"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Original Godzilla: January 1, 1929

お誕生日おめでとう ゴジラさん、中島春雄!

Nakajima 1971 BW blog

Taking a break on the set of GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH (1971) ©Toho

This is the first photo I ever saw of the man who played Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, in an early '70s issue of Greg Shoemaker's seminal Japanese Fantasy Film Journal (which subsequently appeared in the pages of Randall D. Larson's Cinefan and Forrest J. Ackerman's Famous Monsters of Filmland), and I consider it to be the definitive image of the man (thanks Greg!).

Mr. Nakajima turns a spry 81 today, and wants his fans to know that he is still going strong (check out my 2009 birthday notice for more information on Japan's dean of monster actors)! We cannot thank him enough for his myriad of kaiju roles which started in 1954 with the roar that was heard around the world in GODZILLA. Help us to wish Mr. Nakajima have one of the greatest years ever, by expressing your own personal greetings and sending them to Armand Vaquer, who will officially forward them to Godzilla himself!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Silver Screen Spookshow on December 26, 2009

Godzilla returns to Atlanta's Plaza Theater with a special Silver Scream Spook Show presentation of Ishiro Honda's DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968) on Saturday, December 26th. The Silver Scream Spook Show is a 30-minute live stage presentation "filled with magic tricks, dancing girls, spectacle and frights!", followed by a classic horror movie in 35mm. Admission is $7.00 for the 1:00 pm Matinee (free for kids under 12) and $10 for the 10:00 pm show.

Plaza Theater
1049 Ponce De Leon Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia 30306

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bob Logan's Amazing "Ultraman" Studies

Episode 1, "Ultra Operation: No. 1". ©1966 Tsuburaya Productions

Episode 5, "Secret of the Milogandar". ©1966 Tsuburaya Productions

Episode 2, "Blast the Invaders". ©1966 Tsuburaya Productions

Back in August, I posted a fantastic Science Patrol recruiting poster created by illustrator and animator Bob Logan. Here, I've posted three of his "Ultraman Studies" taken from scenes in early episodes of the original ULTRAMAN. It goes without saying that Mr. Logan has a keen interest in the 1966 series, and these studies were executed in the style of Neo-'50s pop art; akin to the work of contemporary retro-pop purveyors, Shag and Tim Biskup.

But, who is Bob Logan? For those who don't know, the Annie-award nominee began his career cutting his teeth on The Simpsons in the early 1990s. Since then, has worked as a Story Artist on various animation productions for Walt Disney Studios and DreamWorks Animation, including Powerpuff Girls: The Movie (2002). He recently published his first book, Rocket Town (2008) from Tor Books. I certainly hope to see more of his Ultraman-inspired work in the future!