KID SHIRT

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

RAVISHING A UNIVERSE FOR LOVE

After moaning to Doppelganger last nite about being tired and demotivated and overwhelmed w/ work (it's a Dad Thing!), I stupidly stayed up late (and, thus, got even more tired!) to take executive blog action and give myself a moth make-over. So, in answer to his question, I say (loudly and wholeheartedly): Yes, it is!

Actually, I'm amazed that you remember The Squid Shirt Week, tho it was good fun to do...still, anyway, onto Mothra who, as you acurately predicted, is my first port of call:

If Godzilla is King of the Monsters, then Mothra is his camp nephew (oh, right...he's a she...okay, sorry...) Anyway, Mothra was the fourth giant monster (or Kaijū - literally "Weird Beast") filmed by the legendary Inoshirô Honda after the Big G, then Rodan and Baran.



Mothra first appeared in a book called "The Luminous Fairies and Mothra" by Takehiko Fukunaga. Conceptually linking back to the original book, a pair of fairies (or Shojobin) also turned up in the 1961 film, living on the wonderfully named Infant Island...



...played by the popular Japanese Pop duo The Peanuts.



"Funk the Peanuts" is a favourite of mine. Check this (apologies for tiny image):



The film also starred well-known Japanese comedian/actor Frankie Sakai...Mothra doesn't appear to the end of the film, hatching from an enormous egg as a catapillar, then emerging from a cocoon to take on the familiar moth form...somewhere along the way he, sorry, she gets attacked by napalm, etc...



Mothra is essentially played here as a symbolic avatar (albeit a garish one!), representing purity, nature and rebirth - Japan emerging from the shadow of Hiroshima/WW2 into the sunlight of 60s prosperity? - rather than a sinister, destructive monster and is allowed to return to Infant Island in peace and goodwill. The film's 'villain' is a human: a greedy, occidental capitalist. Some interesting symbolism there...




Mothra returns in "Mothra Vs Godzilla" (aka "Godzilla Vs The Thing") in 1964...



...with predictable results:





Well, okay, Mothra is, in fact, a representation/incarnation of Mosura, the Goddess of Love and Reincarnation (hence the tag-line on the poster), a sort of mystic defender of the Earth and the universe, so her struggles with Godzilla (the atom-spawned beast) can be viewed as an on-going post-industrialist battle between the natural world and the Man-made world (or the worst aspects thereof - didn't Godzilla temporarily become an eco-warrior in the 70s and battle the Smog-Monster, while Dom was forced to ride out a bad acid trip by eating raw jelly?); the Feminine and the Masculine; and also an exteriorisation of Japan's own inner conflicts - a narrative manifestation of it's own post-WW2 struggles and rebirth.

Anyway, more Shojobin in this film from Mothra/Infant Island: Yay for conceptual continuality! Mothra gets toasted by G's atomic death-breath, but dies protecting an egg from which more Mothra Larvae emerge and capture the big, bad Goz in a super-strong silken web...feel free to jump in with any theories about the symbolism at play here...

Mothra went on to appear in a whole host of kaijū eiga incl: "Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster," "Godzilla Vs the Sea Monster," "Destroy All Monsters", etc and a new generation of Mothra films in the 90s incl. "Godzilla Vs Mothra" (as opposed to "Mothra Vs Godzilla" ), "Godzilla Vs Space Godzilla," blahblahblah...



...the new films reference a host of garish Mothra analogues and variants such as Aqua Mothra, Rainbow Mothra, Light-Speed Mothra, Eternal Mothra, etc.

And let's not forget (how could we!?) that Robert Smith of The Cure once transformed into a Mothra analogue to fight Mecha-Barbara Streisand.

3 Comments:

At 10:57 pm, Blogger Loki said...

small coincidence perhaps but tonight little middle Loki came down from his bed and claimed that he was being "bothered by moths"...

 
At 8:15 am, Blogger kek-w said...

LOL! My familiars have been busy, I see....

 
At 8:15 pm, Blogger Dominic Zero said...

Man, I remember that Bad Trip like it was yesterday.
Godzilla Vs The Smog Monster...I still wake up screaming.

 

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