Illustrated Journal #19 (Godzilla 1954)

Godzilla 1954.jpg

So I wanted to talk about Godzilla for this journal and more about the filming techniques used in the movie.  In 1954, the world was introduced to Godzilla, the king of the monsters. He has since then become a staple of Japanese pop culture.

Godzilla was shot with low angles and used miniature sets to give that illusion that the audience was watching a giant lizard attack Tokyo. In reality it was a man in a suit. This scene in the film is my favorite because the audience really gets the feel of how big and powerful Godzilla is. It is a full body shot at a low angle showing the dominance of the creature. It helps too that the only  full appearances the Godzilla makes in the movie are at night. It helps make what is on screen believable. It’s terrifying to see that Godzilla now penetrated the city’s last defense and go on a rampage killing everyone in his path.

To me, this has been the one Godzilla film that holds up the best. It takes itself seriously and never does anything cheesy, unlike other monster movies at the time. This was made at a time when the memory of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still present in the minds of the Japanese people. The filmmakers injected those feelings into this movie as warning of man’s new capabilities of the atom bomb. I believe that message is still effective to this day because the movie does not leave the audience on a positive note. Godzilla stands the test of time.

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