Godzilla (2014) doubts.
I am greatly excited about the new ‘Godzilla’ film from Gareth Edwards. It looks like it’ll be a rare case of a genuinely good remake. One that respects the original film, ‘Gojira’ (1954), a film that respects the Kaiju genre. Edwards demonstrates an acute understanding of Kaiju-eiga. While the recent viewing figures for the latest trailer are indeed heartwarming, I fear about the impending influx of new fans. These new fans have brazenly declared an unbridled love for the character and for the Kaiju-eiga genre. I do however wonder to what extent their knowledge of the character, the films, the genre and the production of the films extends to. While stating names likes ‘Rodan’, ‘Mothra’ and ‘King Ghidorah’ are a start, they are nonetheless mainstream names within the Kaiju-eiga canon, I expect many would be confounded if I mentioned ‘Shockirus’ from ‘The Return of Godzilla’ (1984). Or if I discussed the pre-production development regarding titles such as 'Gojira' (1954), 'King Kong vs Godzilla' (1962), 'Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra: Big Duel in the South Sea' (1966) or 'Frankenstein vs. Subterranean Monster Baragon' (1965). Furthermore I dread those ‘fans’ who will invariably disregard the Japanese productions on the basis of the Special Effects. That does make a true fan. To state your love for the character of ‘Godzilla’ is to appreciate all aspects of the ‘Godzilla’ canon, be it both fictional and factual. To love something is to be in absolute possession of knowledge and fondness for the subject, to truly comprehend what it symbolises. This is not ward of potential new fans to the genre, but one that aims to highlights the concerns of an established fandom, of which I have been a part of for 10 years. We welcome new fans, but ones that will contribute something worthwhile to the appreciation of the Kaiju genre and of the character of ‘Godzilla’.
…Someone get me a gif of Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters saying, “I am the Gatekeeper,” stat.
What exactly do we gain by shunning people who aren’t familiar with the fucking giant sea louse who appears in a single scene of a movie that has never been released on DVD? You know what the proper response is when a fellow fan is unfamiliar with what you’re talking about? Offer to explain it to them.
Amen. To expect encyclopaedic knowledge of what is still a pretty damn niche genre to dribble out of someone who is discovering a new fandom is beyond stupid, and is actually downright arrogant. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a fan for 10 years or 10 minutes: the “true fan” doesn’t exist. It’s just a gatekeeper title perpetuated by territorial fanboys who are too scared to allow anyone new into their fandom for fear of I don’t know what.
Newsflash: Godzilla - or any fandom, for that matter - doesn’t belong to anyone. We gain absolutely nothing from gatekeeping our fandom. Hell, the only way a media franchise can ever hope to survive is by attracting new fans who are eager to learn about and enjoy said property.
I can understand the trepidation here, even if I agree that it’s not right to shun someone because they’re not as versed on something as you are. There have been a number of times in my life that someone has started a conversation with me about a shared interest, only to immediately dismiss whole aspects of that topic when I discuss it with them because it precedes their known portion. “I don’t care about the old stuff” or “These ones look bad, so I don’t like them” have been common remarks in a number of conversations I’ve had with people over multiple things in my life. Film, television, video games, music — basically any type of media can fall prey to this. There are people who just want to enjoy what they get at face value and aren’t looking for deeper insight than that, and that’s true of anything and everything.
That being said, I believe that there are people that enter a fandom and DO actually want to learn more; there are people who strive to gain knowledge about the things they enjoy, who strive to experience aspects of it from multiple angles. Even if someone doesn’t have the same opinions about a topic as you, if they want to learn, then you should be happy to teach. In fact, there have been times when I’ve found myself caught up in such a deep nuance of a topic that I’m afraid the person I’m speaking to has been lost for whole paragraphs, only to find that they’ve hung on every word and only become more excited from speaking to me.
If you love something and you come across someone else who wants to talk about it, then you should. Chances are, if they’re out there, actively trying to find people who know about the topic and discuss with them, it means they’re trying to get invested to at least some degree.
This is really stupid but whatever
Surprised nobody’s spliced this together yet.
>Gaim title card
Homer: “Gaim?” What’s a “Gaim?”
>DON’T SAY NO, JUST LIVE MORE
Homer: … Oh, a Gaim.
Excellent. Glad to know it’s occurred.