Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sayonara Jupiter (1983)

Sayonara Jupiter (1983)

October 8th, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

During the 1970's and 80's Japan created many lavish space operas. They can typically be viewed as spinoffs of their giant monster or Kaju eiga genre. They usually involved Earth encountering some hostile alien and sending a fantastic spacecraft as our last hope to do battle with the menace. Sayonara Jupiter is an exception to this formula. Its production values are lavish, far above other space opera of the period and with the originality of the story, they certainly aim high.
Based upon a novel of the same name and adapted as a screenplay by the author, Sayonara Jupiter is the story of a black hole ready to devour the Earth. With the influence of alien technology, humanity develops a plan to save themselves by destroying Jupiter, hence the tittle.

The film was directed by Koji Hashimoto, who worked extensively on the Godzilla films of the 1960's and 70's and one year later, would go on to direct the big budget Godzilla revival/re-imagining Godzilla 1984.

The results are conflicted, with such great ambitions, the film is nicknamed the Japanese 2001 A Space Odyssey, it became convoluted and buckled under its own lofty goals. It still stands as an interesting and still entertaining entry into a reviving Japanese cinema and a unique vision for the science fiction genre.
Japan, Directors Sakyo Komatsu and Koji Hashimoto, Cast Tomokazu Miura, Diane Dangely, Miyuki Ono and Rachel Huggett, 140 minutes, in Japanese and limited English with English Subtitles

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