From the review from January: “Perhaps no series in the history of movies ever went to hell as fast as the seemingly endless spawn of Gojira (1954) — or Godzilla as it came to be known in the West. Oh, sure, the immediate cheapjack sequel Godzilla Raids Again (1955) — which made it to the U.S. in 1959 as Gigantis the Fire Monster — was at least seriously-intended, but it was a cheapjack sequel that showed up in Japanese theaters about four months after Gojira. It also had none of the first film’s genuine sense of dread or weightiness of theme — perhaps because co-writer-director Ishirô Honda was nowhere to be found. However, this first film is a kind of post-war masterpiece. And there is very much the specter of the war haunting the film. One of the early scenes — after Gojira has made his presence known — involves people on a commuter train talking about bomb shelters, with one commenting, ‘The shelters again. That stinks.’ The whole very anti-nuclear tone (a staple in Honda’s films) is plugged into that mindset and the ghost of the atomic bomb. Gojira is even said to have been released by nuclear testing — and you hardly have to reflect to find the allegory in an unstoppable force that can incinerate people and level entire cities with its radioactive blast.”
Full review: http://avl.mx/sc
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Gojira (Godzilla) Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District, upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com.