Growing up in a family of traditional Italian’s has always been interesting. I have grown up with grandparents who listen to their italian radio while cooking and doing housework, watching RAI Italia of an afternoon with them and trying to translate the The Bold and the Beautiful as a small child. All of these scenarios have shaped me to be the person I am today. However, I realise that I’ve never really been exposed to any sort of asian culture, besides some cartoons while growing up, and in more recent years with the rise of KPOP and JPOP.
So to cut to the chase, Gojira was an experience. Chris played us the original Godzilla film, which was made in 1953. Then, we were asked to live tweet our reactions. The very first thing I noticed…
The sound effects of Godzilla were really weird and unnerving. It wasn’t a sound you would typically hear in a film today. Again, my experience from watching films from this era would typically showcase amazing sound effects which are realistic.
The lead female, Emiko wears ‘1950’s American housewife’ in style clothing as she plays the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’. Literally every scene she is in, she is either screaming, wailing or loudly crying. Emiko is constantly seeking the comfort and protection from her male counterparts, whether that be Ogata or Serizawa, Emiko seems hopeless. I guess this was a common theme in movies of the time.
Although I laughed at the time while watching, its interesting how realistic this movie is. It shows the emotions and distress that the people were feeling to have this giant lizard attacking everyone. If you’re ever told not to panic, that is when people actually start to panic. So, its really just a true reaction that humans have.
Back to Emiko, but she looked so happy while she was crying? I really didn’t know what to make of this, other than that it could be bad acting? Because I am so used to seeing perfectly executed acting and emotional scenes in modern day film, its interesting to see what these scenes are like from this movie. It’s a great contrast to what i am used to seeing.
Although this movie made me think “WTF” a lot, mainly at the model houses and the giant lizard himself (who was actually a MAN IN A SUIT?!?), it had a lot of underlying history which was explored in an interesting way. As someone who studied History in school, Gojira was an excellent way to explore the effects that the World War had on Japan. One line in the film solidified the intentions of the film, to inform people of the effects that the war had on the Japanese: “If we keep conducting nuclear tests, another Godzilla may appear somewhere in the world.” This line emphasised fears of nuclear energy and weapon testing.
Gojira in today’s film landscape can be seen as a laugh, however, at the time it was a movie based on fear and horror. It is an interesting concept and way to go about expressing the fears, but also very effective. Overall, what a great film. It has moments where you laugh, and a few when you think about how awful it would have been.
I recommend that everyone take the 98 mins to watch it, you will not regret it!