“Matango” @ FLMNH (July 29)
This summer’s series concludes with Ishirō Honda’s 1963 tokusatsu horror film Matango. The film tells the story of five carefree vacationers and two crewmen who are shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted tropical island. Fighting among themselves over dwindling rations, one by one the castaways turn to the only edible substance found on the island, a strangely compelling and delicious fungus, with sinister results…
Director Honda is best-known for his kaiju (giant monster) films. Matango, released in the U.S. under the titles Attack of the Mushroom People and Fungus of Terror, is a noteworthy departure from the kaiju genre. Based on “The Voice in the Night,” a 1907 short story by English weird fiction author William Hope Hodgson, Matango is claustrophobic, melancholy, and creepy. The ensemble cast, featuring several of the most accomplished young Japanese actors of the period, is outstanding. The production designs, by Shigeru Komatsuzaki, Juichi Ikuno, and Akira Watanabe, working under the direction of Toho Studios special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya, are among the most hauntingly beautiful ever featured in a Toho Studios film.
The evening’s events begin at 7 PM. The screening will be preceded and followed by a roundtable discussion featuring:
- Ian Breheny – Museum Operations Specialist at the FLMNH, and co-founder of the film series
- Terry Harpold – Associate Professor of English, Film & Media Studies at UF
- Tim Lawrence – Special effects artist and concept sculptor
- Alija Mujic – Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Plant Pathology, UF
Matango is unrated. Some scenes may be too intense for young children.
All “Creative B” events are free and open to the public.