Sunday, December 4, 2016

SPACE GODZILLA FLIES AGAIN! A Special Screening of This Heisei-Era Adventure!

Producer Shogo Tomiyama joins screenwriter Hiroshi Kashiwabara at a screening of Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla. Photo by Brett Homenick.

 Today I attended a special screening of a great 35mm print of Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994), and it was the best the film has ever looked. Of course,  it's a rather flawed film, and the final battle between Godzilla, Space Godzilla, and MOGERA is one of the most boring of the entire series.

Godzilla series producer Shogo Tomiyama recalls the making of Space Godzilla. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

When the event was originally booked a few months ago, director Kensho Yamashita was scheduled to be the guest of honor. Sadly, he passed away in the summer, and the screening became a tribute to his career. The guests of honor were Heisei and Millennium series producer Shogo Tomiyama and screenwriter Hiroshi Kashiwabara, who penned the Space Godzilla's script.

Screenwriter Hiroshi Kashiwabara discusses the challenges of writing the film's screenplay. Photo by Brett Homenick.

This was the second time I've seen Space Godzilla on the big screen in Japan, and my reaction was the same both times. There are things I enjoy about the first half of the film, but when the final battle between the monsters takes place, I get bored to distraction and lose interest in the proceedings. 

That's quite a flash! Sandwiched between producer Tomiyama and screenwriter Kashiwabara. 

Still, the event was very enjoyable, and the two guests were extremely approachable and affable. The pair answered questions for about an hour before signing autographs and taking pictures with attendees.

Hanging with Hiroshi Kashiwabara, something the fine folks of Itasca never got to do.

I enjoyed talking movies with Kashiwabara-san. He's a big fan of John Wayne and Steve McQueen, and his two favorite American films are The Great Escape (1963) and The Searchers (1956). On the Japanese side of the equation, his favorite film is Yojimbo (1961), followed by Sanjuro (1962) and Seven Samurai (1954). I mentioned that one of my favorite movies is Boogie Nights (1997), which got a positive reaction from Kashiwabara-san.

With producer Shogo Tomiyama.

Likewise, it was great to see Shogo Tomiyama again. He's always friendly whenever I see him at functions like these. All in all, it was another successful event. There are plenty more in December, and I can't wait to participate!

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