Saturday, October 5, 2013

Monster Art: Gamera / ガメラ

Yet again an impulse purchase of some art; this time about Gamera/ガメラ. I could never get enough of the Kaiju Eiga monster movies shown every Sunday afternoon when I was a kid.

Godzilla/ゴジラ", a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, was essentially conceived as a metaphor for the victimization of Japan from nuclear weapons made during the postwar decade-long American occupation when censorship was so strict that even mentioning censorship was censored--reminiscent of China, right?

Further, making a war movie portraying Japanese forces fighting anything but monsters or aliens was forbidden. So there you go, thanks to the Fat Man and Little Boy which were dropped owing to not only the Japanese fighting zeal but also Stalin's aggressiveness with the allies in both the European and Asian theaters, we've ended up with such monster movies.

And this all culminated with the 1985 DPRK movie Pulgasari, made because the real monster called Kim Jong Il orders North Korean intelligence agents to kidnap a famous South Korean movie director and then forced him to do a North Korean spin on Godzilla--some say this time the monster was metaphor of unchecked capitalism and the power of the collective.

On that note, I wonder when they will make the movie about the Chinese Communist Party's most recent scapegoat monster, Bo Xilai.