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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Steve's Church-Less Movie Of The Week ...

Yoinked from Wikipedia ...

"Mothra (モスラ ,Mosura?) is a 1961 giant-monster movie from Toho Studios, directed by genre regular Ishirō Honda with special effects by legend Eiji Tsuburaya. It is the kaiju eiga debut of screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, whose fantastic yet intelligent approach to the genre grew to prominence during the 1960s. The film stars Frankie Sakai, a popular comedian in Japan at the time, and Hiroshi Koizumi, in the first of many academic roles he would adopt. Jerry Ito (transliterated as Jelly Ito in the credits of the U.S. release) delivers a fiendish performance, his only contribution to Toho's kaiju eiga genre. Ito also appeared in 1958's Japanese/US co-production The Manster (a.k.a. The Split), and in Toho's 1961 end-of-the-world sci-fi feature Sekai Daisensou (The Last War). The score by Yuji Koseki includes probably the most enduring song in kaiju eiga, Mosura No Uta (Mothra's Song), performed by The Peanuts. [This song will be available for download further in this post.]

Mothra was the first of the kaiju eiga to distance itself from the genre of horror. Unlike Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), and Rodan (1956), thematically and visually darker films full of allegory and scenes of death, Mothra is vibrant, colorful (like Mothra herself), and at times jovial. Even the scenes of destruction in Mothra are depicted with an air of fantasy: rather unlike actual automobiles, cars and trucks caught in Mothra's gusts are tossed and bounced about the cityscape of New Kirk like leaves in a dust devil.

As a daikaiju Mothra is assigned an unprecedented level of personality, imbued as the shobijin's guardian with loyalty and nobility. The film ends not with Mothra's death or incapacitation but with her success at retrieving the shobijin and returning—-in peace and on good terms with Japan—-to Infant Island. The true antagonist of the film is instead the greedy sensationalist Clark Nelson, whose role lends itself to broad interpretation. Fukuda describes him as an 'art dealer' of the type who raid historic sites for riches. The film was conceived and released at the outset of the Japanese post-war economic miracle, amid the liberalization of business from government regulation; by placing an (Occidental) capitalist in such a villainous role, the film propounds a strong critique of the Western model of capitalism itself.

The ending of the film alludes heavily to Christianity: Mothra's symbol is revealed to bear a likeness to the Christian cross—though it more specifically resembles the Celtic cross—and its image, joined by the sound of ringing church bells, is used to summon Mothra and show her where to land. Remarkably, whereas the propagation of Western capitalism is to blame for Mothra's destructive onslaught, it is Western religion which appeases it.

Mothra was released in the United States in May 1962 on a double-bill with The Three Stooges in Orbit. New York Times film critic A.H. Weiler gave the film a generally positive review, singling out the color and special effects for praise. 'There's that color, as pretty as can be, that now and then smites the eye with some genuinely artistic panoramas and décor designs.' The film did well at the box office but was mostly panned by U.S. critics as a typical B-grade monster-on-the-loose flick. Its basic plot was recycled in King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla (1962 and 1964, both also written by Sekizawa), and the daikaiju Mothra would become one of Toho's most popular, appearing in seven more Godzilla films and her own trilogy in the 1990s."

The Peanuts: Mosura No Uta (Mothra's Song)

Steve's Snacks Of The Week:



Internet Porn

Breathing Treatments

Gummi Bears (gluten-free, I swear)

Kettle Chips

I will admit something to you. This movie tends to be a difficult one to get thru. I know this because I've tried watching it online twice now. The problem is that there's a fine line between a good japanese monster movie and a piss poor one. In a good one there needs to be a delicate balance between monsters destroying buildings and dense, lengthy human plotlines. This one has some A-MAZE-ING monster destroying crap scenes. It's just that in order to get to them you have to fight your way thru pounds and pounds of boring shit.

Still, it's a damn classic.

... AND NOW, Steve and this blog are both PROUD to once again present today's Church-less Movie of the Weel in its entirety FOR FREE! Yes, yes, no need to thanks us. Just pay it forward and whatnot and remember that the Wind Clan is a-a-a-a-all up in heres.

Please, though, lets go over a few theater rules. There's absolutely no talking in Steve's Theater and any talkers WILL be spanked and set on fire. No cell phones or African-American berries going off in the theater. And NO TEXTING! And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).

Oh, and remember ...

Enjoy the show y'all!

Watch Mothra for free right now!

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