Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Godzilla is Dead!

More precisely, Haruo Nakajima who played Gojira in the original series of movies has died.  Story here at the BBC, and a 2014 picture retrospective at The Guardian.

Weirdly, this has turned into far more than a cheesy movie staring a guy in a rubber suit.  Starting with the original 1954 movie the entire kaiju film industry was born.  There was always more to Godzilla however than just a monster smash'em-up.  From the Wikipedia article:
In the film, Godzilla symbolizes nuclear holocaust and has since been culturally identified as a strong metaphor for nuclear weapons.[10] In the film, Godzilla's attack mirrors the same horrors the Japanese experienced near the end of World War II, with the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka stated that, "The theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the bomb. Mankind had created the bomb, and now nature was going to take revenge on mankind."[11] Director Ishirō Honda filmed Godzilla's rampage on Tokyo with the mentality that the monster's onslaught was a parallel to, and a physical manifestation of, an Atom bomb attack. He stated, "If Godzilla had been a dinosaur or some other animal, he would have been killed by just one cannonball. But if he were equal to an atomic bomb, we wouldn't know what to do. So, I took the characteristics of an atomic bomb and applied them to Godzilla."[11]
Funny how these effects linger seventy two years on.

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