aragami) have all sucked big time.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 2 months later...

The film was playing for one week here in St. Louis, and last night I caught the last showing. At one point in my childhood I went on a movie-monster binge and watched nearly every Godzilla, King Kong and Mothra movie ever made. The sheer goofiness and wild creativity of the films kept me going even when the stories were incredibly stupid. But at that age, just about the only films of the series I could not watch repeatedly were the originals. The first Godzilla (and King Kong, for that matter) was very dark and horrifying, so I just ignored it for the goofy sequels.

Seeing Godzilla again in its original Japanese form was for me an odd mixture of nostalgia and grief. The American version supposedly cut out much of what made the the film critical of our methods of warfare. (It's been so long since I've watched the Raymond Burr version I can scarcely remember any of the subtext.) Sure, the special effects budget was astoundingly small, and much of the dialogue was hackneyed, but there are times when you look at the destruction the monster has wrecked and you feel like you're watching footage of the H-Bomb aftermath.

The characters respond in such realistic horror to the overwhelming death coming their way that I wondered how many of them had family die in the atomic bomb attacks. Indeed, at one point a female character mentions how she survived the Nagasaki bombing, and wonders if she will survive the monster. A scientist stumbles across a discovery that could lead to a weapon as destructive as the H-Bomb, but it is their only hope of killing the monster. He has an attack of conscience when he realizes that the government will want to use it in warfare, and sacrifices his life so that the secret will die with him.

If there is one character that makes no sense, it is the scientist who pleads for the army not to kill Godzilla, but to study it. Even after the monster destroys large sections of Tokyo and kills hundreds, if not thousands, he persists in his irrational desire for knowledge. Oddly, he is portrayed as sympathetic.

I wonder if this film was an attempt to exorcise the demons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do the sequels imply that they had to rehash the story because they still could not get it out of their minds? Or perhaps it was out of irony that they milked Americans out of their money with a monster intended to criticize them.

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There's no doubt that the Godzilla films were, at least initially, an attempt by Japanese culture to deal with the horror of the atomic bombs. You see the same thing in anime titles such as Grave Of The Fireflies, as well as many of the more apocalyptically-minded series like Neon Genesis Evangelion, which are replete with catastrophic imagery.

However, in the later Godzilla films, such as Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster, Godzilla becomes a hero of sorts, defending Japan against all sorts of evils. Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack puts a new take on this, though.

In the movie, Godzilla is portrayed, not as a dinosaur resurrected by nuclear tests, but rather as a conglomeration of all of the souls that suffered under Japan during World War 2 (they explain that using some really cheesy, pseudo-mystical mumbo-jumbo). Hence, Godzilla's rampages are actually Japan's penance, reminding them of their past sins whenever the people grow complacent and forgetful.

Japan's guardian monsters (Mothra, Baragon, and King Ghidorah) then come to rescue, eventually combining their powers to defeat Godzilla - thereby exorcising Japan's demons. Which I suppose you could read as a metaphor for Japan feeling like it's been held accountable for past sins long enough, and is ready to move on. Of course, it doesn't help the message that the film becomes an absolute mess in the final act, full of horrible CGI, disjointed storylines, annoying characters, etc. Up until the final third or so, the movie is actually pretty enjoyable, and somewhat thought-provoking. At least, as much as a Godzilla movie can be. biggrin.gif

If you're curious, here's my full review.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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  • 4 years later...

I just saw the original 1954 film last night, and was stunned to realize that the star of Ikiru (and other Kurosawa films) was in this film. Fascinating. I hope to watch the Americanized version (with Canadian actor Raymond Burr) in the near future; I am curious to see if they kept any of the footage with the original main characters, or if they kept only the generic disaster footage.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 year later...

Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures -- the latter of which is the outfit behind Chris Nolan's Batman movies, Watchmen, Superman Returns, Where the Wild Things Are and Paradise Lost -- has acquired the rights to Godzilla and will reportedly release its own version (a sequel? a remake?) in 2012.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 year later...

Has a Criterion set ever had pop-up packaging before?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Has a Criterion set ever had pop-up packaging before?

Not as far as I know.

I can't decide if I think this is kitschy or awesome or both. Perhaps it needs a little soundbox-doodad like the ones in greeting cards... so when you open it, the classic Godzilla cry/roar sounds.

Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν.

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Pair wrote:

: Perhaps it needs a little soundbox-doodad like the ones in greeting cards... so when you open it, the classic Godzilla cry/roar sounds.

YES.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 year later...

I think this is the right thread to promote this podcast

As I said on Facebook: Yeah, you start talking about Godzilla and the next thing you know it is all Dallas Willard this, and The Divine Conspiracy that and "Did Jesus really die on the cross?" and are European post-WWII movies better than American post-Iraq War movies...

 

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 – Intro and summary.
6:30 – Mass destruction without mass death?
13:40 – The Disneyificaiton of Sacrifice.
15:30 – The enemy is other people.
23:10 – Gospels of Sin Management.
30:40 – Heroism, sacrifice, and post-war films.
43:00 – The cultural air we breathe.

 

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  • 1 year later...

We don't seem to have a thread on the brewing Toho remake, and perhaps the threads for the American remakes aren't quite the place--so I'll use this one:

 

Toho fixes Godzilla reboot directors

 

ANNO Hideaki 庵野秀明 and HIGUCHI Shinji 樋口真嗣 will co-direct a Japan-set Godzilla ゴジラ reboot for Toho Co Ltd 東宝.
 
Anno will serve as scriptwriter and chief director. In addition to co-directing, Higuchi – a VFX supervisor who worked briefly on Anno's Neon Genesis Evangelion animated series – will also be the new film's VFX director.
 
[snip]
 
The new Godzilla film is set to begin production in the autumn for a summer 2016 release. Toho have revealed little about the film other than to state that it will take place in Japan and that it will be the largest Godzilla yet.
 
 
On another note, I'm not all up on my Japanese-to-English transposition conventions, but shouldn't this thread more properly be titled Gojira
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  • 1 year later...

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