Monday, January 23, 2006

Oh no, there goes Tokyo...

While this would be a cool class to attend, you'd think that students could be studying more important subjects...but this is the University of California at Berkeley we're talking about.

Course Details

Kaiju Cinema: An Introduction to Japanese Giant Monster Movies

Astronomy 98/198 - (Units: 2)


Course Description: This course will be lecture/discussion based, but with most of the time in class devoted to watching the actual films. The course will also have short required readings from a reader.

Since the release of Tôhô Studios's seminal Gojira in theaters across Japan in 1954, kaijû eiga—roughly translated "giant monster movies"—have made their mark on the landscape of Japanese film and television. Gojira (largely known in America as Godzilla, King of the Monsters!) paved the way for a host of movies in a similar vein; many of these were also produced by Tôhô, but several other studios tried their hand at the genre as well, most notably Daiei with its moderately successful Gamera series. Although television shows such as Ultraman and Kamen Rider had by the late 1960's eclipsed their cinematic forebears in popularity, leading to a decline in theater attendance and worsening quality in the films themselves, the genre has weathered the storm and continues to be an important part of the country's cinema.

A more detailed look at this "class" is here. Only at Berkeley. How much you want to bet this is going to turn into an bash America fest due to the anti-atomic testing theme that runs through most of these films. The orginial Japanese version of Godzilla ("Gojira"-20 minutes longer and without Raymond Burr) really hammered that point down everyone's throats.