AKA Hawai Mare Okikaisen
Received an award for visual effects from the Japan Motion Picture Cinematographers Association.
Eiji Tsubaraya was predominantly known in the west for the visual effects of the Japanese giant monster pictures or Kaiju starting with Godzilla in 1954. Not so commonly known , having mostly only been seen in Japan, is his contribution to a series of war pictures. This, one of the earliest, depicts the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as well as a few other Japanese imperial navy victories between 1941 and 1942. Using Naval aerial photographs the effects team built an accurate large expanse of miniature set, outdoors, with buildings, hangars, moving trucks, vehicles and attacking aircraft as well as many American warship models. They then proceeded to destroy the whole lot by blowing it up in shot after shot.
There is a legend that the American occupying forces took the miniature work for real and in fact they believed Tsubaraya must have been part of a spy network to have access to such accurate information. Compared to real footage of the Pearl Harbor attack it doesn't really hold up but there are a number of particularly effective shots. The camera is often shooting from the point of view of an aircraft in flight and the motion is really well simulated and quite convincing. Some of the buildings being blown up also fracture and collapse really well. The explosions in the water are less successful as they give away the scale of the ships and water too easily.
Thanks are due to Roger Todd for alerting me to this film, for his research and providing the visual material for this post.
Source: Eiji Tsubaraya: Master of Monsters by August Ragone published by Chronicle Books.
Top 5 Most Popular posts
Generally regarded as the epitome of the swashbuckling genre, The Sea Hawk's special effects were nominated for an Academy award in 194...
The visual effects were supervised by Derek Meddings and they are for the most part pretty well orchestrated in this movie. There is a...
First some news This re-built modelshipsinthecinema site has been up for some weeks now and I hope is working as well as it did. The only ...
Nominated for an Academy award for special effects in 1968. The nuclear submarine miniature is modeled on a "Skate" cl...
Das Boot is without a doubt, the most realistic and immersive submarine movie yet made. Up until this film, the Submarine movie genre was pr...