90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Return Of Godzilla

There’s a new Godzilla movie coming out. We’ll look at the history, meaning and re-emergence of Godzilla.

A still from the original 1954 film, "Godizilla." (Toho Co / All Rights Reserved)

A still from the original 1954 film, “Godizilla.” (Toho Co / All Rights Reserved)

The first time Godzilla appeared, in 1954, Japan was still deep in the trauma of nuclear destruction.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fresh and terrible memories.  US nuclear tests in the Pacific had just rained more death down on Japanese fishermen.  And here came the monster.  Godzilla.  The great force of nature from the deep.  Swimming ashore.  Stomping through Tokyo.  Raising radioactive hell.  Godzilla came back again and again.  In movies and more.  Now, maybe Fukushima’s nuclear disaster has roused the beast.  It’s back. This hour On Point:  the rise and return of Godzilla.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

August Ragone, expert on Godzilla and Japanese monster movies. Author of “Eiji Tsubaraya: Master of Monsters.” Blogs at “The Good, the Bad and Godzilla.” (@RagoneAugust)

William Tsutsui, incoming president of Hendrix College. Expert on modern Japanese business and economic history. Author of “Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King Of Monsters.” Co-editor of “In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage.”

From Tom’s Reading List

San Francisco Examiner: New ‘Godzilla’ goes back to roots of Japanese legend — “The new origin story has the monster being awakened by U.S. nuclear testing in the Bikini Atolls in the 1950s, with subsequent nuclear tests being failed attempts to destroy the creature. ‘Just that one thing proves to me that these guys know what they’re doing,’ Ragone says.”

The Good, The Bad And Godzilla: Pondering Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” – “No matter what happens, be it glorious or apocalyptic, I’m not placing all of my hopes and dreams on this one film. Would I like to behold something as creatively and spiritually successful as Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’? Yes, of course I would.”

Vulture: What Everyone Who Sees Godzilla Will Be Talking About – “Are you expecting the reboot of Godzilla to feature an endless array of monster-on-monster fight scenes, where two nigh-invincible creatures slug each other with computer-generated punches until one of them finally goes down for the count? If so, you’d better wait for the fourth Transformers film, because Godzilla is so not that movie. In fact, though the press saw Godzilla for the first time today in Los Angeles, they didn’t actually see much of the titular monster, who remains an elusive presence in his very own film. Director Gareth Edwards wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

from “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Bit More On The History Of Quarantine
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

So this whole quarantine thing — why to do it, when to do it, and when to just say no.

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

More »
Comment