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Gojira (1954) August 17, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Film.

Gojira (1954)

The original Godzilla is a triumph of subtle/not so subtle Japanese allegory. It’s a startlingly imaginative work, the monster representing at once the traditional Japanese fear of destruction, natural disasters, modern science, war, atomic bombs, and (of course) the US. Being a kaiju eiga, it’s obviously character lite – the protagonists a collection of stereotypes including a screaming girl, wooden military man and the humane scientist who wishes to study the creature. His opposite is a scientist who stumbles upon a great weapon: one that may end the suffering, but may add a terrible new armament to the world’s conflicts. The effects may be light (at least in modern terms), but the subtext comes heavily loaded. Similarities to Bikini and Hiroshima aside, the sight of man-in-rubber-suit stomping on toy buildings is still thrilling.


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