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October 2001, Week 3


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Susanna Chandler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 20 Oct 2001 23:20:41 -0400
text/plain (133 lines)
Well I for one, find your fascinations with Godzilla films charming; and
recall being charmed by the monsters themselves many years ago. It never
occured to me as a child that the monsters where actors in regalia. At the
time I was taking animation classes and assumed they were models!

My thoughts are this:

How much personality the Japanese bring to stereotypes [the monsters being
stereotypes of classic Japanese myth, art, and theatre].

Perhaps more importantly, what a capacity to create stereotypes from
personalities. Just take the world of Pokemon [however shallow that is as an
example, the characters all have, potentiality, the *as-if* of metaphor].

It would be wonderful if you shared more about this. There is a model here,
especially in our world of special effects and the fantastic. The link to
real personalities, and actors being the bridge, shaping animated characters
in fantasy/mythology seems the difference between artifact and art. Disney
sometimes has small clues [Robin Williams, etc.], but their inability to
stretch as to who they include in their models is the difference.

Susanna Chandler
Gravity Groove Productions
Cambridge, MA

> From: Scott Andrew Hutchins <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 14:00:38 -0500
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Kurosawa and Godzilla
> Forwarded from a Yahoo! club...
> <<Re: Kurosawa
> Trivia---ANSWER!!!
> lcaustin2000
> (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.
> Anyway...
> 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
> films.
> 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
> studio.
> 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
> actor.
> 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
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama:

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