The Making of Godzilla

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The Making of Godzilla

Postby Jared » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:11 am

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I just picked up a great book called Atomic Dreams and the Nuclear Nightmare: The Making of Godzilla (1954) by Peter H Brothers. I'm about a quarter-way through and I already feel I have a much greater understanding of the film and where it stands in history - there are a lot of little details I had never heard of before. Anyone else read it?
Last edited by Jared on Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Making of Godzilla

Postby tbeasley » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:30 pm

I've heard mixed things about his first book. I never picked up it because I'm waiting for Ryfle's and Godziszewski's Honda biography -
http://www.tohokingdom.com/books/mushro ... om_men.htm
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Re: The Making of Godzilla

Postby ebirahsmeg1 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:15 pm

I wonder if there are any "eye-pooping" moments this time around :lol:

Seriously, from his very subpar and sloppy Honda Biography Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men (that was universally panned) to his incoherent snobbish diatribes in G-Fan (this is the same guy who compared the "ultra-violence" of GFW to "porn" :roll: Yes, I'm not making this up), buyers should best beware....
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Re: The Making of Godzilla

Postby ebirahsmeg1 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:43 pm

Here is an interesting review of this "book" from a member on TohoKingdom who runs a very informative blog on Akira Ifukube (please check it out: http://www.akiraifukube.org/):


Tapkaara wrote: I will admit, I did not read all of his Honda book; I couldn't. I suppose some of the biographical info about Honda was interesting (assuming it was accurate) but the run-downs of the various films were quite tedious. (Just watch the movies!) He does the same thing in this book...but with SCENE BY SCENE DESCRIPTIONS. I am not sure what the point of this is. Can you imagine reading that? I can't, and I didn't. Again, JUST WATCH THE MOVIE. (He does this for both Gojira and King of the Monsters.)

What's especially perturbing to me is that in his own press release to advertise the book, he refers to it as "scholarly." I personally take umbrage to that. If I may be so bold, the work I do on my Ifukube website actually IS scholarly and the information there is accurate and authentic. if I am to consider Mr. Brothers a competitor in Godzilla scholarship...or at least scholarship when it comes to Ifukube and his participation in the film (which takes up a sizable section of his text)...I will indeed call him out for his false claims (that this is a "scholarly" book) and sloppy, inaccurate writings on a subject that is very near and dear to me.

For example, he goes into great detail about the instrumentation of the Odo Island ceremonial music. He identifies each an every instrument heard on the soundtrack. The only issue is the following: HE IS DEAD WRONG ON EVERY INSTRUMENT. Each one. He assumes that all instruments used are traditional Japanese instruments. They are not, save for one. Ifukube employs Western orchestral instruments to imitate traditional Asian ones (I suppose that Mr. Brothers THOUGHT that these were traditional instruments is a tribute to Ifukube's resourcefulness). He does, however, use a pien-ku, which is a traditional Chinese drum (which, incidentally, was an instrument in the composer's own personal collection of traditional Chinese and Asian instruments.) (You can read about this and other things like it on my site! *Shameless plug*)

So, if one didn't know any better, one would pick up this "scholarly" text assuming that tidbits like the example above and others are dead-on, spot-on accurate. I hardly call the perpetuation of false information "scholarly."

Although it may not seem like it, I do not like having to take apart his writings like this, more to the point, his Ifukube writings. But I do do it as I see his work as a sort of competition to mine and you better believe I am going to want to stand up for the truth on these points. Had he written something accurate, I'd have no need for this.

I don't know Mr. Brothers, I wish him no personal ill will and I hope that, should he write any future books, he takes an approach more worthy of the subject he is covering. The history of this genre deserves nothing better.
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Re: The Making of Godzilla

Postby Jared » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:24 am

I was excited about this book because GODZILLA is one of my all-time favorite films and I've always yearned for a definitive source in English. The book started off strong (though that just may have been because of my fascination with that period in history), but it takes a nosedive as soon as it starts covering production. The writing is often clunky with numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes. Brothers seems to make a lot of leaps in assumption - he describes exactly what Honda, Tsuburaya and others were thinking in certain scenarios, which is of course ridiculous and unnecessary. And as a musician, I can empathize with Mr. Homenick's (Tapkaara, who runs an excellent website by the way) issues with how Brothers covers it, as it's clear he simply needed to do more research and maybe reach out to some people.

As for general factual errors, I admittedly have not noticed a majority of them (because I'm fairly unfamiliar with the fine details of the film, hence why I picked up the book in the first place). I would be interested in seeing a debunking of the most obvious ones.

The consensus seems to be that the best information from this book is garnered from other sources - particularly issue #10 of Japanese Giants, written by Ed Godziszewski.
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