Film Analysis Worksheet for Week 13: Gojira (Original Japanese Version)

Summary

  • I grew up with the movie series as a kid so I was familiar, and it was just easy to analyze overall.

Film Analysis

Film TitleGojira
Year1954
DirectorIchiro Honda
CountryJapan
GenreSci-fi/Horror
If you could work on this film (change it), what would you change and why?I don’t think I would change it because its a classic, but If I made the movie today I would still use some of the practical effects they used back then instead of CGI.

As you view films, consider how the cuts, camera angles, shots, and movement work to create particular meanings. Think about how they establish space, privilege certain characters, suggest relationships, and emphasize themes. In addition to shot distances, angles, editing, and camera movement, note details of the narrative, setting, characters, lighting, props, costume, tone, and sound.

Ask yourself the following questions:

TOPICYOUR NOTES
1. Who is the protagonist?Japan, I don’t really think there is actually a certain human protagonist in the movie, all of the characters in the film are really just used to move the story along line in any other movie, but here all the characters are victims of the “nuclear bomb” (Godzilla) to relate to the audience and not just one main human character is being focused on. I think they all show characteristics of the people who witnessed the atomic bomb. Like Dr. Yamane who wants to keep Godzilla alive for study.
2. Who is the antagonist?“The Nuclear Bomb” Gojira (Godzilla)
3. What is the conflict?The unstoppable Godzilla attacks Japan.
4. What is the theme? (summarize in one or two words)Learn more…The theme of the film is the terror of the Nuclear bomb. Godzilla himself symbolizes nuclear weapons.
5. How is the story told (linear, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, at regular intervals)Learn more…Regular interval story telling, however this is one flashback scene when one of the characters reveals a secret.
6. What “happens” in the plot (Brief description)?An ancient dinosaur mutated by nuclear radiation rises from the sea and attacks Japan and the people struggle to resolve the conflict.
7. How does the film influence particular reactions on the part of viewers (sound, editing,
characterization, camera movement, etc.)? Why does the film encourage such
reactions?
Godzilla is seen as a victim of Nuclear fallout, which the Japanese audiences can relate to with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Godzilla is also seen as unstoppable as he just storms his way through Tokyo without being harmed just like the nuclear bomb would do.
8. Is the setting realistic or stylized? What atmosphere does the setting suggest? Do
particular objects or settings serve symbolic functions?Learn more…
The story takes place in real life Japan in the year 1954. Godzilla himself is totally unrealistic but he symbolizes nuclear terror. The Oxygen destroyer weapon is also unrealistic but symbolizes how science can harm people or benefit people.
9. How are the characters costumed and made-up? What does their clothing or makeup reveal about their social standing, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or age? How do costume and makeup convey character? Learn more…A lot of the characters are young people, and are seen as the side that is scared of Godzilla, they all dress normal and are pretty much the characters the majority of the audience relates to.

Dr. Serizawa is a more darker character, being the one who created to forbidden oxygen destroyer that is seen as stronger then the nuclear bomb. Dr. Serizawa wears an eye patch which you can assume he fought in the previous war.
10. How does the lighting design shape our perception of character, space, or mood?Learn more…The film is shot in black and white, but it still has a gritty feeling to it. Most of the lighting is dark. Which the film itself has dark themes.
11. How do camera angles and camera movements shape our view of characters or spaces? What do you see cinematically?Learn more…The film makes Godzilla’s scale appear big by shooting from low angles and pointing the camera upwards.

There are a lot of dark shots of people recovering in the hospital after Godzilla attacks.
12. What is the music’s purpose in the film? How does it direct our attention within the image? How does it shape our interpretation of the image? What stands out about the music? Learn more…The music is done by Akira ifukube who did a lot of the soundtracks for the Godzilla movies, hes also the one who made the iconic Godzilla roar. Whenever Godzilla appears the music is very slow and it has a weight to it almost. The Military’s theme through ought the movie is actually the Godzilla character affiliated theme today, and it sounds relieving and hopeful.
13. How might industrial, social, and economic factors have influenced the film? Describe how this film influences or connects to a culture?Learn more…This movies whole purpose was to show the terror of Nuclear bombs, at the time the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings from 1945 were still fresh in everyone’s minds and it still scared people. Godzilla’s backstory is seen as a victim and it connected with a lot of the Japanese audiences because it reminded them of their experiences in the past war.
14. Give an example of what a film critic had to say about this film.Use credible sources and cite sourcesExample: “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review (1994) | Roger Ebert.” All
Content. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 June 2015.Find good sources…
Terrence Rafferty from The New York Times stated Godzilla was “an obvious gigantic, unsubtle, grimly purposeful metaphor for the atomic bomb” and felt the film was “extraordinarily solemn, full of earnest discussions”
15. Select one scene no longer than 5 minutes that represents well the whole film and shows relevant cinematic elements. Explain why.Ending Scene: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x746tro
3:20 – 8:00
This is actually the American edit and not the original Japanese version but the only difference is it stars Raymond Burr as an American News Reporter.

I chose this scene because it wraps the whole film up, it shows that science can either destroy or benefit. The feeling of a new beginning really stands out to me in this scene and it feels like the aftermath of the bombings of Japan and the end of WW2.
16. In the selected scene: write a sentence for each of the elements below:
a. Screenwriting:A lot of detail, especially in the scene where Godzilla attacks Tokyo there is tons of little parts where Godzilla would for example start to get aggravated at a clocktower and smashes it, or walks over to a tower full of reporters and tips it over. It feels like an actual disaster happened and these are famous stories that came from the disaster.
b. Sound Design:The iconic roar was made from a rubber glove being rubbed against a bass.
c. Camera Movements:Slow and showed the whole scenery
d. Light Setup:Dark and Gritty lighting, created a dark atmosphere
e. Soundtrack:The soundtrack was filled with emotion.
18. What’s the socio-cultural context of this film? Learn more…To show the terror of the Nuclear bomb. It gave Japan a way to move on from the end of WW2.

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