Happy 110 to Ishiro Honda1,480 Views7 RepliesAdd A Reply
110 years ago the legend himself was born. Responsible for directing the film that started not just an entire franchise, but popularized an entire genre, Ishiro Honda directed some of the very best films in the entire Godzilla series as well as some of the very best of the kaiju genre and Japanese science fiction.
Director of eight Godzilla films, Rodan, Mothra and countless other kaiju/Toho science fiction he was also responsible for episodes of Return of Ultraman and Zone Fighter. He also did many lesser known historical war pictures, dramas and musicals.
Without him, it's unlikely Godzilla, as a franchise, would be as meaningful and historically intriguing as it is today. 110 years later, his legacy lives on having been referenced and honored by filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro.
Discuss the incredible craftsman.
How do you say happy birthday to someone who isn’t alive?
I didn’t mean that as a rude or bad comment, I just thought it was kind of sad.
Much respect to Honda and his legacy. He really pioneered the basis for this beloved franchise and many others. His films carry a different "weight" than others, no doubt.
Next to Honda, who would be your favorite Godzilla / Toku filmmaker, GMan? Are there any you consider came the closest to honoring Honda's work and the impact he had on the industry?
110 years ago a legend was born.
My immediate answer is, "no" but I don't want to cut anyone short. I mean let's face the facts, love his movies or hate them, Jun Fukuda did everything he could with the narrow resources/budgets given to him and his movies are some of the most widely seen of the franchise. He was an excellent director given a very short end of the stick in the 1970s; no time, no money, no resources and Toho expected him to make Golden Age-era caliber films. I can't imagine being in that kind of position. Regardless, his movies were widely exposed to North America, particularly Godzilla vs. Megalon on prime time. His films are very influential in how Godzilla is seen--For better or worse.
Other than that, Shusuke Kaneko is probably the closest "second coming" of Honda I can think of. Among the Gamera Trilogy, GMK and his Ultraman Max episodes, I think it's a crying shame he hasn't returned to the genre and someone should be fired for it.
It terms of my next favorite? Eiji Tsuburaya was just as influential for his special effects--Perhaps more. Whereas Honda directed 8 films, Tsuburaya plowed through many more with and without Godzilla as well as establishing his own film studio that brought the genre to television, via the Ultra series. Depending on the day, I'm more into Tsuburaya than Honda. But today is not that day.
Other honorable favorites:
(The last of which isn't particularly prolific, I just liked his style and think he's underrated.)
happy birthday ishiro, rip in peace.