The 'non-era' era?

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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby Jorzilla » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:34 pm

I tend to agree with the grouping. I feel that a lot of theses discussions are too teleological, which is an interesting way to think about these types of the discussion. To quote the definition:

relating to or involving the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise.


In short: people act like the classification of Showa, Heisei, etc. really exist and provide the meaning and purpose to the movies. Rather, these classifications exist as emergent property as fans developed ways to talk about similarly stylized or successions of films. It's obvious how arbitrary these classifications are when you look at variations of films within their groupings. i.e. Gojira vs. Gigan, Spacegodzilla vs. G84, or GMK vs. G2000. In non Godzilla related terms, Star Wars exists as a film, but George Lucas didn't set out to make a pure science fiction or fantasy film. This is why people still lose their "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" if you try to classify Star Wars into a specific box.

Basically I'm saying its interesting to think about what these movies may be called, but I don't think it's something that can be FORCED. What will happen is in 20 years phrases an shortcuts will be created by the fandom to refer to movies, even if they are as different as Shin Godzilla an G:KOTM.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby Gwangi » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:39 am

Well, in Japan, the Heisei era has officially come to an end (1989-2019). For us fans, we had some interesting Godzilla movies during that span, but we also had some very bad G-flicks as well (each with our own preference). We finally saw Hollywood getting into the act, not once but twice! (with more success the second time around).

This era had a little more unevenness than the Showa period, but I attribute that to having many different filmmakers at the helm, where as earlier, it was mainly Honda and Jun Fukuda among others.

Welcome to the Reiwa era! What will be in store? What type of series does Toho have in mind after "G vs. K"? Will Legendary continue with the Monsterverse? Will Gamera be incorporated into the Godzilla or Legendary universe? Will we have another Godzilla animated feature? Will there ever be a T.V. series associated with Godzilla (or even Monarch)? God willing, we will all be around long enough to see some of the end results.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby lhb412 » Thu May 02, 2019 1:11 am

I'm thoroughly convinced that naming series after Imperial Japanese eras is actually kind of stupid and I vote that we start calling the 1984 to 1995 films the "vs. series" like the fans in Japan do.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu May 02, 2019 11:06 am

...do they? This seems like one of those weird "facts" that somehow has gotten perpetuated by online fandom and supposed "experts" who don't actually know anything about the fandom in Japan except via very VERY limited exposure, and take things that are their own personal opinion, present those things as facts, and the general fandom runs wild with (I've seen it happen with quite a few of the comics artists on social media, and then seen August Ragone or similar come in to correct this inaccuracy - sadly, once enough people have latched onto the idea that Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah would have been Honda's favorite Heisei entry despite his specific statements during his life to the contrary, it's hard to completely stamp out that kind of viral misinformation).

Toho calls it the Heisei era. Would the fans in Japan (of which there are actually far fewer die-hards than here in the US) call it anything different? Would they care enough to do so? The movies are marketed and branded, BY TOHO, IN JAPANESE BOOKS, as the Heisei era. That's good enough for me.

Personally, I think the whole conversation about the "right" name to call an era is kinda stupid anyway. It's a simple, easy lump naming convention used for the sake of convenience. If someone says "Heisei era" would anyone in the fandom NOT know what they're talking about? I might even argue the same of "vs series" (though personally, considering how many movies in the franchise have 'vs' titles, I'd probably have been confused as hell by that as a younger fan). It's all just used for the convenience of saying "movies from a similar time period made in a similar type of style under similar budgetary and production schedules by similar crews." Getting hung up on the semantics is silly. Call it whatever you want. If people know what you're talking about, it doesn't really matter.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby H-Man » Thu May 02, 2019 11:47 am

Whether "VS series" is the more common name with Japanese fans or not it's the name I prefer. Admittedly neither name is perfect.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu May 02, 2019 4:20 pm

I personally think it's silly to use the word "era" to refer to a series of movies, and I think that's probably a big cause of the fandom's uncertainty and confusion over this.

The real-world "Heisei Era" is the span of time from January 8, 1989 to April 30, 2019 during which Emperor Akihito reigned in Japan.

The Godzilla film franchise's "Heisei Series" consists of the seven Godzilla movies produced from 1984 to 1995.

When fans deduce that every Godzilla film released during Akihito's reign must be considered a "Heisei Era Godzilla movie" or that Godzilla '84 must be part of the Showa Series because it was released during the actual Showa Era, that just creates unnecessary confusion. Like Jelly said, referring to the films as the Showa Series or the Heisei Series is a lump naming convention for the sake of convenience. It's not meant to be a factual indicator of who was Japan's emperor when a particular Godzilla movie was released. Toho drove that point home when they christened the Godzilla flicks released from 1999 to 2004 as the Millennium Series.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby emeGoji » Wed May 08, 2019 6:03 pm

I like the idea of moving away from referring to the Heisei series as such, and adopting the Vs series name, but I honestly don't think I would ever be able to get used to it. I would constantly catch myself calling it the Heisei series from now till the day I die. :lol:
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby Dai » Sun May 12, 2019 10:47 am

I wonder if Shin Godzilla and the anime trilogy will be retrospectively adopted as the first entries in a 'reiwa series', the way Return of Godzilla is considered a heisei movie.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby DannyBeane » Sun May 12, 2019 10:16 pm

Dai wrote:I wonder if Shin Godzilla and the anime trilogy will be retrospectively adopted as the first entries in a 'reiwa series', the way Return of Godzilla is considered a heisei movie.

I hope not. Not every cluster of films needs its own series. To be a series they all need something in common whether its a continuity like the showa/heisei or a vision like the Millennium. Anything else is fanboys trying too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole.
1. Showa (loose continuity)
2. Heisei (strong continuity)
3. G98 (a 1 off not a part of any series)
4. Millennium (Toho announced this was going to be a series of 1 offs (TSOS aside)
5. Monsterverse (strong continuity)
6. Shin Godzilla (again a 1 off that doesn't need lumped into a series)
7. The anime trilogy (strong continuity)

*edit*
And for the purpose of organizing forums like the MZ forums, the whole concept of series should be junked. Classic Godzilla films and Future Godzilla films. There is barely any posting in the showa/heisei/millennium forums as it is so they might as well be consolidated.
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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon May 13, 2019 12:02 pm

DannyBeane wrote:And for the purpose of organizing forums like the MZ forums, the whole concept of series should be junked. Classic Godzilla films and Future Godzilla films. There is barely any posting in the showa/heisei/millennium forums as it is so they might as well be consolidated.
If I could do things like this, I would. But I'm just a mod, not an admin.

There are no real active admins anymore. Mods either, really.

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Re: The 'non-era' era?

Postby emeGoji » Tue May 14, 2019 12:15 am

jellydonut25 wrote:
DannyBeane wrote:And for the purpose of organizing forums like the MZ forums, the whole concept of series should be junked. Classic Godzilla films and Future Godzilla films. There is barely any posting in the showa/heisei/millennium forums as it is so they might as well be consolidated.
If I could do things like this, I would. But I'm just a mod, not an admin.

There are no real active admins anymore. Mods either, really.

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Everyone moved to social media. I used to visit MZ hourly back in the day, now I go years between visits. Those glory years during the peak of the Millennium series were something though.
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Re: The Reiwa Era

Postby mr.negativity » Tue May 14, 2019 5:25 pm

THR 5/13/2019:
Cannes: 5 Japanese Directors Defining the Reiwa Era
Gavin J. Blair wrote:As the "4K" group — Kore-eda, Kawase, Kitano and Kurosawa — did the past three decades, these five directors, from debutants to accomplished helmers, look poised to follow in their footsteps.

Kazuya Shiraishi

Paying his dues under the controversial Kôji Wakamatsu, the 44-year-old helmer appears to have inherited some of his late mentor’s fearlessness. His 2010 debut, Lost Paradise in Tokyo, dealt with learning difficulties and sexuality, and Blood of Wolves won a 2019 Asian Film Awards best actor gong for Kôji Yakusho as a hardboiled detective.

Yûki Yamato

A philosophy grad from Tokyo’s Sophia University, Yamato, 30, who sometimes goes by U-ki Yamato, comes from a generation of notable young female directors. Her award-winning debut feature, 2012’s That Girl Is Dancing by the Seaside, set attendance records at the Tokyo Student Film Festival, and she followed it with a series of shorts and music videos.

Yoko Yamanaka

Yamanaka caused a stir with her accomplished debut, 2018’s Amiko, a coming-of-age story about a high schooler in a small town who is struggling to find meaning in her life. After dropping out of film school, Yamanaka made it on a budget of $2,500 at age 20. While she’s been praised for her originality, some say it’s too early to assess her true potential.

Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Coming to feature directing relatively late, Hamaguchi, 40, caught the attention of the industry with his 2008 graduation film, Passion. His 2015 film Happy Hour was more than five hours long, featured a number of first-timers in leading roles and won acclaim on the international festival circuit. His next film, Asako I & II, competed for the Palme d’Or in 2018.

Nanako Hirose

Working as an assistant to Hirokazu Kore-eda for seven years, Hirose was able to undertake the kind of comprehensive apprenticeship that has disappeared from Japan’s major studios. Her debut, His Lost Name, won a special jury prize at 2018’s Tokyo Filmex fest, where it was called "a perfectly written and executed family drama."
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Re: The Reiwa Era

Postby mr.negativity » Tue May 14, 2019 5:28 pm

THR 5/13/2019:
Cannes: Can Japanese Content Conquer the Global Market?a
Gavin J. Blair wrote:With the three-decade Heisei era coming to a close, Japan's entertainment industry is shifting its focus from Hollywood imports to homegrown IP with international appeal (hello, 'Detective Pikachu').

On April 30, Emperor Akihito, 85, stepped down from the Chrysanthemum Throne, the first Japanese monarch to do so in more than two centuries. At midnight the same evening, his son Crown Prince Naruhito became the 126th emperor of the world’s longest-surviving dynasty. And so the three-decade Heisei ("achieving peace") era came to an end, and the new Reiwa ("beautiful harmony") era began.

Though the Western Gregorian calendar is widely used in Japan, imperial eras are seen as defining markers in the cultural, political and societal life of the nation.

Heisei began in 1989 as the bubble economy was reaching its height, amid fears of global Japanese economic domination. In September that year, Sony bought Columbia Pictures for $3.4 billion in cash, then the largest U.S. acquisition by a Japanese company. The following year, Matsushita (Panasonic) bought MCA (now part of NBCUniversal) for $6.6 billion in an ill-fated deal, which became a symbol of bubble excess. The ensuing crash wrought economic havoc from which the country has yet to fully recover. The film industry was also going through upheavals, though it would eventually enjoy a renaissance while the nation continued to struggle.

The first decade of Heisei saw Hollywood films dominate the box office, while the number of local releases fell to around 250 annually. "When I joined the movie business, Hollywood was king," recalls Takeo Hisamatsu, a former executive at Shochiku and Warner Bros. Japan who now heads the Tokyo Film Festival.

However, new directors with varied but distinctly Japanese visions also emerged. Takeshi Kitano (Hana-bi), Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), Naomi Kawase (Sweet Bean) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Foreboding) — collectively referred to as "4K" — would go on to garner global acclaim and awards.

One key change in the industry was the growing dominance of novel and manga adaptations. "Original-story films and also director-driven films were produced much less in Heisei compared to Showa [the preceding era]," says Toshiyuki Hasegawa, an industry veteran and current programming director at the Skip City festival. "How many copies of the original novels or manga were sold or who stars in the film became more important than directors’ creativity or script development."

While the resulting films may not have pushed the envelope creatively, they’ve helped domestic films become dominant at the box office for the past decade. The renaissance, which also led to more than 600 local productions getting released annually, was driven in no small part by anime. Animation house Studio Ghibli, though founded in 1985, became a hit factory during Heisei. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001) won an Oscar and holds the all-time domestic box office record with $276 million.

Miyazaki’s films have often featured strong-willed female characters, a relatively new trend in the male-dominated domestic productions. "There were suddenly films in Heisei where women were badass, committing crime, working, making people angry and killing people. These roles changed audiences’ perception of women," says film writer and critic Kaori Shoji.

But behind the camera, female filmmakers and executives remain scarce. "Still, wherever I go, all I see is old men in suits," says producer Yukie Kito. "As long as that continues it’s hard to see change happening. They don’t understand films that have a female perspective."

Even though the box office share of imports has fluctuated over the years, Japanese audiences remain enthusiastic consumers of foreign fare. However, for years, the local industry seemed reluctant to see its productions, IP or talent go abroad. But the entertainment industry has now started to look outward in a trend likely to strengthen during Reiwa.

Hollywood live-action remakes of Japanese properties include the recently released Pokémon Detective Pikachu and the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, Attack on Titan, a redo of anime smash Your Name from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and a reboot of J-horror classic The Grudge coming from Sony in 2020.

But neither Hollywood nor remakes are the only game in town. As political tensions have thawed, collaborations with the burgeoning Chinese industry are also on the upswing.

"The Chinese filmmakers working now grew up watching Japanese films and television, both legally and illegally," says producer Kito. "They are very respectful of Japanese directors and actors. When they work with Hollywood, it’s all about money, but they genuinely want to work with the Japanese industry."

Sino-Japanese co-productions include Legend of the Demon Cat, based on a Japanese novel, which pulled in more than $75 million. The next installment of the blockbuster Detective Chinatown franchise, which so far has banked more than $750 million, is set to shoot in Tokyo. And in 2018, the Asian neighbors finally signed a co-production pact.

Despite the language barriers, Japanese directors also have begun working in China. Yôjirô Takita, a foreign-language Oscar winner for 2008’s Departures, recently completed Silence of Smoke, while Shunji Iwai directed a Chinese cast in 2018’s Last Letter.

Other Japanese directors have been working even farther afield. Kurosawa recently finished shooting To the Ends of the Earth in Uzbekistan, and Kore-eda directed Ethan Hawke and Juliette Binoche in French and English in The Truth, which shot in France.

While most welcome this move to internationalization after decades of relative parochialism, some insiders worry that the directors leading the charge are the same names that emerged 30 years ago at the dawn of Heisei.

Miyuki Takamatsu, head of sales and production firm Free Stone Productions, sees the absence of "a single Japanese filmmaker" in the main competition or Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year as a wake-up call in terms of maintaining creativity. "As people in Japan feel the new year celebration coming with Reiwa," he says, "we the Japanese film people have to cleanse our minds and move forward."
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