Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
I'm still hoping someone will explain to me what "over-egged" means and how it applies to this film.
In general, you can't go wrong with a Val Lewton movie. My favorites are Cat People, The Body Snatcher, and The Seventh Victim, but even his lesser films are literate, poetic, haunting, and strangely fascinating ....
"Over-egging the pudding" is a British expression that basically means going too far in trying to improve something, to the point it is ruined. Whether it applies to the revised version of the movie would be up to the beholder, I guess.
Sorry, Christopher, I thought you were taking the piss.
Yeah, I've picked up a few expressions that generally baffle people as I forget and use them where they're not well-known.
There's a nice DVD set of Lewton's movies available that is definitely worth getting.
Put out by TCM, to bring this full circle. I purchased it earlier this year and it is amazing.
Val Lewton casts a long shadow in horror cinema. I consider Wise's the Haunting and Tourneur's Night of the Demon to be Lewton pictures; in spirit and style, though not in name or attribution.
Tempting . . ..
Do it, do it, do it....
THX was the special edition, alas, complete with screwball car chase and CGI monkey men.
Yeah, the revisions are pointless and, of course, look glaring. The "thermal transfer" was more effective when the viewer didn't really understand what was going on, and it was an arbitrary, technocracy-driven procedure. Why putting together police robots? A "smaller world" decision, like whatever THX was doing just has to be related to something else seen onscreen. Plus the coppery colors of the assembly bay ruin the cool, lifeless palette. The CG expansion of locations and crowds make the place seem less oppressive. And who could possibly care if the lizard in the "confessional" machine has horns and wings?
I know the movie is derivative of a bunch of earlier dystopian sources, but I always liked the overall vision and execution of THX 1138. The original version, anyway. I love the disembodied audio cross-talk throughout, my favorite part is when the chase is called off for going over budget.
This sums up my reaction to the film. I also think that the film succeeds in capturing a cross section of the flavor and substance of academic angst-filled sociological arguments. At times, the realization of the world seems exceptionally vivid, in no small part because of all the radio chatter.
One detail I noticed for the first time watching it on TCM this week is that, when THX-1138 is watching the erotic holo-dancer, there's a machine that's jerking him off. I don't recall if that detail was in any of the earlier broadcasts I'd seen.
This was the first time I'd seen the special edition, or whatever it's called. I agree that most of the changes were either incongruous, unnecessary, or both. However, I believe that with the ape men and other creature work, Lucas is trying to make it more definitively set in the very distant future. To me, that seems like a valid reason to make some tweaks, as it adds an element to the story, or clarifies it, depending on how you look at it. I find the time setting to be an interesting aspect of the story; pinning it down to the distant future puts the scope of the stagnation into sharper focus. But unfortunately, the CGI is generally awful in the execution.
I found a compilation of the changes on YouTube. I agree, they seemed unnecessary. It's not that hard to understand the idea that a block of silver metal can be dangerously, if invisibly, radioactive. Replacing it with a glowing, superhot piece that instantly burns through everything it touches is just too broad, almost cartoony by comparison.
That doesn't bother me so much. I think it's what was implicitly going on in the original cut, since the thing he was working on looked like the back half of an android head. And it underlines the ubiquity of the police state's power if police robots are the primary product it has its subjects manufacture. It's not just random small-universe, because the point of an oppressive dystopia is that the tools of control are everywhere, intruding into every facet of a person's life. The state makes its subjects' universe as small as possible, by choice.
Less stark and lifeless, at least. The sparseness of the original settings worked well, I think.
El Rey network had the original Gojira on today. It was curious to watch the movie in the original Japanese yet the subtitled dialog kept referring to the monster as "Godzilla".
Well, contrary to popular belief, those are both equally inaccurate transliterations. It's just that the preferred romanization scheme in the '50s rendered the Japanese name as go-zi-la or alternately go-dzi-la, with a second L being added for aesthetics or clarity (probably because the name was partly derived from "gorilla"), whereas the romanization scheme that's been preferred for the past couple of decades renders the exact same syllables as go-ji-ra. The actual sound is about halfway between those spellings.
So the subtitles using the "Godzilla" spelling is actually quite appropriate, because the "Gojira" spelling is anachronistic for 1954. I think the modern fashion of referring to the original film as Gojira is mainly to distinguish it from the 1956 American version with Raymond Burr. It's not actually a more "correct" spelling in any way. The reason the '56 film used the Godzilla spelling in the first place is because, aside from the second L, it was a valid transliteration at the time. (Although the pronunciation they gave it was inaccurate.)
And yet, it's still curious that the title card used one spelling and the subtitles used the other.
The original title card was exclusively in Japanese. If your version has a title card reading "Gojira," then it was added for a later edition. Again, maybe the intent behind that spelling of the title is to differentiate the Japanese edition of the film from the Raymond Burr version. But "Godzilla" is the official, Toho-approved English spelling of the name, as you can see in the English signage and graphics in many of the later Toho films. So I can understand why the "Gojira" spelling would only be used in the title.
And still, it's curious that they used one spelling on the title card and one for the subtitles.
Just wait until they show Hausu/House later this month.
But I just offered a possible explanation for that. To clarify further: One was the spelling of the movie's title, the other was the spelling of the character's name. Officially, the English spelling of the character's name is Godzilla. But by modern convention, the English spelling of the 1954 movie's title is Gojira, probably to distinguish it from the '56 English version (not to mention the '98 English film).
I can think of at least one other case where a film character's name is spelled differently in the title than it is otherwise. The name of the main character of the film Beetlejuice is rendered elsewhere in the film as Betelgeuse. The movie's title is not actually the character's name so much as a pun on the character's name.
Separate names with a comma.