Monday Monster Movie: Shin Godzilla

Like an Aaron Sorkin-scripted movie, “Shin Godzilla” features lots of serious looking people in suits striding around giving orders. Proof perhaps that Japan is not the isolated culture people sometimes assume:

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Monday Monster Movie – Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Once there was a simple, ordinary story of a simple, ordinary monster called Godzilla. This simple story explored, in a simple way, how a simple monster could simply attack a simple modern city. Some chose to read into this simple, universal fable all sorts of complex stuff about atomic bombs and whatnot, but Godzilla remains as simple as Three Blind Mice or Citizen Kane.

Over the years, however, layers of complexity have been added to this simple structure. The plot summary states of this 2002 masterwork states:

“After the appearance of a new Godzilla, the Japanese government builds a robotic Godzilla from the bones of the original monster that attacked Tokyo in 1954 to stop the beast.”

Such simple words, yet such a subtle tapestry is woven involving the clash between nature and technology, the nature of parenthood and of political authority, and the limits of a Godzilla shaped cyborg. Drawing on intellectual influences as diverse as Foucault, Thomas Carlyle, Virgina Woolf, Increase Mather, TS Eliot, Kate Chopin, Saul Bellow, Carl Schmitt, Caryl Churchill, Dr Dre, Dr Johnson, Peregrine Worsthorne, Norman Wisdom, Ray Harryhausen, Max Brod, Yasanuri Kawabata, Wendy Cope, Whit Stillmann, Penelope Spheeris and Rod Hull, the movie encapsulates the cultural zeitgeist of the early 21st Century.