|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Friday, November 16, 2018
|Godzilla: Still relevant and raging after 60 years in Japan |
This picture taken on May 3, 2014 shows a 10-metre-tall (33 ft.) giant statue (L) of Godzilla at a park in Yokosuka, suburban Tokyo. While a digitalised Hollywood reboot stomps its way to box office success around the world, the original Godzilla -- a man in a rubber suit -- has hit screens in Japan again, as relevant as ever. The 1954 classic Godzilla film, which spawned more than two dozen follow-ups, has been cleaned up for a two-week run in Tokyo to mark the 60th anniversary of the monster from the deep. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO.
By: Miwa Suzuki
TOKYO (AFP).- While a digitalised Hollywood reboot stomps its way to box office success around the world, the original Godzilla -- a man in a rubber suit -- has hit screens in Japan again, as relevant as ever.
The 1954 classic, which spawned more than two dozen follow-ups, has been cleaned up for a two-week run in Tokyo to mark the 60th anniversary of the monster from the deep.
Despite the shaky sets and the all-too-obvious latex costumes, a new generation of movie-goers declared themselves impressed.
"I was really surprised to see a Tokyo that isn't the current, neat Tokyo, but was just some 10 years after war, trampled again," said Kenichi Takagi, 44, who took along his 10-year-old son.
Visuals and audio have been given a scrub to remove some of the speckles and pops that cinema-goers are now unused to experiencing, although there is no hiding the fact that the creature is really a heavily-sweating actor in a suit.
But the movie's enduring popularity six decades on is testament to the continuing resonance of its themes of human helplessness in the face of forces that cannot be controlled.
Hydrogen bomb test
Film studio Toho released "Gojira" -- a Japanese portmanteau of "gorilla" and "kujira" (whale) -- directed by Ishiro Honda, in November 1954, a few months after Akira Kurosawa's classic "Seven Samurai".
The monster movie was a mega-hit, drawing 9.6 million viewers in the days before television sets were commonplace in Japanese households.
In the fictional world, the creature was awakened by a hydrogen bomb test, rising out of a roiling sea and swimming to Japan where it crushes Tokyo, a walking, radiation-breathing analogy for nuclear disaster.
The reference was clear: that same year the United States had carried out its hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, exposing a Japanese fishing boat to nuclear fallout, sickening the 23 crew and eventually killing the captain.
It was also less than a decade after Japan surrendered in World War II following the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
But while the creature stands emblematic of the way that humans have courted death by their tinkering, it is also the product of a country prone to natural disasters.
"We grow up thinking since our childhood that there are typhoons, earthquakes and other things that humans cannot control. It's the same with Gojira," said artist Yuji Kaida on the sidelines of a Tokyo exhibition of his paintings on Godzilla.
The point of the monster -- and perhaps the reason why there are so many sequels -- is that it can never really be defeated. Like other destructive forces of nature, people just have to watch it come and go, hoping to survive.
Sadamitsu Noji, 34, said he had been a fan of the creation for two decades, and sees it as a blank canvas onto which cinema-goers can project.
"Besides its underlying anger, Godzilla embraces various feelings... Each viewer can see his own emotions in Godzilla," he told AFP.
Impossible to ignore
Actor Akira Takarada, who starred in the original film, said he had seen the new version twice, and agreed that Godzilla is a complex creation, worthy of its place in history.
"I realised anew that Godzilla isn't simply a destroyer but that he himself is a victim of an atomic bomb... I cannot help feeling sympathy for him," the 80-year-old told reporters.
That status of victim resonates even louder in contemporary Japan, where tens of thousands of people remain displaced by the tsunami-sparked disaster at Fukushima in 2011.
Warner Bros' $160 million incarnation sees the "King of Monsters" pitted against two giant and long-dormant creatures that feed off radioactivity, as "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston battles on behalf of humanity.
Director Gareth Edwards said Fukushima had been impossible to ignore.
"There is a strong tradition in science fiction where it's not really about the future but it's often about the present, the time in which the films are made," he said.
"We didn't want to literally make a film about the events that happened in Japan but it's nearly impossible to make Godzilla, which is a symbol of a cautionary tale about using nuclear power, set in Japan, and not raise the question."
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
June 19, 2014
Sotheby's presents masterpieces from its June Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
Exhibition offers an opportunity to discover the wide-ranging materials used to create colour in paintings
Thomas Del Mar Ltd announces auction of Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria
MoMA announces retrospective exhibition of composer, musician, and artist Björk
Summer showcase of prints at the Courtauld Gallery spans more than 500 years
Lisson Gallery to open new 8,500 square foot New York City space in Chelsea neighborhood
Amsterdam revolts against United States architect Daniel Libeskind Holocaust memorial
Atlas Gallery exhibits 40 modern prints from Danny Lyon's The Bikeriders series
Iconic Fang Mabea figure sells for $5.914.099 setting a world auction record at Sotheby's Paris
First major U.S. exhibition of French photographer Charles Marville travels to Houston
Kapoor, Auerbach, Calder and Fontana lead Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art Sale
Remarkable landscape painting by N.C. Wyeth on loan to the Reading Public Museum
Return of Eakins's The Gross Clinic highlights American galleries reinstallation
Ingles & Hayday to offer violin after the 'Messie' Stradivari, made by J.B. Vuillaume
Arturo Rodríguez, Permanent Collection exhibitions open at the Frost Art Museum
Guggenheim UBS MAP launches new interactive map
Ewbank's to sell unique Rudyard Kipling archive
Taglialatella Galleries presents new works by Mr. Brainwash
'Roni Horn: Everything was Sleeping as if the Universe were a Mistake' opens in Barcelona
Daydream by Selma Gürbüz on view at Rampa in Istanbul
The Art of Video Games on view at Toledo Museum of Art
A Modern Panarion: Group exhibition opens at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
Godzilla: Still relevant and raging after 60 years in Japan
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- TEFAF New York Fall 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales
2.- Christie's announces auction of Magnificent Jewels and the concurrent Jewels Online Auction
3.- French court finds Jeff Koons guilty of plagiarism
4.- Papers of the exiled Stuart kings published online for the first time
5.- New exhibition explores relationship between British and Russian royal dynasties
6.- Wes Anderson presents box of 'treasures' from Viennese vaults
7.- Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies present...The Dark Side of Hollywood
8.- Hopper, de Kooning, Gorky and Stella hit new auction records in New York
9.- Old Master? Cave paintings from 40,000 years ago are world's earliest figurative art
10.- Cat mummies, animal statues discovered in Egypt sarcophagi
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.