Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mythbusters Address the Darker Origins of Godzilla

Tested.com is a website with Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Norman Chan and Will Smith (pictured)
In an article posted today (Jan 2nd 2014) tested.com contributor, David Konow, reflects on the original darker origins of Godzilla. He talks to a few Godzilla experts on how the nuclear holocaust was a major theme in the original Godzilla movies.

Read a few excerpt below. First he talks to August Ragone, author of "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters". this was one of the few book Godzilla 2014 director took with him when he started to film Godzilla 2014. 
As Japanese pop culture expert and special features producer August Ragone explains, “After returning to a defeated Japan from China as a POW, Honda passed through the ruins of Hiroshima, and thought to himself that this was surely a sign of Armageddon, the end of the world at our own hands. So this impression was in his mind in making the film, but it came from an overall anti-war stance, that if making kept waging wars, we would eventually commit global genocide.

“Godzilla was produced the year following the end of the occupation,” Ragone continues. “There was economic, social and political upheaval. All of the major cities were razed and were being rebuilt. There was abject poverty, war orphans…the Japanese were working out a lot more than just the horror of war. Director Hondo himself said that Godzilla was the corporeal embodiment of war itself.”
Then he talked to Jonathan Belles creator of an upcoming documentary "Godzilla and Hiroshima"
With Belles’s upcoming Godzilla and Hiroshima documentary, he wanted to tackle the direct relationship between the monster and the atomic bomb. “”Godzilla is represented in different metaphors and characters that make messages of peace, and messages against nuclear war.” Belles is also hoping that those who had never seen a Godzilla film, or find the monster silly, will look at him in a new light.

By the late sixties, Godzilla went through a big change. He was now a good guy, a protector of Japan instead of a threat. Belles says, “It was decided Godzilla should be good, and save the earth from various enemy attacks. This was mainly because Japan grew economically in the ‘60s, and the makers of Godzilla decided to give the younger generations a more optimistic view of their country. As a result, the Godzilla saga became infantilized, shattering the seriousness that permeates the first decade of the saga.”

After the dreadful 1998 American remake of Godzilla, there’s still hope that the big guy can be reinvented for long time fans, and make a nice introduction for new audiences. We also feel Belles’s Hiroshima documentary could make a nice companion piece for the new model Godzilla. “I feel the next Godzilla will be very faithful to the original model,” Belles says. “The director (Gareth Edwards) also said that he will respect the Japanese Godzilla.”
You can read the original article at Godzilla and The Monsters of Nuclear War

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