Godzilla, an autoethnographic experience.

From reading the text Autoethnography: An overview I have understood that Autoethnography is both a process and product used to write about experiences based on being a part of culture and possessing a specific cultural identity. This draws on both characteristics of Autobiography (writing about ones self) and ethnography (qualitative description of peoples, cultures customs and habits). When told we were going to undertake our own Autoethnographic study, I was somewhat intrigued as I believed this would further help me understand this new yet interesting concept. Below is my responses to the movie Godzilla based on this concept.

When told we were going to watch a movie in class, I was first intrigued. However when an old black and white movie, only in Japanese with subtitles was put on, my thoughts began to change. I began to question what was going on and how I was possibly going to last the full ninety minute duration of the film. My immediate decision not to read the subtitles left me with little idea of what was going on in the first twenty or so minutes of the film. However I pursued and to my surprise, by the end I was actually intrigued at what I had just watched.

As I began to watch, I realised the movie was actually quite easy to follow without reading the subtitles. Sure some important information may have been missed here and there I began to catch the gist of the story line and gain more interest. My short attention span wasn’t going to fail me this time!

Although still not one hundred per cent sure of what was going on I still continued to watch this somewhat engaging movie and began to pick up on little yet interesting details, which made my experience more enjoyable:

  • The movie itself was fairly fast paced for its time which made it more engaging to watch
  • The miniature models that Godzilla destroyed were quite impressive – how could you crush these?!

Along with this, I also picked up on several cultural differences which I found to be quite interesting yet strange to me. For example:

  • Affection was portrayed differently to how we would display in our culture. For example, constant shoulder grabbing as an apparent sign of affection?
  • Emotion was sometimes too over the top, for example the fish scene, she really overreacted the death of a few fish
  • The way japan is displayed on the map. In the film, japan is depicted to be sideways, rather than the way we present it, was this deliberate? Does Japan see themselves in this way? Is it a position of power?

Upon the completion of the movie, I semi enjoyed it but probably wouldn’t watch it again, it wasn’t a bad movie but I found it hard to stay focused at times. Overall, I was interested with many aspects and found the movie itself to be overall intriguing despite my lack of interest at first. Watching this movie has opened me up to new ideas about Asian culture, which I hope to further engage with throughout this subject.

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