INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The world’s biggest monster is set to appear on Indiana’s biggest screen. Gojira, the original 1954 black-and-white masterpiece, is coming to the Indiana State Museum IMAX on Wednesday, May 29.
“We tend to think of Godzilla as this guy-in-a-rubber-suit character from low budget action movies, but Gojira is slightly less about that and actually has something to say,” IMAX Theater Director Brian Hammes explains. “It’s a lot of fun to munch popcorn and watch him destroy a miniature city, but it’s also window into a very dark part of our history as humans.”
Fans of HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries may want to check out what is arguably the first nuclear disaster film. Toho’s Gojira has been historically seen as an allegory for the atomic age, specifically the nuclear terror unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Less than a decade later, Gojira opened across Japan in November 1954.
In Japan, the Ishirō Honda film was seen as nature’s atomic revenge on mankind for creating the hydrogen bomb. The American version, however, removed references to the film’s anti-nuclear and political themes. Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was released in 1956 to Western audiences, featuring edited-in sequences with Perry Mason actor Raymond Burr and English-speaking overdubs.
To clarify which version will be shown, Hammes emphatically states, “This is the original 1954 Japanese film, not the Americanized version with Burr. It’s presented in Japanese with English subtitles.”
Cinephiles will also rejoice at the quality of the projection on Wednesday night. Godzilla fans may remember that The Criterion Collection released a comprehensive remaster of both the Japanese and American versions on Blu-ray in 2012. The State Museum worked to secure a theatrical print of Criterion’s high-definition restoration for the viewing.
Hammes says he’s honored to show Gojira at the State Museum IMAX. “He’s the King of Monsters and deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.”
Tickets are $10 with a discount available to Director’s Club members:
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) opens at the State Museum IMAX and worldwide on Friday, May 31.