Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira) is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama, made in Japan at a time when the country was reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific. Its rampaging radioactive beast, the poignant embodiment of an entire population’s fears, became a beloved international icon of destruction, spawning almost thirty sequels. A thrilling, tactile spectacle that continues to be a cult phenomenon, the original, 1954 Japanese version is presented here.
“One of the saddest, most bluntly brutal monster movies ever made. The legacy of the war, of American occupation and the atom bomb, hangs over the whole film.” – Vulture
“The first surprise is that the original version, directed by Ishiro Honda, is not a kids’ movie, not a hectic teen goof, not a grindhouse shocker but a serious drama of politics, romance, and conscience…” – Richard Brody, New Yorker
“Godzilla transformed the trauma of the war into fun—or art. Ultimately, Honda’s movie belongs with Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove(1964), and Bruce Conner’s Crossroads (1976) as a daring attempt to fashion a terrible poetry from the mind-melting horror of atomic warfare.” – J Hoberman, Criterion
- 7/28 | 7:00PM