I wanted to see the ur-Godzilla before going to see the new, American version that opens May 16.
I was mystified that people who had been through such hell would seek to recreate it in art, and that the public would flock to see it. How did this painful Godzilla narrative become a franchise that spawned dozens of sequels?
The spectre of cities on fire was a particularly Japanese reality in 1954. What will a Godzilla produced in the U.S. in 2013 zero in on? Will the American Godzilla evoke a particularly American pain? To what end?
Of course, the original Godzilla was a morality play about the danger of knowledge that has gotten out of control -- scientific knowledge in general, and hydrogen bomb technology in general. "[I]f mankind continues to test nuclear weapons, another Godzilla may appear again one day." (Wikipedia, Godzilla (1954 film))
It was startling to see the 1954 Godzilla within days of returning from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Prepcom sessions in New York City. I was struck during my time in New York to see person after person after person articulating the reasons nuclear weapons must be abolished and the U.S. must eliminate its stockpiles. This has been going on for decades. How many different ways can we send the message that nuclear weapons need to be stopped? What will it take to finally bring about a successful mass movement against nuclear weapons?
(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))
Why is a novel an important tool for creative resistance?
(See Creative Resistance 101: Uncle Tom's Cabin )
(See A Force for Peace: Getting to Know Iran Through Film)