The first thing that comes to mind when I think Godzilla, is a crap movie that visually expresses the development of special effects for over half a century, and is awesome to watch in a cinema (and only a cinema) where the infamous roar makes your organs vibrate.
So when I heard we were watching Gojira, I was a little gutted we weren’t going on an excursion to the IMAX, and if I’m going to be completely honest I’ve seen Godzilla enough times… I would have been happy with any other black and white Japanese film. I’m no stranger to black and white films or subtitles, I’ve always felt that if an international film makes it onto my screen then it must have done bloody well to get there and is worth the watch. Most the time, it usually is and even though I know I’ll never watch Gojira again, I’m glad to have seen it.
There were many clear cultural differences and similarities throughout the film. One that stood out was the first on screen appearance of Gojira with everyone running to escape and falling down the hill. Note my live feed comment: “Thongs are definitely the best foot attire for escaping dinosaurs #DIGC330”. I did some research and their footwear looked like traditional Japanese footwear called ‘zori sandals’ which closely resemble the traditional Australian footwear you might know as ‘thongs’. In this scene I felt like I could really relate you know, it’s not easy running for your life in those things.
However; what really interested me about the film, which draws apart from the other Godzilla movies I’ve seen (or now that I think about it, I may have just completely missed) was the relation to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the carnage of nuclear war. Having previously studied the cause and affect that these bombs had on Japan, it reminded me of the devastation it caused and really brought a must more chilling effect to the film because metaphorically this really happened.
“Godzilla is the son of the atomic bomb. He is a nightmare created out of the darkness of the human soul. He is the sacred beast of the apocalypse.” –Tanaka Tomoyuki, Gojira producer.