Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa
Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide. From the atomic allegory of Godzilla and the beguiling charms of Mothra to the tragic mystery of Matango and the disaster and spectacle of Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda’s films reflected postwar Japan’s real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations. Now, in the first full account of this long overlooked director’s life and career, authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda’s work and the experiences that shaped it—including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with Akira Kurosawa. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa features close analysis of Honda’s films (including, for the first time, his rarely seen dramas, comedies, and war films) and draws on previously untapped documents and interviews to explore how creative, economic, and industrial factors impacted his career. Fans of Honda, Godzilla, and tokusatsu (special effects) film, and of Japanese film in general, will welcome this in-depth study of a highly influential director who occupies a uniquely important position in science fiction and fantasy cinema, as well as in world cinema.
Together, the authors have provided audio commentary tracks and produced supplemental material for numerous home video releases, including Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla for the British Film Institute. They co-produced the documentary feature Bringing Godzilla Down to Size (2008).
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actors Akira Kurosawa aliens American assistant director Battle in Outer Blue Pearl bomb camera cast characters cinema Courtesy of Honda crew digital edition direct drama Eiji Tsuburaya Episode father feature film’s filmmaker footage Frankenstein friends genre Ghidorah giant Godzilla Gorath Half Human Hiroshi Hiroshi Koizumi Hollywood Honda Film Inc Honda-san Human Vapor Ifukube Ifukube’s Ikebe Inao interview Ise-Shima Ishiro Honda island Japan Japanese film kaiju Kajiro Yamamoto Kajita Kenji Sahara kids Kimi Kinema Junpo King Kong King Kong Escapes Koizumi later Mechagodzilla Mifune military Mizuno monster films Monsters Attack Mothra movie Mysterians nuclear played popular postwar production recalled released Rodan Ryuji Samurai scene sci-fi science fiction films scientist screenplay script Sekizawa Shimura shooting shot soldiers Special Effects Film star story studio Takarada television theme things Toho Co Toho’s Tokyo told Tomoyuki Tanaka Tsuchiya wanted Yoshio Tsuchiya young