Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Remember That: Kaiju Dreams

This was a brief I wrote for the I Remember That thread quite some time ago - long before Pacific Rim arrived - now updated.  But, how fitting to post it now.  The film really spoke to me and my own childhood kaiju (strange creature/ monster/ giant monster) dreams. Japanese monster movies had a significant impact to be sure.

When I consider my dreams today, they seem to be fewer and farther between. I just don't dream like I used to. This is clearly a sad fact of physiology. It's also kind of a sad reflection on one aspect of the aging process.  Who wants to stop dreaming?

Obviously when we are young we dream like crazy. When we grow older we shouldn't lose our desire to dream. Of course, in this case, I speak of dreaming involuntarily while sleeping.

Again, when I was young did I ever dream.  I was overflowing with dreams.  There were so many dreams I wished we could bottle them all.  Remembering them was always the tough part. It seemed like there wasn't a night that went by that I didn't dream. Apart from dreams of falling and waking my dreams were replete with monsters of the kaiju variety. A few afternoons spent watching Creature Double Feature and I was doomed - ruined for a night or two anyway worried Monster Zero might trounce my street at any moment.

I was often running down streets and ducking around corners amidst the debris-riddled roads and devastation. These dreams were terrific and vivid and I was literally injecting myself into the world of Toho monster movies.  I was often alone simply trying to survive.

I was always a big fan of the giant monster films. For some reason I loved running from these creatures in my dreams and evading certain death by ducking around the concrete corners and taking refuge against the side of a tall granite building hoping to evade detection. It was escape after escape. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed these types of films so much.  I felt as though I controlled the outcome.

I was less thrilled about watching films like Matango or Attack Of The Mushroom People because those monsters were more intimately connected to your space.  They were small, looked you in the eyes and genuinely had the potential to catch you.  The intimacy of face to face contact and encounters with monsters of this nature were truly horrifying and thus Mushroom People and Fly-sized humanoids were often forgotten upon waking.

But Godzilla and friends were frequent flyers. The kaiju were in my dreams often and I remember the simplicity of those dreams well. Pacific Rim has an entire sequence that effectively spoke to me as if director Guillermo del Toro had been in those dreams too.  It was as if he had ripped them straight from my sleep.  It's a powerful moment brought to life in cinema in his thrilling Pacific Rim (see little Japanese girl running above).

I suppose it all seems awfully silly now, but these dreams were the product of a childhood filled with film wonders particularly from the fantasy worlds created in Japan. I'm sure you had them too. Silly or not, those dreams seemed real as a kid and I definitely remember that.


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