Rohil here, All Ages of Geek’s resident Kaiju Whisperer (official title), back from serenading a giant squid in the hellish gullet of the Mariana Trench, oh, and, of course, attending a super special screening of the long-archived O.G. Godzilla (1954) in 35mm film at The Japan Society in New York.
Celebrating the 69th Annual “Godzilla Day” and upcoming feature film “Godzilla Minus One” (releasing in the US/Canada on Dec. 1, 2023), TOHO STUDIOS planned a legendary treat for fans, connoisseurs, and creators of janky Kaijus crafted with innovative, hearty practical effects, energized through stupendous scores—chaos and beauty colliding—cracking shards of blistering terror that slice every goosebump off a cinephile’s exhilarated, awed skin.
Official Poster for TOHO’s “Godzilla Minus One”
An invitation from 42West/TOHO STUDIOS Atomic Heat Beamed its way through my inbox. Insta-RSVP’d. Q train, 7 train. Investigated some perilous *interactive* Kaiju disaster scene. Nodded approvingly towards Bandai’s masterfully sculpted Godzilla statue, towering over New York Comic Con’s exhibition floor. Back on the 7. Hustled through the bizarrely rad techno-jazz of Grand Central. Sprinted through the sniffling rain. Eventually gave in to the momentary limitations of my gelatinous legs and grabbed cab.
Mr. Nowang, cab driver, driven dude, historian, and fraternal friend, schooled me on peaceful conflict resolution while intercutting his favorite Nepalese dishes. I hopped out of the cab facing a John Wick death-dance choreo waiting to happen – an elegant theater with alluring ruby-red and deep-sea blue lights. Japan Society is exceptionally well-designed and maintained; the flow of the gallery promotes social interaction, and the theater is equipped to run the classics in their original, authentic formats.
A tremendously important space, Japan Society hosts “JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film” every year, exposing new audiences to thoughtful, enthralling, at times provocative work. “JAPAN CUTS” connects emerging voices in Japanese filmmaking to New York creators and beyond. Undeniably dope. Their 2019 festival put me onto “Demolition Girl”– changed my life.
All Ages of Geek’s Rohil Aniruth at Japan Society screening.
Displays, exclusive gifts, and TOHO’s opening address.
Both Japan Society and TOHO’s team were kind, exuberant, and thoroughly knowledgeable on all things Kaiju. We each received an exclusive, numbered-edition “Godzilla Minus One” art print plus a Godzilla Nanoblock toy, courtesy of partner Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America – there are 6 to collect: the O.G., Rodan, Biollante, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Space Godzilla, and Destoroyah Perfect Form.
Godzilla ‘54 being absolute nightmare fuel.
‘50s films can be immersive and transportive in a way you simply can’t get in contemporary filmmaking. They’ve got blockbuster ambitious spectacle and grandeur while also having an accessible, almost DIY, inspiring element to them. Given cinema’s limitations of the time, this above combination produces pictures that feel alive, visceral, and textural – true movie magic.
Godzilla in 35mm is one premier example of said ’50s magic. The feature was a riveting ride from beginning to end, with strong performances from the entire cast, grounding the creature’s carnage. Old school, vintage Godzilla aesthetically oscillates between an adorable puppy-face and straight-up demon. I mean, those moments where O.G. Zillz sports that diabolical look in its eyes – followed by its iconic roar/screech (my morning alarm) are next-level adrenaline-dumping awesome!
Intensely grateful to have finally seen the original King of The Monsters as intended, and couldn’t help but smile thinking about what this experience must have been like for movie-goers back in the ’50s, and how potent it was in articulating the horrors of nuclear warfare.
Attendees got a sneak peak at the new “Godzilla Minus One” trailer, now public:
Audience response to “Minus One” in Japan is promising; the film is shaping up to be a memorably explosive entry in the series, and Zillz itself boasts perhaps one of the most epically detailed renders it’s ever had. You can even see subtle variations on each of the reptilian’s scales.
Promotional photo of “Godzilla Minus One” provided by 42West/TOHO STUDIOS.
Written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki and featuring music by Naoki Sato, Godzilla Minus One sees a devastated postwar Japan facing a new threat in the form of Godzilla. As Godzilla emerges, it wreaks havoc and additional destruction on the nation, knocking the country into the negative. The first new TOHO Godzilla film since 2016’s Shin Godzilla, Godzilla Minus One stars Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando, and Kuranosuke Sasaki.
Reception at Japan Society.
After the screening, sake-filled laughs filled our reception, with delicious bites sponsored by BentOn, Sapporo USA, Brooklyn Kura, and Moshi. We closed the night with a lively convo alongside my fellow All Ages of Geek journalist, Mufsin, and new friends: writer-director González-Vega Michael and Thomas from The Toy Insider. Heartfelt thank you to them, Japan Society, and 42West/TOHO for an unforgettable night.
Join in on Godzilla’s Monster Lineup:
Godzilla Minus One is set to arrive in U.S. theaters on Friday, December 1, tickets are on sale now!
There will also be special Early Access Fan Event Screenings on Wednesday, November 29 in IMAX and large format theaters across the country.
Check out the newly launched Godzilla Store, a one-stop online shop for fans and collectors, to special screening events for all to enjoy.
Kinokuniya USA Offers New Items – Kinokuniya, the Japan and US-based retailer known for its collection of books, magazines, gifts, and stationery, will import new products from Toho Stella alongside its store offerings of multiple Godzilla items.
Godzilla Goes Adorable with YouTooz – YouTooz, the premium collectibles and detailed figures of the internet’s greatest, is dropping two new adorable Godzilla items to celebrate November 3! New products will include the Godzilla and Mothra Plush and the Godzilla Figural Coffee Mug.
A Godzilla Minus One Promo from UVS Games – UVS Games, the intersection of IP-driven fandom and social tabletop gaming, will offer special Godzilla Minus One promo cards on TCGplayer.com.
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