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서울국제여성영화제

사이트맵

ARCHIVE

16th(2014)



Mothra

HONDA Ishiro

  • Japan
  • 1962
  • 100min
  • DCP
  • color
  • 드라마

Synopsis
Mothra is the first female monster series of Toho studio which made Godzilla series. In waters off Infant Island, a presumedly uninhabited site for Rolisican atomic tests, four sailors are found surviving a storm and strangely unafflicted with radiation sickness, which they attribute to the juice provided them by island natives. A tenacious newspaper reporter Zenichiro Fukuda and photographer Michi Hanamura have got interested in examining the survivors and the story unfolds with unexpected adventures.


 

Program Note
Godzilla is the globally popular Japanese monster film, but Mothra, a special-effects masterpiece from Toho Studios, boasts of its cult
 popularity in Japan. Directed by the genre regular HONDA Ishiro with special effects by TSUBURAYA Eiji, the dynamic duo of Toho Studio’s
 giant monster films, Mothra is a novel monster film. The original serialized novel, written by NAKAMURA Shinichiro, FUKUNAGA Takehiko,
 and HOTTA Yoshie, a trio of pure literature writers who majored in French literature, was also a huge sensation. Because it was planned as a
 ‘giant monster film for both men and women,’ the Peanuts, the popular Japanese group of twin singers at the time, appear in the film as the
 ‘Little Beauties,’ and KAGAWA Kyoko stars as a photographer, portraying an active modern woman. The plot of the film is quite absurd—
 when the ‘Little Beauties’ are abducted from some southern island, Mothra, the guardian of the ‘Little Beauties,’ breaks out of its egg and
 comes to Japan to rescue them. However, Mothra is full of allegories that remind the audience of Japan after WWII, such as the wrecked
 freighter, the nuclear bomb test site in Rolisica (an anagram of Russia and America), and the Infant Island (reminiscent of the Daigo Fukuryu
 Maru incident, where the tuna boat of the same name was contaminated by nuclear fallout from the US’ nuclear test on Bikini Atoll). It is
 also evident in the fact that Mothra launches its attack on the US military base in Yokota, dams, the Tokyo Tower (replacing the National
 Diet Building in the original novel) and eventually New Kirk City. Allegorical criticisms of the civilization and imperialism, the setting of the
 film in post-colonial era, and the contradictions inherent in orientalism makes the film even more intriguing. Wearing a skirt suit which
 was in fashion at the time, KAGAWA who portrays a career woman, the symbol of democracy in Japan after WWII, teams up with Frankie
 SAKAI who plays a journalist to weave reality into this fantasy film through an exquisite comic performance at times. [SAITO Ayako]

Director

  • HONDA IshiroHONDA Ishiro

    HONDA is Japanese director, known for Kaiju (monster) films. He directed a number of special effects films from Toho Studios, including Godzilla (1954), The Mysterians (1957), and Mothra (1962). Director Guillermo DEL TORO dedicated Pacific Rim (2013) to HONDA Ishiro in the credits, noting that he received a lot of influence from HONDA’s monster films.

Credit

  • ProducerTANAKA Tomoyuki
  • Cast SAKAI Frankie, KOIZUMI Hiroshi, KAGAWA Kyoko
  • Screenwriter SEKIZAWA Shin'ichi
  • Cinematography KOIZUMI Hajime
  • Art director ABE Kimei, KITA Takeo
  • Editor TAIRA Ichiji
  • Music KOSEKI Yuji
  • Sound FUJINAWA Shoichi, MIYAZAKI Masanobu