Monster mash


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Posted January 28, 2022 | By James Blevins
james@ocalagazette.com

CF’s International Film Series continues with ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla’ on Feb. 8

[Poster image supplied by the College of Central Florida]

The College of Central Florida (CF) Ira Holmes International Film Series resumes on Tuesday, Feb. 8, with the Japanese “kaiju,” or “giant monster movie,” classic “King Kong vs. Godzilla.”

“It’s a special ‘B-movie’ celebration event,” said the organizer of the film series.

Released, and directed by Ishiro Honda, in 1962—the same filmmaker behind the original black-and-white film that started it all in 1954—comes the first meeting of two of cinema’s largest and most well-known monsters, both in color for the first time.

The film predates the more recent film, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” directed by Adam Wingard, produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. in March of 2021, by nearly 60 years.

“When Kong is discovered on a remote island by a publicity-hungry pharmaceutical company, the giant ape is set on a collision course with Godzilla, and Japan braces for a double dose of devastation,” according to The Criterion Collection’s synopsis of the film.

To this day, the film remains the most attended “Godzilla” film in Japan to date, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, and is credited with encouraging the famed Japanese production company Toho to prioritize the continuation of the series after seven years of dormancy. Ultimately, Toho would produce a further 29 “Godzilla” films from 1964 to 2018.

To view the film’s trailer, click here.

“King Kong vs. Godzilla” will be shown at 2 p.m. at the Appleton Museum of Art, located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., and at 7 p.m. at the Ocala Drive-In, located at 4850 S. Pine Ave.

CF Associate Professor Jay Thompson will host a virtual film talk on Feb. 9 via Zoom, discussing “King Kong vs. Godzilla.” To join the talk, visit www.cf.edu/event/international-film-series-talk-king-kong-vs-godzilla/ and click the “Register Here” link at the bottom of the page.

Future films in the series, all from the year 1962 when Professor Ira Holmes first began the long-running program, include:

  • “Ivan’s Childhood,” directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, showing on Feb. 22, with a film talk by Professor Delmar G. Jacobs Jr. on Feb. 23
  • “Boccaccio ’70,” directed by Mario Monicelli, Federico Fellini, and Luchino Visconti, showing on March 8, with a film talk by Dr. Silvo Gaggi on March 9
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird,” directed by Robert Mulligan, showing on March 29, with a film talk by Dr. Gilbert B. Rodman on March 30

A bonus 1962 film shorts festival, featuring Chris Marker’s “La Jetée,” Louis Malle’s “Vive le Tour,” and more, is scheduled for April 12.

Films at the Ocala campus are free and open to the public, while films at the Appleton are free to all museum and film series members. Nonmembers must pay museum admission.

Be advised that some films in the series may contain mature content.

For more details, visit CF.edu/filmseries.