Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa (Hardcover)

Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa (Hardcover)

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This is first comprehensive biography of the director behind Godzilla and other Japanese sci-fi classics.

Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide. From the atomic allegory of Godzilla and the beguiling charms of Mothra to the tragic mystery of Matango and the disaster and spectacle of Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda's films reflected postwar Japan's real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations.

Now, in the first full account of this long overlooked director's life and career, authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda's work and the experiences that shaped it―including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with Akira Kurosawa. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa features close analysis of Honda's films (including, for the first time, his rarely seen dramas, comedies, and war films) and draws on previously untapped documents and interviews to explore how creative, economic, and industrial factors impacted his career. Fans of Honda, Godzilla, and tokusatsu (special effects) film, and of Japanese film in general, will welcome this in-depth study of a highly influential director who occupies a uniquely important position in science fiction and fantasy cinema, as well as in world cinema.

Together, the authors have provided audio commentary tracks and produced supplemental material for numerous home video releases, including Ishiro Honda's Godzilla for the British Film Institute. They co-produced the documentary feature Bringing Godzilla Down to Size (2008).


"[Up] to the challenge, a major achievement ... as authoritative a biography as [Honda] will probably ever receive. If you loved these movies as a kid (or even continue to do so in adulthood), this book will be mighty hard to put down."―Steve Mcfarlane, Cineaste Magazine

"Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa accomplishes a lot in under 350 pages. Perhaps most impressively, it provides the reader with a lasting sense of the man―his temperament, values, philosophies, dreams, and disappointments―behind some of cinema's most beloved characters (Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra), while also exhaustively detailing the lifelong Toho director's entire body of work (much of which is unavailable in the U.S. and even Japan)."―Chris Shields, Film Comment

"Assembled from years of meticulous research, and detailing the entirety of Honda's filmmaking spectrum, this prestige book offers an in-depth, revealing portrait of the man―as well as his movies―on a level previously unseen by western audiences."―Patrick Galvan, SYFY Wire

"[A] must-own title for anyone interested in Japanese science-fiction and Japanese cinema in general."―Patrick Galvan, Toho Kingdom
  • Publisher : Wesleyan University Press; Illustrated edition (October 3, 2017)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0819570877
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0819570871
  • Item Weight : 2.1 pounds
  • Dimensions : 7.3 x 1.2 x 10.1 inches

All copies are new.