Retrospective 2015

Gojira

Godzilla
Honda Ishirō
Japan 1954
96min
V'15

GOJIRA dramatizes nuclear horror unlike any other film of its period, because the fantasy element is clearly standing in for a reality too horrible to contemplate directly. In a cinematic world filled with denial regarding the lethal use of nuclear weapons, GOJIRA stands as reminder not only of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also of the unfortunate fishing boat, which was irradiated by nuclear fallout from the U.S. test of an H-Bomb in 1954. Like many classic monster movies, GOJIRA gradually builds to the revelation of its title character, then keeps it mostly off-screen. Instead, the focus is on the human characters, who wrestle with the impact that Gojira’s destruction has on their lives (something to which the film’s post-war Japanese audience could easily relate). The story even presents a genuine moral dilemma: should Dr Serizawa use his Oxygen Destroyer to defeat Gojira and, in the process, possibly reveal to the world a weapon even more devastating than the thing it’s meant to defeat? (Steve Biodrowski)

Supporting film: MYSTERIES OF THE DEEP

Credits
  • Takarada Akira - Ogata Hideto
  • Kochi Momoko - Yamane Emiko
  • Hirata Akihiko - Dr. Serizawa
  • Shimura Takashi - Yamane Kyohei
  • Murakami Fuyuki - Professor Tanabe
  • Murata Takeo
  • Honda Ishiro based on a story by Kayama Shigeru
  • Shimonaga Hisashi
  • Tamai Masao
  • Taira Taichin
  • Ifukube Akira
  • Kita Takeo
  • Chûko Satoru
Toho Film
35 mm
bw
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