The Kaiju Film: A Critical Study of Cinema's Biggest Monsters

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McFarland, Feb 11, 2016 - Performing Arts - 212 pages

The Kaiju (strange monster or strange beast) film genre has a number of themes that go well beyond the "big monsters stomping on cities" motif. Since the seminal King Kong 1933) and the archetypal Godzilla (1954), kaiju has mined the subject matter of science run amok, militarism, capitalism, colonialism, consumerism and pollution.

This critical examination of kaiju considers the entirety of the genre--the major franchises, along with less well known films like Kronos (1957), Monsters (2010) and Pacific Rim (2013). The author examines how kaiju has crossed cultures from its original folkloric inspirations in both the U.S. and Japan and how the genre continues to reflect national values to audiences.

 

Contents

Preface
1
A Genre Apart
4
1 The Japanese Origins of the Kaiju
25
2 Disasters Manmade and Natural
37
3 International and Domestic Politics
68
4 Science and the Weapons of Mass Destruction
105
5 America and Kaiju
121
6 The Body Gender and Kaiju
156
7 The Role of Nostalgia
169
Whats Next?
176
Filmography
183
Chapter Notes
185
Bibliography
192
Index
199
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About the author (2016)

Jason Barr is an associate professor at Blue Ridge Community College. His work has appeared in African American Review, Explicator, The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, and The Journal of Caribbean Literatures, among others. He lives in Weyers Cave, Virginia.

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