Godzilla (1954)

Showtimes
SUNDAY, JUNE 23 AT 7:30PM | GENERAL ADMISSION: $8 • LOFT MEMBERS: $6

Part of Loft Staff Selects, a monthly series showcasing film favorites chosen by our amazing Loft Cinema staff! This month’s film was chosen by BEN MACKEY, Marketing Associate!

“Magnificent! Visionary! The great post-World War II monster movie! A daring attempt to fashion a terrible poetry from the mind-melting horror of atomic warfare.” – J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Rejoice, man-in-a-rubber-monster-suit fans – the OG of Godzilla flicks is stomping back onto the big screen at The Loft Cinema! While the great Japanese films of the 1950s like Rashoman, Ugetsu and Seven Samurai have long been revered in the US as major works of art, Japan’s biggest domestic hit of that decade, the pointedly allegorical monster movie Godzilla (also known in its homeland as Gojira), has been fondly remembered here as a camp classic of epic proportions. But that’s because it’s long been known only in a butchered US release version re-titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which deleted 40 minutes of the Japanese original – it’s very heart – and awkwardly added atrocious dubbing and poorly-matched, shot-in-Hollywood scenes of a pre-Perry Mason Raymond Burr observing the action from the sidelines. Leaving less than an hour of the original’s 98 minutes, the cuts eliminated entirely the original film’s strong anti-nuclear theme – with Godzilla seen as a radiation-fueled metaphor for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and oddly, all of its biting black humor. Directed by the great Ishiro Honda, who later went on to make such other classics of kaiju eiga (“strange creature movies”), as Rodan, Mothra and The H-Man, the original version of Godzilla features more scenes with the real (human) star of the film, Kurosawa-regular Takashi Shimura (who was also the Seven Samurai leader that same year), as well as more of the beloved “suitmation” special effects by legendary effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya. Spawning over six decades of sequels, remakes and rip-offs – not to mention generations of rabid fans – the original Godzilla remains as thrilling and chilling as ever! (Dir. by Ishiro Honda, 1954, Japan, in Japanese with subtitles, 98 mins., Not Rated)