Revisiting Godzilla

Going on from my first post about my autoethnographic experience watching Godzilla, I had noticed that I had picked up a lot of data about how I analysed the film in a cinematic way and how the film differed from movies based in Western culture. With this idea I wanted to further explore the assumptions I made and to make new assumptions on top of my first experience.

After doing some research on how Godzilla was created and the reasons as to why it was such an impactful film for its time it really backed up my assumptions and validated my autoethnographic research. My first thought was about how Godzilla was released after World War 2 and how he was a physical representation of nuclear disaster and who the japanese people faces such a horrific and destructive force. After going back on my assumptions and researching the history of Godzilla, it backed up my thoughts and a quote from the director of the movie Honda said that he “always envisioned the monster to be a physical metaphor for nuclear power; he intended the monster to demonstrate its attacks with the power and scale of an atomic bomb, but slower. He also insisted on loosely matching the texture of the creature’s skin to that of radiation scarring.” Along with this he also stated that he “had been wanting to make a film about the effects of nuclear devastation ever since his trip to Nagasaki, but the political climate in Japan at the time wouldn’t permit such a film to be made.”

Another analysis that I noticed after revisiting my previous post was that I was not studying the culture as much as the ways that they direct movies. Looking into the culture of Japanese filmmaking I found that it is extremely prevalent that they “dramatise power relations through lurid contrasts between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat by means of montages”.

Another director,  Akira Kurosawa who is described as being the master of mis en scene, as he created a world in his movies that capture the essence of Japan and reflected the struggle of its people to live a humble and moral life against hardships. One of his most known movies is ‘Seven Samurais’ and displays this perfectly.

After rewatching Godzilla again, I noticed that the power relations were extremely strong in the film between the love interests and the love triangle that was occurring, as it was almost taking over the flow of the film and focusing more on how their relationship was forming, as opposed to the actual threat of the city levelling monster. It was interesting as i am so used to movies that have the relationship being the background and the action being the forefront e.g. most marvel movies.

One comment

  1. Some great research into the making of Godzilla! To be honest I never thought about Godzilla representing a nuclear power destroying a city. It’s interesting the see the different movie techniques, especially with the love dynamics!


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