Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Source: Courthouse News Service
Over the past couple of years the Japanese movie studio, Toho, has been more than willing to slap a lawsuit on anyone who creates anything that looks remotely like their iconic monster, "Godzilla".
In 2008 the Japanese movie company sued Subway (the fast-food sandwich franchise .... not the underground rail system) for putting a giant dinosaur, and a Japanese girl, in one of their commercials. Then in 2009 the studio went after Comcast Cable for putting a giant monster, who honestly looked a lot like "Godzilla", in one of their adds.
Now the target of Toho's monstrous lawyers is "Tuffzilla" a toy for dogs manufactured by VIP Products.
Now, I'm no lawyer, but it looks like Toho may have something to bitch about this time. As you can see from the photo provided, good old "Tuff-Z" looks a lot like "Big G". But is it enough of a likeness for such a lawsuit? As can be expected Toho says "Yes" and they intend on seeking damages and blocking VIP from selling the toy.
Honestly, it's not as much the look of the toy that has Toho all worked up, it's the verbiage in the company's advertising that has added fuel to this fire.
Here is an example:
TuffZilla - For decades the legendary Tuffzilla has ravaged villages, towns and cities alike. This unstoppable force was known worldwide. No one has been able to tame this terrible beast, until now... See who will win the epic battle between man’s best friend and one of man’s most feared enemies.
Ummm ....... well that sounds like a description of "Godzilla" alright.
In the end Toho will probably make VIP change the name of the toy and reword the adds, which just goes to prove that if you make anything that resembles "Godzilla" in any way, you had better talk to Toho's lawyers before you try and sell it.
Club Tokyo: A G-collectors' Database
by Armand Vaquer
Fans of any subject, genre or person tend to collect items associated with that particular passion. Godzilla (and kaiju) fans are no exception.
Some collect movie memorabilia such as posters, lobby cards and theater giveaways. Others will collect toys, action figures, VHS tapes, DVDs and other items.
There is one place where all Godzilla and kaiju collectors can get information on virtually all collectibles: Club Tokyo.
Club Tokyo is a website database in which all items are catalogued with a history of each item, including variants, are presented. It is overseen by Richard Cox, Mike Johnson and Bob Schneider.
Club Tokyo has been around since July 28, 1998 and it is constantly updated by Cox, Johnson and Schneider with the help from fan contributors. I've contributed a few items.
The site is broken down into different categories, such as figures, candy/capsule toys, theater exclusives, kits, prototypes, articles, paperwork, miscellaneous and reviews.
If there's been an item produced concerning Godzilla, Gamera or other kaiju, chances are it has been catalogued at Club Tokyo. If not, and you have the item, feel free to contribute the information on it!
So, if you are a collector of Godzilla and kaiju items, you will want to take a look at Club Tokyo. It is very easy to lose track of time while perusing it.
Their website is http://www.clubtokyo.org/
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Source: Talking Dog Studios
Though it doesn't appear on any of the San Diego Comic Con propaganda, it appears that "Legendary Pictures" has released the first image from their upcoming "Godzilla' movie at the convention and there will reportedly be a presentation that goes along with it.
I have the image for you here on the left.
Here is a press release from Talking Dog Studios about the event:
When Warner Brothers affiliate Legendary Pictures – responsible for such critically acclaimed films as Inception, Where the Wild Things Are, The Dark Knight, 300, and Watchmen – wanted to use Augmented Reality to announce their latest film, they turned to Saskatchewan’s Talking Dog Studios to provide them with the technology to do so.
This week, Legendary Pictures is at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, the world’s biggest comics and pop culture convention, celebrating the beginning of production on their next film: “Godzilla”. Persons attending the conference will receive a t-shirt with an image of the new Godzilla, and when they look at themselves in a webcam at the Legendary Pictures tradeshow booth, they’ll see a superimposed animation of Godzilla’s “atomic breath” shooting out into the air in front of them from Godzilla’s mouth, complete with black smoke rising from the flames and the ground-shaking bellow of Godzilla’s instantly recognizable roar.
This immersive experience was designed by Talking Dog Studios, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and was supervised by Larry Monte of California’s Corporate Images. Talking Dog have been developing various AR applications for the past year, but owner Rob Bryanton sees this as a major step forward: “Augmented Reality is very open-ended, which is great because the possibilities are so wide, but it’s something that is best experienced rather than described,” says Bryanton. “With the Godzilla installation, we were able to quickly create something that our clients were immediately happy with, so we see this as a great recognition of the skillset that we’ve now developed”.
This comes at great surprise to yours truly, who visited the "Legendary Pictures" booth on Friday and saw absolutely zero items about "Godzilla" on display there.
A search of the Comic Con website reveals no such presentation by Legendary Pictures on "Godzilla" listed.
Maybe this was added today or will be added on Sunday, perhapse it was cancelled, regardless the Talking Dog Studios website has this image of the new "Godzilla", which I really love.
More on this as it develops!
See Also: Knowing the President / Illustrating the Choosing Process - Directors / Knowing The Producers / A Reason To Be Optimistic About Godzilla 3D (2012)? / Godzilla 2012 Facebook Group Update - 500 Members And The Thread Of The Week!/ Godzilla 2012 (And Gamera) In The News 05/06/10 - A Picture I'>Arkansas Family Builds Ultimate GODZILLA Suit / Tim Burton On For MONSTERPOCALYPSE - Still In Line For GODZILLA? - More Film Details! / Knowing the President / Illustrating the Choosing Process - Directors / Knowing The Producers / A Reason To Be Optimistic About Godzilla 3D (2012)? / Godzilla 2012 Facebook Group Update - 500 Members And The Thread Of The Week!/ Godzilla 2012 (And Gamera) In The News 05/06/10 - A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Rumors / What Went Wrong With Godzilla 98? - Inside The Mind Of Dean Devlin / Godzilla 2012 In The News 04/15/10 - The Angry Edition! / Godzilla 2012 - A Plot Idea That, I Think, Will Make Everyone Happy / Godzilla 3-D, Godzilla 2012, Rumors And Misinformation Abound / Godzilla 2012 Going To Be In 3D And Screened At IMAX Theaters?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
When Legendary Pictures goes out to try and find someone to create a Godzilla suit for the upcoming film, they may not have to look in Japan, but in rural Arkansas instead.
Indeed the Baker family, father Rick and his two sons Rock and Kyle, have already created a great looking Godzilla costume that is ready for filming.
The Bakers estimate that they have invested about 200 hours and some $600 on creating what they consider to be the ultimate Godzilla suit, which is an combination of several of the monster's designs from it's 50 plus year film career.
Working day and night in the garage of their Hilltop Upholstery business in St. Joe, Arkansas the Baker boys turned rubber and plastic into a monster movie icon, which for the three men, was a true labor of love. Rick Baker is a self-described old fashioned horror movie buff, while his son Rock is an aspiring comic book artist.
Yet, it was brother Kyle who got the first opportunity to try on the Godzilla suit, which featured a fan in the head and pouches in the back for ice to keep the wearer nice and cool. But the sophistication of this Godzilla costume didn't just stop there, the melting ice from the internal pockets is also circulated throughout the suit via a complex tubing system. This Godzilla also features realistic looking eyes which can be moved by remote control.
As Kyle put the monster through it's paces he turned the head of more than few passers by on US highway 65 that runs adjacent to the makeshift monster studio that also doubles as an upholstery business.
Though the suit weighs some 75 pounds and has a rather lengthy tail attached, Kyle Baker had little trouble taking Godzilla for a test drive.
"I can actually feel it push against me," he said, "but I don't really feel the weight. It's so well balanced."
Though Legendary Pictures is presently developing a new American Godzilla movie, the Bakers believe that their best chance to break into the monster suite business will not come from Hollywood, where CGI effects now have become the standard, but in Japan, where the art of suit acting is still practiced.
To show of their skill, the Baker family packed up their monster and headed to Chicago for the annual "G-Fest" convention. It was their hope that since so many Japanese film industry types would be in attendance, they may get the opportunity to impress them and possibly land an opportunity overseas.
Yet there may still be hope for a job here in America, if Legendary Pictures listens to the Godzilla fan community and opts to combine the classic Godzilla suit acting with computer graphics for their film.
Will it happen? Only time will tell, but with any luck the Baker's will be able to crush miniature cities with their creation here in America rather than overseas.
See Also: Tim Burton On For MONSTERPOCALYPSE - Still In Line For GODZILLA? - More Film Details! / Knowing the President / Illustrating the Choosing Process - Directors / Knowing The Producers / A Reason To Be Optimistic About Godzilla 3D (2012)? / Godzilla 2012 Facebook Group Update - 500 Members And The Thread Of The Week!/ Godzilla 2012 (And Gamera) In The News 05/06/10 - A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Rumors / What Went Wrong With Godzilla 98? - Inside The Mind Of Dean Devlin / Godzilla 2012 In The News 04/15/10 - The Angry Edition! / Godzilla 2012 - A Plot Idea That, I Think, Will Make Everyone Happy / Godzilla 3-D, Godzilla 2012, Rumors And Misinformation Abound / Godzilla 2012 Going To Be In 3D And Screened At IMAX Theaters?
Monday, July 19, 2010
Last May it was announced that Disney / Dreamworks had signed on John August to write a big screen adaptation of the giant monster game, "Monsterpocalypse" from Privateer Press. Along with that news came a lot of speculation that Tim Burton would soon follow as a director for the film, due in large part his long history of collaborating with the writer, mostly on Disney backed projects.
Well today it has been confirmed by producer Roy Lee, via an interview with the Slashfilm website, that indeed Burton is developing "Monsterpocalypse" along with August and Matt Wilson of Privateer Press who is serving as a co-producer. According to the interview, the later two are presently banging out a script as we speak.
Lee would go on to do more than just confirm Burton's involvement with the film, he would also reveal many of the plot points in "Monsterpocalypse" as well.
According to Lee, "The general take on the film that I can give you is that the giant monsters come to earth and start wreaking havoc. The humans, at this point, fight back. And they feel like they’ve destroyed them, but they quickly learn that the monsters that come had actually not died and just sort of burrowed underground and are sending some sort of signal into space. Apparently, it is probably going to be a distress signal. So the humans know that something is going to be coming, they just don’t know what yet. And they know how big these monsters can be. Then it cuts to many years later when nothing has come back, but the humans have prepared for possible monsters coming back. And by this time, they have developed these giant robots that will fight the monsters when they come. That is what is going to take place. But most of the movie is going to be during that battle between the giant robots and the giant monsters."
Lee also lets it slip that Burton was in line to direct the upcoming "Godzilla" movie for Legendary Pictures, which he is also serving as a producer for.
Check out this excerpt from the interview:
Peter (SlashFilm): Wow. I had heard rumors that Tim Burton was considering directing “Godzilla” for Legendary, which you are also producing.
Roy: I’m producing.
Peter: Did he choose this over that, or…?
Roy: I can’t really talk about that, just because Warner Brothers is not going to be very happy with me.
I think that we can all read between the lines there, either Burton is still on board for "Godzilla", which would make a lot of fans very happy, or he opted to pass on the money from Legendary Pictures for Disney dollars.
The producer also mentioned that though "Voltron" is part of the "Monsterpocalypse" board game, Burton and company opted to leave the iconic giant robot out of the film, "
The company that owns Voltron approached us, Matt Wilson, to be able to utilize the robots for the world of "Monsterpocalypse". But we are not using anything from there in the movie, because a lot of the robots and monsters will be created by Tim himself and the cast."
In fact Burton will be developing the giant monsters and robots for the film alongside four time Academy Award winning effects man Ken Ralston who has worked on such films as the "Back to the Future" series, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and the "Star Wars" trilogy.
Other items of interest from the interview include the fact that the film will be shot in 3D, of course, and that it is presently slated for a late 2012 release.
Read the entire interview at - http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/07/19/exclusive-tim-burton-developing-monsterpocalypse-full-details-revealed/
I don't know about you, but this sounds just awesome to me! The plot sounds great and the involvement of Burton pretty much seals the deal!
I just can't wait to see how Burton tackles a giant monster film!
See Also: DreamWorks Courting Tim Burton To Unleash Their Monsterpocalypse / Privateer Press Announces Voltron: Defender of the Universe Game Contents / Privateer Press To Release "Voltron" Game This Summer / Privateer Press Adds Voltron To Monsterpocalypse / The Giant Monster Game Monsterpocalypse Sells Out! / Monsterpocalypse Set To Ravage The World October 10th! / Monsterpocalypse: Cataclysm Event And CMG Launch At Gen Con Indy / Privateer Press Launches Special Monsterpocalypse Preview Site / What Is Privateer Press Shipping To GAMA In Las Vegas? / Monsterpocalypse Goes A Bloggin / Monsterpocalypse- Games And Comics For Giant Monster Fans
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Adapted from an article from Variety, "Legendary Pictures Dances Geek to Geek"
Last time, I overlooked the producers of this project. It is time again to look at another key member of the Legendary Pictures group, one with a lot of power. One who has recently had something published about him in Variety. Defiantly the Shogo Tomiyama of this project, we are going to take a look at Thomas Tull, president of Legendary Pictures.
-Official Statement from Legendary Pictures on their "Godzilla" project
That comment was one thing which fans seemed to pay attention to. However, unlike just something said to please the fans, the business behind the way Thomas makes films is more in tune with wishful thinking of fans than straight business. "Outsiders arriving in Hollywood with deep pockets, a desire to make movies and a reliance on gut instinct often lose their shirts. But Thomas Tull has defied the odds… His secret: He's a fan of genre fare who's focused on creating films for fellow fan boys… While many producers have embraced genre fare as a calculated ploy, Tull does it because he proudly touts himself as one of the fan boys. ‘All you have to do is meet Thomas,’ says one Warner Bros. exec. ‘He's a total geek and makes movies geeks want to see. He's not shy about that.’" says Variety.
Another thing that Variety also mentioned was how far Thomas goes for his pictures based on fan fare. "Tull generally sticks with things he knows, which means commercial films with a sense of adventure but that can be appreciated by adults… He tends to stay away from producing romantic comedies and most dramas." The best part of the whole thing is, "That means letting films be dark in tone or R-rated when they need to be." It was also said that, "He counts "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones", "Godzilla", and "The Goonies" as some of his favorite movies." It is safe to presume that by "Godzilla", Variety means the original 1954 Japanese masterpiece. "The poor reception for "The Ant Bully" and "We Are Marshall" may have influenced Tull to veer away from traditional kidpics and dramas." With that Variety quote, we can be safe to assume that this Godzilla will not be aimed at juvenile affair.
As for the looking for a director, as I last wrote on this blog about LPG, Variety said, "In recent weeks, an abundance of idle helmers chased less than a dozen open directing assignments: …"All You Need Is Kill," "Clash of the Titans 2," "Godzilla" and "Snabba Cash" at Warner Bros." Variety also said that the people more likely to helm a picture are people who have lower quotes (rates of pay) then usual directors. This may not effect "Godzilla" though. "Not surprisingly, the wish list of filmmakers he wants to work with includes Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Quentin Tarantino and James Cameron." Seeing Tull’s list, the names would include other icons such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Tim Burton. All directors who have expressed influence from Godzilla from doing anything to raise money to watch the original "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" (1956) as many times as he can (Scorsese) to even going to Toho studios to option them to do the special effects for his movie (Lucas). While it is a good business decision to get a lower name, a higher name is not ruled out. As for Tull’s involvement with the film, the probable want from him to have Godzilla be dark will stick when production starts. "…he lets directors essentially run with their creative ideas and remains relatively hands-off once a project has been developed and agreed upon." If the "essential elements" are done "justice" to when the project is agreed upon, we will get a Godzilla resembling more that of "Mothra vs. Godzilla" than "Godzilla vs. Megalon".
Overall, Thomas Tull is a man who is a self declared fan boy who has made marketing on fan boy pictures from a smart business ploy to something done because the person executing the ploy is actually a fan. With Tull being reportedly a fan of the original Godzilla, we may get a Godzilla more in tune with "Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack" than "Godzilla vs. Gigan" or the dreaded "Godzilla" from 1998. Things are looking good for the LPG project.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Autographed Copies of Haruo Nakajima's Book For U.S. Fans?
by Armand Vaquer
Over at the Monster Zero message board, a member asked if it could be arranged for U.S. fans to be able to get autographed copies of Haruo Nakajima's book.
Accordingly, I sent Sonoe Nakajima a query asking if this could be arranged and gave her a couple of ideas on how it can be done. I'll report what I find out.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Above, Sonoe Nakajima in 2008. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
Haruo Nakajima Book Details
by Armand Vaquer and Sonoe Nakajima
I received some details on the new book by our favorite Godzilla suit actor, Haruo Nakajima from his daughter Sonoe.
Sonoe's English is limited and instead of trying to correct what she wrote (and possibly mess it up in the process), I will post verbatim on what she said. You will get a pretty good idea on what the autobiography contains.
Report From Sonoe Nakajima:
July 17,2010 fathers' first books are put on the market.
The content of the book ・・・
「I ..".. meet Chapter 1 yen [tanieiji] - work of ..unexampled arrival.. actor ..'Godzilla' (54 years).. -
.Toho.. joining a company- work by Chapter 2 personal history, war, Toho joining a company-naval forces, and occupation troops
Chapter 3 From 'Counterattack of Godzilla Godzilla series-' to 'Godzilla vs. [gaigan]'.
I was left moving about from yen [tanieiji], and made up the base of Godzilla of 12 works.
Chapter 4 Toho monster
[Gaira] …… - radon, Balin, [matango], [baragon], and accident and injury performed a lot of popular monsters on the site of the everyday experience.
Chapter 5 Monster in television
- Gomez, [pagosu], [neronga], and [yu-tomu] ……
Acting of television monster different from movie shown by ultra series-
Chapter 6 Appearance works other than monster
Memories- ..great master and star actors.. Kiyoshi Kawazu Saburo …… - [inoshishishirou] Honda, Akira Kurosawa, and three [funetoshirou]
Chapter 7 Death, retirement death of yen [tanieiji] of - yen [tanieiji], and the monster actor's retirement.
Dismissal of Toho together.
There are a lot of photographs.
July.25 . I schedule the autograph session.
Above, Haruo Nakajima and Armand in 2008.
The book sounds very interesting. Hopefully, an American publisher can be enlisted to publish an English language edition in the United States.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
by Armand Vaquer
A new book is coming out July 16 by the original Godzilla suit actor, Haruo Nakajima entitled, Kaiju Life - The Original Godzilla Suit Actor Haruo Nakajima.
It is in Japanese, but reportedly has photographs included.
I have sent Mr. Nakajima's daughter Sonoe a message requesting more information. As soon as I receive it, I'll post it here.
Publisher: 洋泉社 (2010/7/16)
Release Date: 2010/7/16
Price: ￥ 3,045
Here's the link for the book's listing at Amazon Japan.
Above, Armand with Haruo and Sonoe Nakajima in 2008.
I plan to be in Japan this Fall and I have invited Haruo and Sonoe Nakajima to lunch or dinner while there.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Kyoto Station Spotlight
Category: Japan Travel
by Armand Vaquer
The spectacular battle between Gamera and Irys in Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys (released by ADV as Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris) took place in the cavernous Kyoto Station in Kyoto, Japan.
It is Japan's second largest train station (after Nagoya Station). The station was built to celebrate the 1,200th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. Kyoto Station opened in 1997. The station's construction cost was $1.25 billion.
Kyoto Station was conceived by architect Hara Hiroshi. The futuristic design was criticized when it was first announced as Kyoto is mainly known for its traditional Japanese architecture. The station is 70 meters high and 470 meters from east to west, with a total floor space of 238,000 square meters.
The enormous size of Kyoto Station's interior was big enough to fit both Gamera and Irys in the movie.
Returning from touring Miyajima Island and Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, 2004's G-TOUR members were in awe over the massive interior of the station upon entering it.
Kyoto Station is covered in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.
For more information and photographs of Kyoto Station, go here.
Sources: Undead Backbrain / MM9 Official Website / Avery Guerra
If J.J. Abrams, and now Steven Spielberg, have taught us anything is that the best way to promote any new movie, or television series in this case, is to launch some kind of 'viral' promotion. You know the drill, mystery trailers, video clips that turn to static just before the monster pokes his head out from behind a building. Stuff designed, on purpose, to provoke more questions than answers.
Well, now Japanese producer and special effects master, Shinji Higuchi (Heisei Gamera Series), has opted to pursue the same kind of marketing strategy for his giant monster filled late-night television series, "Monster Magnitude 9", by producing a series of 'mystery' video clips that are supposed to give clues to the origins of some of the series titanic terrors. Along with these rather brief images, several Japanese websites have posted sporadic verbal messages that also are designed to get amateur sleuths clicking their mouses to try and piece together tid-bits into tangible information about the show.
Unfortunately for us English speaking types, all of this stuff is in Japanese, so unless you are fluent in that language, all of this stuff will be rather useless to you.
Sorry for the tease.
Just in case you missed my earlier article about "MM9" here is a recap:
Japanese special effects master, Shinji Higuchi (Heisei Gamera Series), has developed a brand new giant monster television series for late night television called, "MM9" (Monster Magnitude 9).
The series will take place in an alternate universe, where Japan is constantly attacked by monsters. MM9 is a special unit of Japan Meteorological Agency who's job it is to predict the arrival of these monsters in very much the same way that the National Weather Service predicts rain and snow.
When the monsters do show up, and you know that they will in every episode, a team of monster specialists called “Kitokutai” are dispatched to combat them. Only one problem, these specialists are not from the military, so they don't have any weapons. The group will have to rely on their skills, knowledge, and experience to prevent the monsters from reducing Japan to toothpicks.
"MM9" stars Anna Ishibashi as the teams rookie, Sakura Fujisawa, along with Machiko Ono as Sakura's mentor, Mikazuki. Rounding out the cast are Issei Takahashi, Yasuhi Nakamura, Satoru Matsuo, Sarutoki Minagawa, Takako Kato, and Yutaka Matsushige.
"MM9" also has a great list of directors lined up, including Tomoyuki Furumaya, Kiyotaka Taguchi and Ataru Oikawa. So far all of the shows episodes have been written by Kazunori Ito (Patlabor, Gamera).
The first episode of "MM9" is scheduled to air tonight.
Here is the trailer, all of those viral videos I mentioned above (pieced together by Robert Hood of the Undead Backbrain website), some photos from a press event, and a photo of a "MM9" themed iPad that will be featured on the show. From what I gather, these babies are also for sale in Japan as well.
See Also: Shinji Higuchi Bringing Monster Magnitude 9 To Television
Friday, July 2, 2010
Historian and author William M. Tsutsui began work Thursday as the new dean of SMU's Dedman College, home to the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences – disciplines fundamental to the traditions of higher education.
A specialist in the business, environmental, and cultural history of 20th-century Japan, Tsutsui holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Princeton Universities. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters (Palgrave, 2004). He co-edited (with Michiko Ito) In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage (Palgrave, 2006) and has recently completed Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization.
“I am honored and thrilled to have been selected as dean of Dedman College,” Tsutsui said when his selection as dean was announced on March 26. “The College has a world-class faculty, talented students, dedicated staff and a broad base of support in the Dallas community. I look forward to working with all these constituencies, and with President Turner and Provost Ludden, to enhance Dedman College's achievements in teaching, research, and public engagement. This is a historic moment for SMU, with a major campaign underway and the university's centennial at hand, and a time of great opportunity for Dedman College.”
Tsutsui previously was associate dean for international studies and a professor of history at the University of Kansas. Tsutsui also was director of the Kansas Consortium for Teaching About Asia in KU’s Center for East Asian Studies.
Tsutsui received a Ph.D. in history at Princeton University in 1995, and a Master of Arts in history there in 1990. He received a Master of Letters in Modern Japanese History from Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College in 1988 and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies in 1985.
Tsutsui also is the author of Banking Policy in Japan: American Efforts at Reform During the Occupation (Routledge, 1988) and Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan (Princeton University Press, 1998). In addition, he is the editor of Banking in Japan (Routledge, 1999) and A Companion to Japanese History (Blackwell, 2007).
He received the 1997 Newcomen Society Award for Excellence in Business History Research and Writing, the 2000 John Whitney Hall Prize awarded by the Association of Asian Studies for best book on Japan or Korea published in 1998, and the 2005 William Rockhill Nelson Award for non-fiction.
Before assuming his current duties at KU, Tsutsui was acting director of the university’s Center for East Asian Studies and executive director of its Confucius Institute. He has been named faculty fellow at KU’s Center for Teaching Excellence, received a William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 2001 and won KU’s Steeples Service to Kansas Award in 2001. Tsutsui is married to Marjorie Swann, director of the Museum Studies Program and the Conger-Gabel Teaching Professor in the Department of English at the University of Kansas. She will be joining SMU as well.
Dedman College is home to the humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences as well as the general education program that all students follow before declaring a major. Tsutsui will take the lead in implementing a new general education program passed by the SMU faculty March 19.
As dean of Dedman College, Tsutsui will head the largest of SMU’s seven colleges and schools, with its more than 250 full-time faculty members, including 23 endowed professorships. About 40 percent of SMU’s undergraduates pursue their majors in Dedman College through more than 50 baccalaureate degree programs and their minors in more than 50 areas. Eighteen graduate programs in Dedman College lead to a master’s degree and 12 programs lead to a doctor of philosophy degree.
The College was named in 1981 for the late Robert H. Dedman Sr. (’53) and his wife, Nancy McMillan Dedman (’50.)
Source: USA Today
News on the Godzilla movie front has been coming at a rather slow pace as of late, so it is good to see the folks over at the USA Today pitching in to help pick up the pace a little.
Today, a guest blogger for the online news site, James Leung of Giant Robot magazine fame, decided to write about his love of kaiju cinema and how it had a profound influence on him growing up. The title of Leung's article, "Japanese monster flicks make life better" is a sentiment that I think that we all can agree on.
Along with the article Leung included a list of his top five Japanese monster films for a do-it-yourself movie marathon. Though I myself would have chosen five different films for my list, a true kaiju fan should never argue with another fan's list in good conscience.
Here is an excerpt from "Japanese monster flicks make life better":
I can really relate with Leung's fond memories of enjoying Japanese monster movies on afternoon television, back in the day when that was the only way to see these types of films.
Before cable television, I was a huge devotee of the 4:30 Movie on the local New York City ABC affiliate (WABC-TV). They used to broadcast a wide variety of films and frequently programmed special "theme weeks." During a theme week, they would air a series of movies following a particular theme or actor. For instance, they'd schedule a "Vincent Price Week," which showed only Vincent Price movies.
My absolute favorite theme week was "Monster Week." I wasted many hours adjusting a set of rabbit ear antennas in order to watch it. Monster Week consisted mostly of movies from the daikaiju (big monster) genre of Japanese cinema which features stuntmen in latex rubber monster suits. The 4:30 Movie used to broadcast bizarre monster flicks like Frankenstein Conquers the World, Terror of Mechagodzilla and Mothra.
I remember watching such classics as "Rodan", "Godzilla's Revenge", "Destroy All Monsters", "King Kong vs Godzilla" and "Godzilla vs The Cosmic Monster" as part of a yet different, "Monster Week" on the "Dialing for Dollars Movie" progran in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The marathon would generally happen in either June or July every year, and it was always one of the higlights of my summer vacation from school.
See Also: Godzilla Goes Prime-Time! - Godzilla vs Megalon On NBC In 1977
THE EXOTIC AND ACTION PACKED WORLD OF JAPANESE SUPERHEROES IS EXPLORED IN JULY’S INSTALLMENT OF TOKYOSCOPE TALK AT VIZ CINEMA
NEW PEOPLE and VIZ Cinema offer an intriguing exploration of the exotic world of Japanese superheroes in TokyoScope Talk Vol. 5, taking place at the theatre at 7:00pm on Friday July 9th. Host Patrick Macias, Editor of Otaku USA magazine, will be joined by August Ragone (author, Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters) for an in-depth discussion of Japanese superheroes ranging from Ultraman and Kamen Rider to the Power Rangers.
General admission tickets are $10.00. More details and advance tickets available at: www.newpeopleworld.com/films
These and many other colorful crusaders of justice are now recognized the world over as essential icons of Japanese pop culture. But where did they come from? Who created them? And what is it really like battling rubber monsters and the forces of evil on a regular basis?
“TokyoScope Talk Vol. 5: Japanese Superheroes will explore the fascinating history and origins of the action packed world of celluloid superheroes using rare film clips and images from numerous tokusatsu, sentai, and henshin hero productions including Ultra Seven, Kikaida, Space Sheriff Gavan, and many others,” says Macias. “This will be a fun event for anyone who grew up watching Ultraman and Power Rangers as well as for those who are brand new to this unique genre of Japanese filmmaking. We invite superhero fans of all stripes to check out this comprehensive presentation!”
VIZ Cinema is the nation’s first movie theatre devoted exclusively to Japanese film and anime. The 143-seat subterranean theatre is located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building and features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.
About NEW PEOPLE
NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: www.NewPeopleWorld.com.
See Also: San Francisco Braces For A 'Kaiju Shakedown: Godzillathon!'
Thursday, July 1, 2010
This July 31, the Plaza Atlanta Theatre in association with the Silver Scream Spook Show will be giving a special presentation of GODZILLA VS. GIGAN, under the name GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND.
The theatre is Atlanta’s oldest cinematic venue. A uniscreened theatre, it was once a grindhouse theatre which is now run for non profit and has film showings of everything from THE ROOM to THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW to even film festivals hosted by Robert Osborne (who does things for the TCM Channel - including one time giving an into on TCM to "Space Monster Guilala"). The Plaza Atlanta theatre has a good history with kaiju fans, including having previously screened "Rodan" (1956), "Mothra" (1961), "Ebirah, Horror from the Deep" (1966), "Destroy All Monsters" (1968), and "Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack" (2001).
KIDS UNDER 12 FREE AT 1:00 MATINEE! EVERYONE ELSE ONLY $7. ALL TICKETS ARE $10 FOR THE 10:00 SHOW!
Do not forget to bring in some extra cash for pop corn, drinks, and any possible dealers at the event. It is sure to be great fun. And for those staying in the south eastern United States would be glad to know that from the theatre it is just another 10 hour drive to the Morikami Museum, who is having a kaiju vinyl exhibit all this summer (http://godzilla2012.blogspot.com/2010/06/over-100-vintage-kaiju-toys-invade.html). Hope to see you there!
"King Kong 360 3-D" Created by Peter Jackson, the world's largest most intense 3-D experience, celebrated its premiere on the famed Universal Studios Hollywood(SM) Studio Tour, combining a ground-breaking use of Surround Digital 3-D film and thrilling visceral effects to create a next-generation theme park experience. The new attraction will open to the public Thursday, July 1.
The world premiere of the attraction featured a star-studded guest list and an innovative "3D press briefing" by the attraction's creator, Peter Jackson. "King Kong 360 3-D" is the first theme park attraction to be directed by the three-time Oscar®-winning storyteller and filmmaker.
In the new attraction, guests aboard Studio Tour trams are given special 3-D glasses as they enter an enormous soundstage larger than a football field. Once inside, the trams are enveloped within enormous screens, their size equaling an area equivalent to 16 conventional movie screens and rest atop steel platens that provide a powerful motion base. Via the magic of Surround Digital 3D projection, guests are transported deep into a tangled jungle location. There, they survive a close encounter with a swarm of hungry raptors, only to be confronted by the terrifying presence of 35' tall dinosaurs. Suddenly, the 25' tall Kong gorilla appears. The trams roll and shudder as the guests find themselves caught in the middle of a titanic struggle between the great ape and carnivorous reptiles.
The enormous scale and the cutting edge technology employed by the designers elevate the powerful, iconic storyline to a new level. The vivid realism of the 3D immersion and the synchronized motion of the tram combine to produce a sense of immersion without precedent in a theme park attraction.
Peter Jackson, director of the Oscar®-winning 2005 Universal Pictures film upon which the attraction is based, said: "As a filmmaker, you're hoping to have the audience step inside your movie and become part of the experience...to create the illusion of reality in a way that is much more tactile and profound than can be done in the cinema environment of a normal theatre. The new `King Kong 360 3D' at Universal Studios Hollywood provided us with a unique opportunity to really push film and theme park technology to create that illusion. Our intention was to create a spectacular and immersive 3D experience and we're confident that we've achieved that. King Kong 360 3D is the largest most intense 3D experience on the planet."
Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood, said: "After a two-year absence, King Kong has returned with a vengeance never before seen. Guests from around the world will feel as if they are completely immersed in Peter Jackson's 3D storytelling. 'King Kong 360-3D' is the fight of the century and a highly repeatable breakthrough thrill ride, taking theme park and movie making experiences to an entirely new level."
King Kong, known as "the eighth wonder of the world," has been called "the experience for which movies were invented." Since first appearing on the screen in the 1933 original classic, "King Kong" has been re-made twice, each time on a tremendous scale, earning a total of seven Oscar® and three Golden Globe® nominations. Most recently, Peter Jackson's 2005 version took classic elements of the original "King Kong" story and adrenalized them with up-to-the-minute effects magic and the alchemic talents of a superlative group of filmmakers, cast and crew. Released to critical acclaim in late 2005, "King Kong" was a worldwide hit.
The arrival of the new "King Kong 360 3-D" experience coincides with major enhancements to the iconic Studio Tour. The most extensive backlot construction ever in the history of Universal Studios, which includes re-creations of legendary Hollywood sets and the introduction of brand-new shooting locations, was recently completed and the renowned studio will soon buzz with star-studded film and television production as never before.
See Also: KING KONG Done Wrong In Bangladesh / Godzilla In The News 06/04/10 - Godzilla & Kong Tag Team Vancouver, Big G On Pills?, Sci Fi From 1954 Shapes Modern Entertainment / King Kong Attacks Santa Monica Pier / The Original KING KONG Comes To Blu-ray September 28th! / Godzilla 2012 Facebook Group Update - 500 Members And The Thread Of The Week! / Godzilla (And Friends) In The News 05/11/10 - How Does King Kong vs Godzilla Rank Among Monster Battles? More Gamera And Kamen Rider DVD Stuff / Godzilla And Friends Stomp Their Way To Topeka / A Classic Godzilla Comic Strip - The Monsters That Devoured Canarsie / King Kong vs Godzilla (Kingukongu tai Gojira)(1962)(Toho)
Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.
Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."
"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.
Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.
Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.
In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.
"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."
Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."
Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.