The Soul of Godzilla-An ISHIRO HONDA tribute @ the EGYPTIAN!

 

THURSDAY October 26 & FRIDAY, October 27-6:30 pm signing & 7:30 pm screenings @ the EGYPTIAN THEATRE in Hollywood

THE SOUL OF GODZILLA: AN ISHIRO HONDA TRIBUTE Double Feature! MOTHRA / BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (October 26)

Join us at 6:30 PM in the lobby, where authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski will sign their book Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion between films with authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, moderated by Steve Peros.

MOTHRA 1961, Sony Repertory, 101 min, Dir: Ishiro Honda

Giant caterpillar-turned-avenging-insect Mothra wreaks havoc on Japan when its best friends – two tiny, telepathic, singing sisters (played by real-life siblings Yumi and Emi Ito) – are kidnapped by an unscrupulous promoter and forced to perform in a Tokyo nightclub.

BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (UCHÛ DAISENSÔ) 1959, Sony Repertory, 90 min, Japan

Dir: Ishiro Honda With the space race in full swing, Ishirô Honda and SFX artist Eiji Tsuburaya collaborated on this action-packed, alien-invasion extravaganza. Envisioning Japan as an aerospace leader and reflecting its postwar return to world affairs (the country had recently joined the United Nations), the film shows Tokyo leading an international coalition of America, the Soviet Union and other nations against hostile spacemen from the planet Natal. These pint-sized invaders pack a powerful arsenal that includes nimble flying saucers and a giant mothership with an anti-gravity beam that sucks skyscrapers off the ground! Heroic astronaut Katsumiya (Ryo Ikebe) and his crew are ready for battle – on the moon, and in the skies over Tokyo.

Friday, October 27th

GODZILLA: THE JAPANESE ORIGINAL / THE H-MAN  Godzilla to Kurosawa. Discussion between films with authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, moderated by Steve Biodrowski. GODZILLA: THE JAPANESE ORIGINAL GOJIRA 1954, Janus Films, 96 min, Japan

In the first of countless kaiju (“strange creature”) films from Japan, a nuclear explosion rouses a reptilian monster from the depths of the ocean; as Godzilla crushes Tokyo underfoot, the only weapon that could stop him may be too powerful to use. Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi and Akihiko Hirata star in this seminal sci-fi film, which was later recut with new scenes starring Raymond Burr and released as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! in America.

THE H-MAN (BIJO TO EKITAI NINGEN) 1958, Sony Repertory, 79 min, Japan, Dir: Ishiro Honda

A sexy, exotic dancer slinks across the stage, showered in flickering lights. A bebop combo wails, sax and drums riffing like Charlie Parker and Max Roach. Square-jawed gangsters with slick hair and flashy vines smoke, drink and watch, doted on by giggling bar hostesses. Just another night at Cabaret Homura, but the heat’s about to come down on these mobsters – that is, until an even more dangerous villain appears. Ishiro Honda’s genre-blending sci-fi thriller is a mix of detectives, hoods, radioactive goblins and atomic paranoia. Starring genre regulars Kenji Sahara as an idealistic scientist, Hisaya Ito as an evil drug lord and Yumi Shirakawa as a beleaguered cabaret beauty.

About the book: The first comprehensive biography of the director behind Godzilla and other Japanese sci-fi classics Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide. From the atomic allegory of Godzilla and the beguiling charms of Mothra to the tragic mystery of Matango and the disaster and spectacle of Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda’s films reflected postwar Japan’s real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations. Now, in the first full account of this long overlooked director’s life and career, authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda’s work and the experiences that shaped it—including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with Akira Kurosawa.

Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa features close analysis of Honda’s films (including, for the first time, his rarely seen dramas, comedies, and war films) and draws on previously untapped documents and interviews to explore how creative, economic, and industrial factors impacted his career. Fans of Honda, Godzilla, and tokusatsu (special effects) film, and of Japanese film in general, will welcome this in-depth study of a highly influential director who occupies a uniquely important position in science fiction and fantasy cinema, as well as in world cinema. Together, the authors have provided audio commentary tracks and produced supplemental material for numerous home video releases, including Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla for the British Film Institute. They co-produced the documentary feature Bringing Godzilla Down to Size (2008).

“This carefully researched and detailed book gives us a full picture of the man and his life.” —From the preface by Martin Scorsese

“I first saw Godzilla in 1956 at the tender age of eight. Something about the film filled me with a somber dread—not the giant, fire-breathing monster destroying Tokyo, but the overall tone, an underlying sadness, a sense of grief and horror. Japan is the only nation to suffer atomic bombs dropped on two of its cities, and Godzilla gave powerful expression to this emotional ambience disguised as a giant monster movie. The director of this seminal motion picture was Ishiro Honda, the creator of an astonishing output of science-fiction and horror films from Toho Studios and one of my personal cinematic gods.” —John Carpenter

“Exhaustive researchers, Ryfle and Godziszewski delve deeply into the entirety of Honda’s sometimes harrowing life while defining his films within Japanese studio system and his later collaborations with Kurosawa. Filling a huge vacuum of needed scholarship, it’s required reading for genre fans and serious students of Japanese cinema alike.”- Stuart Galbraith IV, author of The Emperor and the Wolf

STEVE RYFLE has contributed film journalism and criticism to the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Cineaste, Virginia Quarterly Review, POV, and other publications. He is the author of a book on the history of the Godzilla film series. ED GODZISZEWSKI is editor and publisher of Japanese Giants magazine. He is the author of a Godzilla film encyclopedia, and has written for Fangoria and other publications.

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