LSD Jellyfish wrote:Anyways, my main post was a two pronged attack, mainly aimed at the notion that a lot of TK members don’t know Toho, or Japanese films, outside anime or Godzilla. While I’m sure that notion holds some truth, I personally found it offensive, and I think the forum goers deserve SOME credit.
I kind of sit right in this middle on this point, I guess. I would say that a lot - though not nearly all - of TK users do know Toho pretty much as "the Godzilla company." There are also a large number who know them for a little more, and a decent batch who know them for a lot more.
But I don't think there's anything wrong some people just thinking of them as "the Godzilla company," and with that being the bulk of what we talk about on this forum, because, I mean, Godzilla is massively, enduringly popular for a reason. And a specific movie studio would seem like kind of a weird thing to be a focus for conversation, anyway. The Godzilla series invites extended, in-depth, geeky conversation on many different levels - some of cinematic depth, some of pure fanboy goofiness (I just can't imagine an equivalent of the Fantasy Matches forum focused on Seijun Suzuki gangsters going up against Takeshi Kitano gangsters).
Plus, Godzilla is a great entry point for Japanese cinema, and I'm sure there are people who come to this site/these forums to talk Godzilla, and end up gradually expanding their horizons. Personally, my interest in Godzilla dates back to childhood, while my larger awareness of Japanese film began with a drama teacher recommending Rashomon
to me when I was 16 (I immediately fell hard for Kurosawa, but didn't see any Ozu, Inagaki, Masaki Kobayashi, etc until college). But if there'd been a Toho Kingdom when I was 14, maybe that awakening would have come a little earlier.
Regardless, I agree with you that any assertion that Godzilla is all
we talk about on here is false. And if that really worries someone, I'd rather see them start threads in which they talk in-depth about specific movies than that they spend their time griping about the rest of us lacking their sophistication.
My point about Seven Samurai is that while although it’s an amazing film, it’s also one of the most easily accessible, and when someone says it’s their favorite Japanese film or film at large I get suspicious. It’s like the “I like KINO but I’m in the KINO shallowpool, but I still want to pretend I’m in the JAPANESE KINO DEEP END.”
I see where you're coming from, but, at the same time, I don't necessarily think having one of the most easily accessible examples indicates a lack of appreciation for the more esoteric or obtuse. I think there's something to be said for accessibility.Seven Samurai
is not my favorite film (honestly, I just don't have such a thing), nor is it my favorite Japanese film (again, couldn't narrow it down and wouldn't have any reason to), but I think it is a stunning work that manages to be accessible and entertaining to a mass audience while still being rich with characterization, theme and style. And, as a fan of formalist cinema, Kurosawa stands out to me as an especially masterful filmmaker overall for the ways in which story and style feel inextricable from one another in his work.
Does that make him necessarily the best? Of course not. There's really no such thing as "the best" filmmaker, in the history of the world or in any one nation or in any one era. But he's pretty great.
Do we even have a Seven Samurai
thread on TK? I can't specifically remember ever posting in one, but it feels like that might be a thing.
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.