Sunday, October 15, 2017

PRINCESS FROM THE MOON! Cast and Crew Talk About This All-Star Toho Fantasy!

Eiichi Asada and Takatoshi Takeda pose with a Princess from the Moon poster. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Another event I attended today was a screening of Princess from the Moon (1987). Well, sort of. You see, because I attended the Ultraman event earlier in the day, I ended up missing the screening of the movie!

Takatoshi Takeda. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

But there was still a lot of fun to be had. In attendance were actor Takatoshi Takeda and special effects director Eiichi Asada (who served as assistant SFX director on Princess from the Moon). Of course, the two shared their memories of working on the film.

Eiichi Asada. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Eiichi Asada has enjoyed a lengthy career in Japanese SFX, dating back to the early 1970s. He was an assistant director on Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Submersion of Japan (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), Espy (1974), Conflagration (1975), Zero Pilot (1976), The War in Space (1977), Deathquake (1980), The Imperial Navy (1981), Sayonara Jupiter (1984), and Godzilla 1985, among others. He was the special effects director on Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003) and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).

One interesting story that Eiichi Asada told was about director Kon Ichikawa. Ichikawa often smoked on the set, and he (apparently subconsciously) would signal his feelings by the position of the pipe or cigarette in his mouth. For example, if his cigarette pointed upward, that meant he was angry or unhappy. But if the cigarette were facing downward, that meant he was satisfied. I suppose his cast and crew made sure to take note of where his cigarette was pointed at any given time!

Asada-san also brought the prop from Princess from the Moon that can be seen during the last scene of the film. When the spaceship comes to retrieve Yasuko Sawaguchi from Earth, you can see an alien in the ship, and here's the alien! Suffice it to say, it was cool to see such an interesting piece of film history.

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