I met with my (and they keep telling me NOT to make blogging all about me, and I keep doing it anyway!) good friend, Godzilla today. It was utterly impossible to meet & greet & get popcorn @ AMC 1000 Van Ness because he forgot to remind me about Bay To Breakers. When I first got here when Godzilla was in 8th grade, I really & truly thought it was Beta Breakers, a run of drunken college sorority or fraternity people. It took about 10 years for the fog on that issue to lift. Why I am so learning impaired? But Godzilla was fine. He really able to sink his teeth in his latest film role. I just wanted so much to act right along side him, maybe a reptile animal trainer, or a Catholic priest in a straight jacket, trying to give Last Rites to all the dying people.
My poor friend had to contend with these two antecedents of giant, meat-eating, pesky pigeons that had plans on getting first dibs on all the water-front apartments & penthouses with great views. That got all messed up due to their size. They just won’t fit into Million Dollar 700 Square Foot condominiums, the way humans clamour to do around here.
Nope, it was a bit chaotic. The big birds fouled things up for everyone, but the music that was generated by the reptile rebellion was terrific. You can tear up San Francisco, you can earthquake it, and have over-sized lizards come & act out their nuclear waste binge eating, but you can’t close a film made here without some ambiguity & uplift-and that’s just what happened.
Go see this—and believe it! It will happen. There is a reference, belated, to the reason for Godzilla’s coming to life. That reason is because things are out of balance. Too many cell phones being stared at for too long will bring giant reptiles out of the woodwork, out of the strip mines, and they will probably come out from recycling centers. In the case of Godzilla: 2014–what came from Las Vegas did NOT stay in Los Vegas, or Honolulu, or even Paris. Towards the end, we all became one with Detroit, the Godzilla of Cities.
You Tube Trailer of Godzilla: 2014
“You’re hiding something out there…and it’s going to send us back to the Stone Age…”
“Please stand by.” The cameraman always has the last laugh.
You Tube Trailer of Godzilla: 1998
As things turned out, content mattered more than size. But it was still Godzilla!
You Tube Trailer of Godzilla: 1954/2014 Mashup
Images are from the original with voice-over from 2014 version.
Even baby Peeps were not safe. Were they made from nuclear waste? Were they from Las Vegas? They were so innocent, so cute!
You Tube of Death Scene From Godzilla: 1954
The original film has something that the remakes did not quite get: beauty, poetry, sublimity. The original Godzilla leaves the viewer with a sense of pathos & empathy for this wronged creature. The compelling music, and the simple gesture of the woman who removed her hat says it all so perfectly. Her eyes fill with tears…because of loss.
That is the great theme of Godzilla, loss. The first film captures that with a majesty unmatched by the others.