Saturday, May 30, 2020

Birthday With the Big G

It's my 64th birthday today, May 30th. After Donna went to bed this evening and left me to celebrate alone, I felt a sudden strong urge to revisit the film that was once known as GODZILLA VS. THE THING. I watched a bit of the English version but then switched to the Japanese, MOSURA TAI GOJIRA. Watching it again, I realized that it was one of my favorite childhood memories - I actually saw it four times in one weekend back in 1964. (I guess I was revisiting 1964 From the new vantage of 64.) The Japanese version is not just the best story of all the Toho films, with arguably the best monster effects of the bunch, it is a reprimand addressed to all politicians, businessmen, and military leaders (not least of all their own) whose decisions betray the common good with selfish, divisive dreams of avarice and conquest. Godzilla here is the incarnation or result of misguided power, while Mothra epitomizes green peace, Mother Nature. I found it not just nostalgic but profoundly moving, due in no small part to the purity of Eiji Tsubaraya’s special effects, Akira Ifukube’s heart-wrenching score, and the sweet duets of the Peanuts.

(c) 2020 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.

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