Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The biggest star in the movies

Every one who knows me knows that I have a favorite movie star. He's the biggest, he's the best, he's the one and only Godzilla. I can hear you laughing. But it's true, I'm a sucker for Godzilla movies.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the big green guy. And what a celebration. First the release of the original movie, and this time it is the original movie. Did you know that all the footage with Raymond Burr was added to the US release to make the original more palatable to American audiences? For the first time they are showing "Godzilla" the way it was meant to be, original, restored, and uncut.

An excellent article by Jim Knipfel in the New York Press, "ACTS OF GODZILLA" In it he suggests that perhaps the time is right to reconsider Godzilla.

The original Gojira (in part at least) was reacting to an unprecedented foreign attack on Japan and its citizens that was still fresh in everyone's memory. Fifty years later, the scars of the second world war and the deep-seated fears over imminent nuclear annihilation have faded from public consciousness. So maybe there's just no use for Godzilla anymore.

I don't buy that. I think he's so open to interpretation that there will always be a place for him. After all, we have plenty of massive new fears confronting us these days.

When the movie came to Madison a couple of weeks ago I asked my lovely wife if she wanted to see it. She replied, "I might as well. You'd just come home and tell me about it scene by scene."
Currently in Japan the next Godzilla movie, #28, is in production, "Godzilla - Final Wars".

Toho says it will be the last one. I don't believe it, I can't believe it. If the BBC can bring back Dr Who, Toho will relent. Godzilla can never die. He is a part of us all, at least of us Godzilla geeks.


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