Godzilla/Kawakita Film Festival This Nov. In Japan

The second half of 2009 belongs to one person: Koichi Kawakita. And I am not surprised. He has his own SFX company, he was and probably is still one of the largest stock holders with Toho, and he is now becoming very active with Godzilla again, which hasn’t happened in such a way since he directed the siutmation footage in the CT-R Godzilla game. Currently, DeAgonstini is publishing a magazine which by this time next year will cover the entire Godzilla series plus some other Toho SFX films. Luckily, Koichi Kawakita is writing some of the text for these magazines, which is something awesome since he has been involved with Godzilla since 1962’s "King Kong vs. Godzilla".
Kawakita is also being honored in a way with the Heisei series - a series 6/7 his (SFX wise) - being released on blu-ray. Not only is it the 10th anniversary of which Kawakita became the next "Tsuburaya" or "Nakano" for Godzilla, but the first two movies he worked on ("Godzilla vs. Biollante" and the award winning "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah") are released this year on blu-ray. While only the 1991 film got a new special feature, it also marks the eternal preservation of the special features which have been passed down from the DVD format which got it from the 3 disc LD sets which were made possible by Kawakita and are rightfully Kawakita’s babies.
All of this good stuff for Kawakita and the Heisei Godzilla series sounds too good to be true. But it is not and there is more. If you are dropping off in Japan in the next month, you would be wise to go by a film festival celebrating Kawakita’s work on the Godzilla series hosted by the Humax Cinema. The films will be the ones Kawakita was the director of special effects for, "Godzilla vs. Biollante", "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah", "Godzilla vs. Mothra", "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla", "Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla", and the dramatic "Godzilla vs. Destroyer". The first image above is actually a scan of the back of the chirashi for the event. Here is a list of dates and times for the event:
11/13(Fri) - 15 (Sun) "Godzilla VS Biollante"
11/14(Sat) - Talk with Koichi Kawakita and actor Koichi Ueda
11/16 (Mon) to 18 (Wednesday) "Godzilla VS King Ghidorah"
11/19 (Thu) to 21 (Sat.) "Godzilla VS Mothra"
11/22 (Sun) to 24 (Tue) "Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla"
11/25 (Wed) - 27 (Fri) "Godzilla VS Space Godzilla"
11/28 (Sat) - 30 (Mon) "Godzilla VS Destoroyah"

The Humax Theatre is located in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. Ticket price to each day’s event will be around $13 (1,300 yen). Though not said yet, more activities are being planed for the 21st and 28th. More information can be found on the official web site whose link is below:

Godzilla's Latest Venture in Japan's Economy

Product placement and Godzilla go together like green eggs and ham. Most notably, Godzilla has been used to advertise drinks. He is known in the US to have helped the Dr. Pepper company make some dough in 1985 when the King of the Monsters was featured in accouple of commercials by the Dr. Pepper company and when the US version of "The Return of Godzilla", aptly titled "Godzilla 1985" had most of it’s American scenes having something Dr. Pepper-related in it - from a military smart ass drinking it to the Pentagon having a Dr. Pepper vending machine. But now Godzilla is entering a new age with a new company asking for his pop-culture status as help. Guess who?

It was a company shown in "Gamera: Giant Monster Midair Showdown" and "Gamera 2: Advent of Legion", with the latter being used to more extent. The company is also based on a Yokai-esque entity which was a focal point in the latest remake of "The Great Yokai War". Give up? It’s Japan’s own Kirin beer company. Evidently they have made a new coffee beverage called "fire". But Godzilla is not alone.

Also helping to add star value to the mostly viral advertisement campaign is a person who has been nick-named Godzilla since he came over for a little while to play for the Yankees (and I own the New York Times issue which calls him this; thanks to my grandfather in NY): Hideki Matsui. Many fans know that when he came over here, he was nicknamed "Godzilla" for his Japanese nationality and his skill. Hideki would also gain popularity when he makes a came in the 2002 film, "Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla". In something most probably more than coincidence, the Godzilla suit used for the campaign is in fact the Kiryu-Goji suit (variation unknown).

At the link below, you can easily navigate through the main Kirin beer website to find good of all sorts. There is a commercial, a making of the commercial, and a message from Hideki himself. Also of interest are some exclusive screen savers, which the picture at the top shows what it looks like on my laptop. Better save them onto your hard drive before they are gone!


Special Thanks Goes To James Ballard for notifying me that "Fire" is an energy drink...