Sunday, June 5, 2016

MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA! Jimbocho Theater Hosts the Battle!

Jimbocho Theater -- where it all happened! Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today I made a special trip back to Jimbocho Theater in order to catch an evening screening of Mothra vs. Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla vs. the Thing, 1964) in glorious 35mm. Even though I've seen the film screened before in 35mm, I've never seen it on a screen this big, so it was by far my best viewing of this kaiju classic.

The film print was in great shape, and the audience was nearly full. During the film, I made sure to pay special attention to the skeletal turtle on Infant Island. When watched on DVD, it looks a little like the thing is moving its head and even blinking. But this is an optical illusion. When it moves its head (which is caused by the wind, as it is otherwise perfectly still), we seem to get a glimpse of a white object (almost certainly another bone) that can be seen through the eye socket. That gives the audience the odd illusion of a blinking skeleton (!)

After the film, the audience was treated to an extra-special bonus. Several trailers (in 35mm again) of Showa-era tokusatsu favorites were screened. These included trailers for Mothra (1961), Atragon (1963), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), and Monster Zero (1965). All looked absolutely incredible on the big screen. They sure blew the trailer for Godzilla Resurgence (which naturally was played again before the film) completely out of the water.

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