A Taste of Godzilla

My immersion into digital Asian culture mostly revolves around television shows such as Pokémon when I was younger (including the games) and some viewing of e-sports which although are not typically Asian, have a primarily Asian audience. Despite this I chose to immerse myself into the pioneer of all monster films, Godzilla (Gojira).

In order to find the 1954 original Godzilla trailer, I needed to scroll down the searching’s on YouTube for a while. The saturation of both the 1998 and 2014 films and its popularity with western audiences makes the 1954 film trailer more elusive. This is due to the cultural gap between the eastern and western world. This gap is closing however, but there are still well defined lines.

The video starts of as many early monster films would, black and white and displaying destruction. Spliced in between action shots of Gojira are fast talking Americans on the phone discussing the immediate threat that is the God of Lizards. Military might was displayed in the one of the final scenes featuring Godzilla being barraged by tanks and various military assortments. Ultimately the advertisement concludes with a comic book-like text displaying the title of the film.

For me the trailer evoked feelings of familiarity, it seemed like a typical monster film not unlike those of today. My initial feelings and responses to this trailer was that of predictability. It seems that Godzilla was a film like many other in modern times, however it is the opposite. Modern monster films borrow certain tropes of this 1954 Japanese classic.

My initial and secondary responses, particularly the likening of Godzilla to modern monster films, is symbolic of the way in which films are developed and written today. The huge success that is the 1954 Godzilla was just the beginning of the eastern step into western film and television. The popularity of this film has warranted two more incarnations created and produced in the western world.

For my personal artifact I will be basing my work on Asian film and Television culture particularly the western interpretation and adoption of the media, hence I started with the king of them all… Godzilla.

Toho Studios, 1954, Godzilla 1954 trailer, online video, 20th July, YouTube, viewed 7-13/08/14. < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKrj1ymJzmo&gt;

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