Godzilla-a-Go-Go

I’ve just finished reading – A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series, a historical filmography book that analyzes the Godzilla series written by David Kalat. I queue jumped this to the top of my to-read-pile, putting aside one of the books I was already reading. I really enjoy books that put things into a larger cultural context & this books nearly delivers on that level.

It was great fun to read the background story of the financial vs art struggle of the monster. Kalat is a fan but gives balanced look at the weaknesses of the films. He also gives insight into how they were marketed in japan as oppose to how they were often reconstituted for the American market. The inept bad voice choice dubbing being the prime crime against Godzilla. I’ve always wonder why they can’t hire real actors to do this work – after all Disney uses well-know actors for their animation?

But Japanese films weren’t the only one to suffer hack dubbings – try watching any of the many Italian sword & sandal epics & one realizes bad dubbing was routine. The Italian movies often suffered the same reconstitution for the US market.

But I digress.

Kalat explores the soundtracks as well & often the film were stripped of their origin soundtracks for stock sound cues when released in the US. It is no wonder they often suffered critical drubbings. Seeing them now, thanks to TCM, I am happy to read subtitles & not be distracted by dubbing. The films are Japanese originals as well not that I have even seen the crappy US versions of may of these. They didn’t make it as far as Cape Breton.

I don’t take them as seriously as Kalat though. Much like Supermarionation, one always knows this is suitmation. The scale model work is impressive but never convincing. Some things can’t be scaled: water, fire but always love scenes were boats get capsized. Back projection work improved over the years but, Let’s face it, HD TV isn’t kind to back projection.

Kalat’s filmography ends in the early 2000’s. I would like to see many of the movies later movies but the Japanese versions are unavailable on DVD – i.e. Submerging Japan. I have seen the late 90’s ‘re-boot’ set in New York with Matthew Broderick as the scientist & despite many critical quibbles I really enjoyed it. The taxi chase scene is great & the Godzilla, although not the traditional one. was pretty good cgi. Fans want suitmation. 

Of the ones I’ve seen I’ve liked Godzilla vz Hedora (The Smog Monster) – pop art meets suitmation. The psychedelic music is wondrous, nightclub scenes are on point – who cares that Hedra, at points, looks more like melting candle. Also really enjoyed ‘Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.’ 

A great book beyond the Godzilla content for its insights into the American domination of the world film industry.

The Glory of Godzilla https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Tp 

Lock and Key

I don’t know

how many doors I’ve walk though

how many I’ve shut behind me

never to look back

how many keys I’ve had copied

how many I have lost

how many I have 

in a drawer rattling around

with forgotten doors to open

no way of finding their way home

had a book of photos of doors

doors around the world

some partially open 

some with a face peeking shyly out

most shut solid

barring me for seeing deeper

never saw a book of keys

they’re a deeper mystery for me

I have an idea where a door might lead

but a key

what lock does it match with

what could it unlock for me

the keys to the highway

the door to the unknown

could it open your heart

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Finding #Music for the #Muse

Someone asked me how I find the music that I find. There is no one source other than my furtive seeking mind. My tastes are wide, varied & often unpredictable. Often nostalgia will bring things into my collection.

pants plaid pants

When I blogged here about the Animals I picked up a book about their career which lead me to seeking some of their influences & also the bands they poached from to replace members. That lead to the Nashville Teens – easy to find.

Also Dantalian’s Chariot – harder to find, but a few Chariot tracks were on a compilation of sitar sixties, which I bought & that collection lead me to The Folkways: a sort of Ventures with sitars instead of guitars.

jacket plaid jacket

Reading Langston Hughes biography lead me to some of the musicians & composers he worked with. Modern American classical stuff. Replacing bad cassette to cd dupes: i.e. Vinnie Burke prompted me to see what else by Vinnie I could find.

Often things pop on my tumblr feed – modern pop that I might never hear about – I follow up & sometimes buy things. It was though an lp cover post that I stumbled across an amazing 3 cd collection of Japanese 60’s psychedelic pop – music some people would just think wtf – but I thought heaven sent – including covers of Purple Haze & Stone Free that are quite good. Most recently I picked up work by Asia Argento – sexy eurodisco stuff.

ribbon plaid ribbon

When I read that Mercedes Sosa was one of the biggest selling  female artists in the world! I wondered why I had never heard of her. I tracked some tracks down & that opened up even more sweet Latino music for me.

This is one area of my life where this is no such thing as enough.

soon

October 10-12 – attending – Gratitude Roundup http://www.torontogratitude.org

grat14

October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebow pine2https://www.facebook.com/events/1651892755035275/

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 – 10687117_10152612541999299_6204440739000161855_nhttp://nanowrimo.org

samples

Saint Jim

Pere Lachaise

section six section seize

‘seize the moment in section six

you have to seize the moment

saiser l’instant’

Jim starts a new song

‘you have to seize the moment

in section six’

I can hear him shout

through stage fog strobe lights

teeny bopper girls rush the stage

police men push them away

as he taunts flaunts

teases pleases scowler prowler

hurt lost shaman

like those silly little girls

I lust after that idol

I wonder what they saw

that day in Miami

if he did flash the iconic cock

I make my way though a light rain

everything is a line in a Saint Jim song

‘making my way

through cemetery rain’

I know he‘s here somewhere

I see mystic marks sprayed

momentos of worship

‘the blue bus stops near here’

the rain stops

and I am there

it’s not a monument

a flat grey space with a tombstone

his name wrong

James isn’t Jim

his bones beneath my feet

unless they’ve been stolen

relics in sacred altars

for those who think

they can petition this saint

a bunch of flower

some used condom lizard skins

‘lizard skins drying in the sun

show we have seized the moment’

I hear birds

then dozens of people

hiss of cameras

posers smile lean over the tombstone

stoke his name then gone

left alone

I seize my moment

shrug at the security camera

unzip my fly

to flash my cock

the only gesture of his I can duplicate

cd01 not even scratching the surface