Ravishing A Universe For Love

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Mothra was a transitional picture for director Ishiro Honda…a bridge from his stark, scary black and white atomic monster movies of the 50’s to his colorful, humorous monster mashes of the 60’s and 70’s. The fact that he cast a comedic actor (Frankie Sakai) in place of a generically dashing leading man shows right away that this one was a game changer. There are still serious issues being tackled here (atomic testing…political friction between superpowers…the exploitation and subjugation of indigenous people by “civilization”) but there’s also a lightheartedness, warmth and optimism to Mothra that really makes it a joy to watch. And it looks gorgeous (which is not a word normally applied to moths). There are still scores of Honda’s films that I have yet to see…so I can’t exactly declare it his masterpiece but it’s definitely in the top 5 of the ones that I have experienced…and if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you experience this one…

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