Tokyo, Oct 31 (AP/UNB) — Godzilla is stomping back into theaters as a fire-breathing animated character, though the movie chosen to close this year's Tokyo International Film Festival is more focused on human drama than the monsters that have made the franchise famous.
The two directors of "Godzilla: The Planet Eater" acknowledge that their film is so different it might turn off hard-core fans. But they say that's an intentional attempt to reach out to new audiences.
"We welcome getting bashed by the traditionalists," Hiroyuki Seshita, one of the directors, told The Associated Press last week. "That proves more than anything we succeeded in creating something different."
A mutation caused by nuclear testing, the first Godzilla emerged from the ocean in a 1954 film directed by Ishiro Honda. Godzilla flattened much of Tokyo as crowds fled in terror, and went on to become an eternal symbol of human fallacy in the atomic age.
The latest film completes a three-part animated saga that began last year. It premiers Nov. 3, Godzilla's official birthday, the date the first film was released.
Seshita and co-director Kobun Shizuno said that rather than simply transferring the well-known tale into a computer animation, they have focused on what they call Shakespearean "human drama." They tackle complex issues, including the meaning of religion, in a futuristic post-apocalyptic universe.
While Godzilla still has its screech and menacingly gigantic shape, it hardly engages in battles with other monsters, a trademark of the mega-series from Toho Co.
"We kept all that is Godzilla-like — its design and how it's portrayed on film. We have kept its essence," said Seshita, who has served as art director of the "Final Fantasy" movies.
Although some viewers may find the story rather complicated, Seshita said the film chose to interpret the Godzilla saga as what he called "a kind of animism," or a godlike force that is bigger than human existence, a perspective he said was integral to Japanese culture and storytelling.
The hero is a doe-eyed, rock-star-like Japanese man who is selflessly determined to reclaim planet Earth, which has been left in shambles from Godzilla's havoc.
Humans have been relegated to wandering around in space, surviving in a gigantic spaceship that's factory-like and sterile, unlike the lush greenness that was once home.
"I'm not a Godzilla expert and so I simply made a film I thought would be enjoyable," said Shizuno, who has also directed the "G.I. Joe: Sigma 6" and "Detective Conan" animation series.
Yet the film is scattered with tributes to Godzilla, according to the directors, who declined to disclose too many specifics. For one, the hero's name is Haruo, the same as the actor Haruo Nakajima, who was inside the rubber Godzilla suit in the original 1954 film. Nakajima died last year.
Toho has made 29 Godzilla films, not counting the animation trilogy. The last work, released in 2016, used an actor skilled in traditional Japanese theater known as Kyogen, whose movements were interpreted into computer graphics that brought a terrifying Godzilla to life.
There are two Hollywood Godzilla films, the most recent in 2014. A third is promised for next year.
Ryota Fujitsu, an expert on Japanese animation, said the animated trilogy was commendable for its visual beauty, as well as for tackling Godzilla as a science fiction movie.
"So much has been tried in the long-running series that taking a new approach was inevitable," he said, noting the work explores the dilemma between civilization and the individual. "This work is facing the Godzilla theme head-on."
The first two films of the animated trilogy are available on Netflix.
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) – Bollywood superstar Priyanka Chopra's bridal shower made her 'break all rules,' she said in an Instagram post, sharing highlights from the first of the many functions of the upcoming Chopra Jonas wedding.
On Sunday night, Priyanka's close friends put together a fabulous bridal shower for the Quantico star in New York, which was also attended by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o.
Priyanka's mom-in-law-to-be Denise Jonas and future sister-in-law Danielle (wife of Kevin Jonas) were also on the guest list.
"Love, laughter and a room full of amazing ladies...and some special gentlemen (what a special surprise)! Thank you so much Mubina Rattonsey and Anjula Acharia (Priyanka's manager) for throwing me such a memorable bridal shower that broke all the rules! My amazing friends and family who made me feel so special and loved, thank you... Perfect!" Priyanka, 36, wrote.
See some photos from Priyanka Chopra's bridal shower:
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (AP/UNB) — The world will have to wait a little longer for the "Wonder Woman" sequel, which will now arrive in theaters in summer 2020.
Warner Bros. announced Monday that "Wonder Woman 1984" will now open on June 5, 2020. The film starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian superhero had been slated for a November 2019 release.
Patty Jenkins is returning as director and has teased fans with tidbits about the series' time jump to the 1980s.
The first "Wonder Woman" was a major blockbuster for Warner Bros.' DC Comics franchise. The film earned more than $800 million globally. The original became the most successful live-action film directed by a woman.
The sequel would have been released a month after the "Joker" which is scheduled to open on Oct. 4, 2019.
Los Angeles, Oct 21 (AP/UNB) — Film and TV actress Selma Blair announced she is dealing with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
In a post Saturday on her Instagram account, Blair, 46, says she was diagnosed with the disease of the central nervous system on Aug. 16.
Blair says she is struggling with the disease's effects on her: "I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps."
She adds, however, that thanks to the support of the cast and crew of a Netflix show she is filming, as well as her friends and family, "we are doing it. And I laugh and I don't know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best."
Blair has co-starred in a number of films and TV shows, including the 2001 hit "Legally Blonde."
Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNB) - Two Iranian film festivals will be held in Bangladesh in the next month.
Iranian Cultural Centre in Dhaka and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) will jointly organise the film festivals, Sayeed Islam, public relation officer of Iranian Cultural Centre, told UNB.
The first one of the four-day film festival will begin on November 3 at BSA while the second one is scheduled to be held in different cities of the country from November 9.
The inaugural ceremony of the first film show will be held at the National Art Gallery of BSA at 4 pm (Saturday).
He also said that a film is scheduled to be shown in the inaugural day while screening of two other films will be held from 11 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm every day.
The film screening will continue till November 6, he added.
On the other hand, another five-day Iranian film show is also going to be arranged in 3 different cities of the country from November 9.
The five-day exhibition will also be organized at Shilpakala Academy auditorium of Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna cities.
The exhibition will continue till November 13.
No tickets will be required to watch this movie, he added.