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October 2001, Week 3


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Scott Andrew Hutchins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 20 Oct 2001 14:00:38 -0500
text/plain (65 lines)
Forwarded from a Yahoo! club...

<<Re: Kurosawa
                                   (F/OH, U. S. A.)
                                                                    10/3/01 5:16 pm

   Sorry to have been away for so long.

   I like to put this question out when I'm dealing with film buffs, or, best yet, among snobbish artsy
   types. The information really irritates these types. (^_^) Here, though, I thought it would break the ice
   and get the club talking. Not as rousing as I'd have liked, but, you've responded. If I irritated anyone,
   so much the better.


   Kurosawa was very interested in filming a Godzilla film. However, the higher-ups at Toho
   considered him one of their 'A-list' directors and not really for their more family/youth/science
   fictioney type projects. As I recall reading, he often times visited the sets (and his close friend, Ishiro
   Honda), not unlike other 'prohibited' directors, to get a peek at effects scenes and such being made.
   Honda was considered 'cool' because he worked with Godzilla (Tsuburaya) and made such popular

   Incidentally, although Ishiro Honda directed many Godzilla films, he never directed Godzilla himself.
   Special effects scenes always fell under the aegis of the 'Director of Special Techniques', normally
   Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya. However upon his death during the production of 'Godzilla's Revenge' (1969),
   Honda had to wear this hat as well. This would make it the only time Honda DIRECTLY directed
   Godzilla. (My friend, another Self Confessed Godzilla-nut, said this factor threw him off. )

   Save for one, all of the actors you mentioned have featured in Godzilla films. The 'zero' pun refers to
   'Monster Zero' (1965), starring Godzilla, Rodan, Ghidrah, the three-headed monster, Nick Adams,
   Yoshio Tsuchiya, Akira Kubo, and the beauteous, and dare I say, very sexy, and highly fanciable
   Kumi Mizuno.

   I actually met Mr. Nakajima about two years ago. I've had opportunity to meet a number of
   celebrities and political figures over the years. (Mainly in the 'Forrest Gump' fashion!) This was the
   first time I was star struck! My knees were KNOCKING!!

   I found it fun to think of the Toho monsters as actors. You notice patterns in their behavior/use that
   gives them a sort of life of their own. Godzilla is a gifted actor that loves to be hammy. Rodan, a
   classically trained actor that is never going to get another meaty lead role again because he's not as
   popular with the young people. Mothra, singer turned actress. Ghidrah, the 'Christopher Lee' of giant
   monster actors. That sort of thing. Again, look at how the characters are used from film to film by the

   Reading: 'The Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo' by Stuart Galbraith IV for the Kurosawa info and
   great interviews with the people of the industry.

   G-Fan magazine ran a series of articles 'Gammera's Autobiography'. This is a funny series of
   'excerpts' from the giant turtle's autobiography by J. Christian Grymr. It is the only fan-fiction I've ever
   recommended. It's a first person telling of Gammera's trials and tribulations as a jobbing monster

   Ki o tsukete! >>
Scott Andrew Hutchins

"To destroy an offender cannot benefit society so much as to redeem him." --L. Frank Baum, _The Flying Girl_, 1911

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