Imperial Lizard


PopMatters has marked the fiftieth anniversary of Godzilla with several essays on the nuclear lizard, among them Michael Nenonen's analysis of the 2001 film Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Daikaiju Sogougeki. By Nenonen's account, the picture displays some creepy politics:

We're asked to applaud twice in this movie: first, when the supernatural protectors of the "homeland" punish the young for their lack of militaristic virtue; and, second, when the Japanese military allies itself with these inherently religious entities to subdue the nation's feelings of remorse for victims of its imperial adventures. Since Godzilla is such an important cinematic institution in Japan, GMKG:DS suggests that the Japanese psyche is making a hard political swing to the right.

Alternately, of course, it might simply indicate a hard swing to the right among the people who make Godzilla movies. Which itself is an interesting shift, given that the original Godzilla was -- in Nenonen's words -- "a warning about the catastrophic consequences of military nationalism in the nuclear age."

The latter-day Godzilla movie I'm most interested in seeing is 1994's Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, aptly described by blogger Matt Bruce as "something Homer Simpson would make up."

[Via Jeff Patterson.]