Monday, July 27, 2009

G-Fest Day Two: Voyage to the Center of the Kaiju Universe

We eased into Day Two with the help of channel 19 (a.k.a. G-Fest TV) and were treated to episodes of Ultraman Tiga and the movie "Warning From Space." Then, with great anticipation, we went downstairs. I helped Andy and Sue locate Minya's Place, then I was off to G-Fest orientation with J.D. Lees. Being a veteran church conference-goer, I knew that your best bet is always to digest the conference program booklet and plan accordingly; even so, it was neat to listen to J.D. opine on various topics.

The first presentation I attended was Kevin Horn's "Deleted Scenes of Kaiju." It was a straight hour of clips (including bloopers) with lots of informed commentary by Mr. Horn. What a great start!

Next came "Godzilla in the Grindhouse," an offbeat salute to the days when it was not just difficult to view a G-film in a theater, but downright dangerous to your personal well-being. (And I thought it was bad during the pre-VHS era!)

Then I went to retrieve my family from Minya's Place, and was blown away by the quality and variety of kaiju arts and crafts provided by Ron Lipecky. It looked like so much fun, I had to make my own brown-bag Ebirah puppet! (By now I was clearly living in a dream world.)

After lunch I happened into a portion of "Godzilla: the Essentials" and was pleased to see August Ragone among the panelists. (Mr. Ragone has written the definitive English-language biography of Eiji Tsuburaya.) No surprises here--I have seen the essentials (and the non-essentials too)!

The last session I attended was presented by Stan Hyde, and it combined true film analysis with a thematic consideration of Godzilla movies patterned after "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," supported by a wonderfully rendered Powerpoint presentation.

The first afternoon's sessions were engaging and entertaining, revealing many facets of G-fandom. And there I was-- the proverbial kid in the proverbial candy store.

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