10/22/2004 | KU Radio News Line

Audio





Contact: Frank Barthell, University Relations, (785) 864-8869.

Radio News Line text:
Radio News Line: Original Godzilla comes to KU

THE ORIGINAL GODZILLA, NOW 50 YEARS OLD, IS COMING TO LAWRENCE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS. THE VERY FIRST GODZILLA FILM, TITLED "GOJIRA," (GO-gee-rah) WAS RELEASED IN JAPAN IN 1954, AND A NEW PRINT WILL BE SHOWN TO OPEN A CONFERENCE AND FILM FESTIVAL OCTOBER 28TH THROUGH 30TH COMMEMORATING THE KING OF THE MONSTERS' BIRTHDAY.

KU PROFESSOR OF HISTORY BILL TSUTSUI (soot-SUE-ee) IS THE CONFERENCE ORGANIZER WITH MICHIKO ITO (EE-toe) , KU LIBRARIAN FOR JAPANESE STUDIES. TSUTSUI SAYS THE ORIGINAL FILM WAS VERY POPULAR IN JAPAN, BUT U.S. DISTRIBUTORS DIDN˙T BELIEVE THAT AMERICANS WOULD READ SUBTITLES ON A MONSTER MOVIE. SO THEY EDITED THE FILM AND SPLICED IN NEW FOOTAGE FEATURING ACTOR RAYMOND BURR AS AN AMERICAN REPORTER WITNESSING THE DESTRUCTION OF TOKYO BY GODZILLA.

TSUTSUI SAYS THE ORIGINAL FILM CONTAINED A SERIOUS MESSAGE LARGELY ABSENT FROM THE AMERICAN REMAKE.
Tsutsui: "The filmmakers were trying hard to make a statement. In fact, one of them later said that they hoped by making that movie, they would actually stop nuclear testing. It˙s a very sober, dark, serious movie." (11 sec.)

THE NEW PRINT OF "GOJIRA," NEVER BEFORE SCREENED IN THE AREA, WILL BE SHOWN WITH SUBTITLES AT 7:30 P.M. OCTOBER 28TH AT LIBERTY HALL IN DOWNTOWN LAWRENCE. ADMISSION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. TSUTSUI BELIEVES THE FILM STANDS APART FROM OTHER MONSTER MOVIES MADE DURING THAT ERA.
Tsutsui: "And unlike most giant monster movies from this period, it shows the consequences of destruction. It shows people injured and dead. It shows the city on fire. You know when they originally showed that in Tokyo in 1954 it was said a lot of people left the movie theater in tears." (16 sec.)

TSUTSUI SAYS GODZILLA HAS MAINTAINED HIS POPULARITY BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE RECALL SEEING THE MOVIE AS CHILDREN IN THE 1950S.
Tsutsui: "So for a lot of people, nostalgia is wrapped up in it. Watching the movies takes you back to when you were a kid and brings back a lot of those memories of a simpler, gentler time. Plus the movies are just fun." (10 sec.)

FOR A COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR THE CONFERENCE, LOG ONTO http://www.g2004.net/godzilla/.

-30-



This site is maintained by University Relations, the public relations office for the University of Kansas Lawrence campus. Copyright 2003, the University of Kansas Office of University Relations. Images and information may be reused with notice of copyright, but not altered. kurelations@ku.edu, (785) 864-3256.