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Daniel Yun
Thursday, May 15, 2014

Showbiz

Hollywood pays homage to Eastern cultural icon

Daniel Yun | Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cinema still of Godzilla.

May typically marks the start of the period when so-called summer blockbusters are released.

This year, the super heroes have been coming at us fast and furious.

Among them is a different kind of hero. An Eastern hero given the total Hollywood treatment - Godzilla.

I went into the Imax 3D experience without reading any reviews. I left the cinema gasping.

Steven Spielberg once said: "I like ideas, especially movie ideas, that you can hold in your hand. If a person can tell me the idea in 25 words or less, it's going to make a pretty good movie."

Spielberg's comment embodies the essence of the high-concept film, which can be condensed into one sentence that inspires marketing campaigns, lures audiences, and separates success from failure at the box office.

This is the foundation for the development and dominance of the high-concept movie within commercial Hollywood film-making since the late 1970s.

A single phrase like "Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the water...", a single image or a theme song could be used to turn a movie into a blockbuster.

Almost every shot in Godzilla is what the film industry would call a money shot.

Helmed by Gareth Edwards, one of the most promising young Hollywood directors, the movie bestowed a certain nobility to the title character, a sign of respect for the source material.

This character first crashed onto movie screens in Toho Company's 1954 classic Godzilla (Gojira in Japanese), at a time when special effects were in their Bronze Age.

This monster, born of the two nuclear bombs which exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, started out as a spectacle of carnage and destruction, but evolved into a hero. An antithesis of the play of nuclear power.

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