Friday, April 4, 2014

Why Godzilla, part two

So the last time I was writing I meandered off course quite a bit.  Hopefully that won't be the case now. 

I believe I was six years old when I saw my first Godzilla movie, though I also think I was closer to turning seven (in about four months).  I had no idea what I was going to see when I was dropped off at the theater that cold pre-Xmas afternoon.  By the end of the show, I was hooked.  I'd see bits and pieces of various giant monster movies before.  I paid scant attention to them, though the baby roc scene in THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1957) did make me take notice of it.

Now I was actively looking for Godzilla and other monster movies.  I've thought about why the genre hooked me so much, and I've come to the conclusion it's because Japanese movies have a completely different aesthetic than Western monster movies.  They didn't strive for realism, and they sure didn't look like anything else out there.  There is a definite surrealness present in these movies. 

The monsters are also characters.  Most Western monsters are just giant animals to be stopped or killed.  There's a reason that KING KONG (1933) resonates so much to this day- Kong is not just a giant ape.  He's something more.  Godzilla is not just a giant lizard or radioactive dinosaur.  I wonder if this new movie will remember that, or if he'll just be something to be contained until the inevitable sequel.

Hmm, off track again.  Stay tuned...

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