I haven’t watched a ‘monster’ movie in a really long time, let along an international movie. I haven’t watched an old or classic movie in a really long time, let along one in black and white. Out of no fault or reason other than my movie-viewing practices, have not always been about taste or desire to see a particular movie. Rather, what was in reaching distance, what was fed to me or forced into my bubble of experience.
My background of a monster movie experience, is probably limited to the giant spider in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).
My background of an international movie experience, is the one time I stumbled onto a Spanish film on Netflix out of boredom and somewhat enjoyed it.
My background of a classic movie, is very faded memories of the Wizard of Oz (1939) from years ago, back when I remembered how a VHS worked.
Beginning Godzilla, my experience and culture was not off to a very understanding start.
I had never seen it before, because it ticked none of my boxes. You don’t even realise you have conditions and factors you want out of a movie until you come across one that doesn’t fit your mould. Most people would be stopped by a movie not being in colour “It’s in Black & White, I won’t like it i’ll be bored.” Everyone else probably stood up and left when they realised it was Japanese “I don’t want to watch a movie that i’ll have to READ, it’s too much effort”. And if i’m honest, these are probably the reasons why I never watched it either without knowing it.
And if I had stuck to my limitations, I would never have met my friend Godzilla. I never would have been able to step out of my own perspective of this film and actually enjoy it. I found the captivation in a monster movie and remembered that a good monster movie, isn’t just for the glory and gore, but the monster is symbolic and informative.
A really good monster movie will have you fearing the creature in the intro, and crying when it is slaughtered by the ‘real’ monster.
I realised that international movies really aren’t as draining as you think, by the second act you don’t notice the subtitles anymore as they blend into the visual viewing. You realise watching a movie from another culture is not that difficult to follow, but you’ll notice and learn their own nuances and film styles. Watching a movie from a different time, a different style that you are not familiar with, can start off as something to mock or dismiss.
I find myself googling other Black and White classic movies I can watch, and offer them my attention and patience I learnt that I need to approach these sorts of movies with.
Godzilla taught me that instant gratification is not the only way to consume movies, to reach out beyond my bubble for movies that I think I don’t like.
Movies, like people, like Godzilla, deserve a chance to prove their worth.
Thank you, Godzilla, rest easy my friend.