Autoethonography: It’s not a word according to my internet browsers dictionary

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t use it or avoid understanding it. It’s actually a pretty simple concept to understand, “Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience” (Ellis et al. 2011, pg. 1). Or in easier terms to understand its research based on the authors own personal experience, feelings, thoughts and observations on the subject.

Through this course we will be conducting autoethnographic research on ‘Digital Asia’ and products of the Digital Asian world. The first experience of this was through the Japanese 1954 film “Gojira” (Godzilla) – an absolute classic film which has only since been evolving more and more in Japanese cinema since its release.

Everybody always talks about “Classic Godzilla” and how great and funny it is because of the costume and visual effects mixed with the unbeatable acting but I feel like most of the people that talk about “Classic Godzilla” have not actually experienced the greatness that “Gojira” is. Personally my experience of the film was with great awe, I expected way less in the way of VFX and was amazed at the replication of destruction shown in the film especially with the knowledge that Gojira was just a man in a suit, also the spectacular camera work that hadn’t been seen before in large scale cinema like this before. I found myself paying a lot of attention to the effects that were used the film to create such a well produced film, from scaling of buildings being destroyed with the plain knowledge that Gojira was just a man in a rubber suit, to the satisfying roar of Gojira that makes me feel warm and fuzzy every time.

I think I’m going to find myself binging more Gojira films in the near future…

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2 comments

  1. This was a great and interesting display of your experiences with the 1954 film Gojira, and I enjoyed reading this, I too had the same reaction to people who have claimed, to have seen the film, just for its terrible special effects and VFX used. I found the story-line quite enticing and actually enjoyed alot of the action scenes the movie had to offer, I feel without the prior knowledge of the film having said man in suit, It probably wouldn’t have had the same affect, and we’d just be seeing what appears to be a terribly made movie, no appreciation whatsoever.

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  2. Its always interesting to see how modern audiences respond to classic films like Gojira considering how dated the effects are. Personally I had a similar experience watching King Kong about ten years ago. I was expecting it to look cheap and hilarious but actually enthralled me instead. There’s something about practical effects from films of yesteryear. This was a good post to come across as you definitely helped me better understand autoethnography in laymens terms. I’m keen to read your further posts.

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