Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028 Map
Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - Fri, Oct 27, 2017
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THE SOUL OF GODZILLA: AN ISHIRO HONDA TRIBUTE

Godzilla first laid waste to Tokyo more than 60 years ago in a symbolic re-enactment of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Today, the monster is a global pop-culture symbol and star of a long-running film franchise that reaches from Japan to Hollywood. But while Godzilla is recognizable worldwide, director Ishiro Honda - the filmmaker whose epic, apocalyptic vision first brought it to the screen - has often remained in the monster’s giant shadow.

Honda was the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unparalleled succession of genre movies that were commercial hits worldwide. Tapping into the zeitgeist of postwar anxieties (both Japan’s and the entire world’s) and incorporating fantastical special effects by longtime collaborator Eiji Tsuburaya, Honda’s films were distributed to more countries and shown in more cinemas during the 1950s and ’60s than those of any other Japanese director - even Akira Kurosawa, his lifelong best friend - a feat rarely acknowledged.

Noted Japanese sci-fi scholars Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski have just written the first major biography of the director, Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa, and join us in person for a look at some of Honda’s most memorable creations. This tribute shows that, beyond the monsters trashing cities, Honda’s science-fiction films helped chronicle Japan’s emergence from WWII into a thriving, modern country.

GODZILLA (1954), made just nine years after the war’s end, is a brooding, black-and-white masterpiece of atomic terror. Similar fears resurface in THE H-MAN (1958), a genre-bending Eastmancolor hybrid of detective mystery, yakuza gangsters and radioactive goblins. In BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1959), Honda shows a resurgent Japan leading an international coalition (the country had recently been admitted to the United Nations) in a heroic battle against alien invaders. And MOTHRA (1961) is a bright, family-friendly sci-fantasy for a Japan now brimming with optimism. Honda was a master of genre and a craftsman of impressive range and depth, who occupies a uniquely important position in science fiction cinema as well as in world cinema.

Series compiled by Dennis Bartok, Steve Ryfle, Grant Moninger and William Morris. Program notes by Steve Ryfle.

Honda biographers Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski will introduce both programs.
Egyptian TheatreThu, Oct 26, 2017 - Fri, Oct 27, 2017
Buy Tickets SHARE

Films in this Series at the Egyptian

Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre
Steve Ryfle & Ed Godziszewski In Person!
Fri, Oct 27, 2017 - 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre