Thursday, May 21, 2015

The World Where I Am Sitting


I was asked by someone who loves Godzilla films as much as I do, “What do you think will be the future of the franchise?”  This question is a reasonable one, because since the beginning of the franchise the viewer could expect fun, violence, destruction, and some allegorical content.  Whether Godzilla represented the spirit of Japan, or a force of nature, or a vengeful spirit out to make the world pay, the character was always interesting, even if other portions of the films he starred in were not so interesting. Biolante comes to mind.

The recent America film of Godzilla so outclassed the previous American film of the character, I have to think the franchise whether in Japan or the US is in good hands. But, there is always the fear, on my part if not that of others, that the recent effort succeeded but the makers of that film won’t understand why it did.  An example of that would be the live action version of Scooby Doo, and the sequel, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.  The first chapter was silly and funny, but most importantly, it was clever about what people liked about the cartoon, and played with the expectations of that audience.  The second film looked at the first and said those clever scenes just slowed it down, lets just make it a straight mystery comedy.  And in the process, killed the humor, made for no mystery, and sucked the life out of the whole time you were in the theatre watching.

Like Scooby Doo, and any long lasting, beloved, franchise Godzilla has accepted conventions, that is, things we the audience love, and without them, it isn’t Godzilla.  If the makers of the last Godzilla film think we need a dozen monsters and lots of fighting, it might be a momentary fun spectacle, but it won’t be very enjoyable in the long term.  So, I am aware the next movie can suck, if all goes poorly, but I trust that it won’t.

Doing a project that involves research, I am always excited when it involves paintings and legends and myth.  I love to learn about the world around us and use it or use what I’ve learned from it to assist my work in the future.  In this case I am researching the lost city and “continent” of Atlantis, and the best early writer on the subject was Ignatius Donnelly, a Minnesotan who was a bright man who had an interest in many different aspects of existence.  He discovered in his research various theories that, while perhaps not proving the existence of Atlantis, proved to be rather prescient in describing other events of the unwritten earth history.  He does of course use pseudo history to fill in the blanks.  There is no doubt he is writing fiction, but he is doing so after having made some surprisingly logical leaps of faith.  His work and others are worth the effort of seeking out.




kurt wilcken said...

I had a roommate in college once who owned a copy of "Atlantis: The Antediluvian World". I never got around to reading his copy. I've sometimes wished I had.

alex-ness said...

Those two books are not perhaps perfect, but they are, for the era, groundbreaking and display a great amount of imagination.