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Something I appreciate about the Godzilla franchise: different point of views

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Titan of Water

Apr-12-2020 5:12 PM

While I do think their are certain “molds” the Godzilla should fit in (anti-nuclear, environmentalist), I appreciate the different and often contradicting ideas of the Godzilla series. An obvious example of movies on complete opposite ends of the spectrum are GMK and Shin Godzilla, arguing whether nationalism is good or not (both get their points across spectacularly). Now, a year ago, I wasn’t a very open-minded guy when it came to movies. If a movie had a message or theme I didn’t like I would hate it. For instance, I went on a real cringy rant here on the forum a year ago about the “SJW” scenes in KOTM. But I feel like I’ve matured and now once and awhile like my perspectives and ideas to be challenged in certain art. And that new appreciation has made enjoy the Godzilla series even more. There are so many instances of movies questioning the ideas of previous films, even sometimes with the same directors questioning them as they get older and more mature (Ishiro Honda for example, compare his earlier films with his later films and you’ll see contradictions and questioning). The franchise has almost become a movie series for different directors and artists to debate each other’s morality and politics. Even the more “fringe” groups get some spotlight, for example (this is my just my interpretations and not Gospel), the Godzilla Anime universe sees an almost Anarcho-Primitivist Utopia, and Godzilla KOTM gives an sort of pantheistic view toward nature and the planet. I like the diversity of ideas in the series as it keeps the series fresh and gives fans a chance to have a more open mind. However, this might be more relevant to the Japanese films, as they seem to be more open to diverse perspectives in film than Hollywood, which, unfortunately in my opinion, forces films into a very tight mold that doesn’t allow for a wide spectrum of ideas. Anyways that’s my thoughts. Leave your thoughts about my opinion on this topic.

Angering the Godzilla fan base one take at a time

 

10 Responses to Something I appreciate about the Godzilla franchise: different point of views

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Apr-13-2020 6:15 PM

This is pretty much the modus operandi in Godzilla movies--Exploring different social issues under the guise of monsters smashing cities with unique, very Eastern special effects techniques.

Some issues tend to betray one another depending on the filmmaker or film era, but apart from a few movies I wouldn't necessarily say they contradict each other. They mostly shift points of view given the type of era they were made in. But it's always interesting to see how the Japanese point of view of these topics--It makes sense, given they are Japanese movies and should thus be looked at from that lense.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Xenotaris #TeamMothra

Apr-19-2020 1:46 AM

So what you are saying is that only Japan should make Godzilla movies because of an outdated special effects? It would be like asking for Hollywood movies to return to stop motion over CGI. I mean i'm all for practical effects that look convincing and CGI that looks convincing.

I think people like to hate on CGI because its popular; and this is coming from a guy who does like practical effects. But practical effects can only take you so far. This was realized by hollywood in the 90's with the Jurassic Park series. The Jurassic Park movies were revolutionary not because of their practical effects like the animatronics and full body puppets but because of its CGI.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Apr-19-2020 1:15 PM

Xenotaris,
No, I don't think Japan should make Godzilla movies because of their style of special effects--Nowhere did I remotely say that. But since you decided to unpack this can of worms, your comparison between Hollywood going back to stop-motion and Japan's tokusatsu makes no sense in any form.

The difference is, tokusatsu is still produced in Japan today and on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, stop motion has been left behind in Hollywood. You continue to operate under the false pretense that tokusatsu is outdated for its techniques and assume that unless visuals looks "realistic" it's not very good. This is an extraordinarily narrow assumption.

You don't seem to understand the difference between representational art and presentational art. Representational art is meant to "represent" what something may look like in our reality. Take Jurassic Park, for instance. The entire point of that film's special effects was to look as realistic as possible because it was suppose to represent what these creatures might look like in our reality.

Presentational art does not. It presents its own reality, assuming the function of creating a look and feel that does not and can not exist in our reality. Let's use Ultraman in this case: Miniatures are supposed to look like miniatures, monsters are supposed to look unrealistic and the stories often fit the mold of the visuals, allowing for more fanciful storytelling.

However, this doesn't mean the filmmakers slop any miniature down and use that as an excuse. Within the context of tokusatsu's presentational pieces is a standard of filmmaking. Quality depends on the detail of the miniatures, the angles of the shots, the way they fill up frames and spaces, the lighting, etc.

What you get wrong is it's not about practical vs. CG. It's about style vs. style: Presentational vs. representational. CG is Hollywood's go-to, fast-food style. There's no way to escape it and just because it looks "real" doesn't mean it looks interesting. I far prefer the look and feel of tokusatsu where the visuals are more interesting because it looks and feels different. The filmmakers have to depend on physical craftsmanship, depth-of-field, lighting tricks and low angles to create a sense of scale where there is none--And that's far more fascinating than the CG blockbuster of the week we're subjected to every other day in the west.

So now if you're done helping me derail the topic, move along.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Xenotaris #TeamMothra

Apr-19-2020 9:41 PM

I'm a simple guy, I don't know about art but I know what I like. Don't get me wrong i do like Tokusatsu movies. I just don't like when people bash on western style film making because its not Japan!

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Apr-19-2020 11:03 PM

"I don't know about art"

That is abundantly clear.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


SarcasticKaiju #TeamGodzilla

May-11-2020 5:50 PM

Also, back then, Tokusatsu was considered realistic. Hence Gojira won best special effects, and many films later. And the wrists on all the dinosaurs in Jurassic park are wrong. They should be sideways. But I digress.

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which is a reality.

-Lt. Hideto Ogana

SarcasticKaiju #TeamGodzilla

May-11-2020 5:51 PM

Art is always dependent on the creator.

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which is a reality.

-Lt. Hideto Ogana

Xenotaris #TeamMothra

May-11-2020 6:56 PM

@SarcasticKaiju

well for Tokusatsu, yeah back in the day, but it still didn't hold a candle to stop motion around the same time. Which wasn't limited to a human-like body frame.

Also the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were genetically engineered hence the "inaccurateness"

SarcasticKaiju #TeamGodzilla

May-11-2020 7:38 PM

I know, but it still bugs me

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which is a reality.

-Lt. Hideto Ogana

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

May-11-2020 11:39 PM

Actually, even in America, early tokusatsu was heavily praised for its "realism". Specific reviews for Mothra vs. Godzilla and Battle in Outer Space praised Tsuburaya's effects.

However, by the late 60s, tokusatsu effects directors had shifted focus to the style of miniatures and shots used to showcase them, rather than focus on realism--A shift that would keep the style alive and kicking today.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


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