evolutionary aspects

Shin Godzilla thoughts:
  • First things first: absolutely loved it, breaks into my Top 10.
  • I cannot stress enough how uninterested I am in comparing the film to Legendary’s Godzilla. They’re two very different beasts at opposing ends of the spectrum, and making them compete is near-pointless.
  • One of the most politically potent films of the year, and it’s an absolute crime that it will never be regarded as such simply because it’s a Godzilla film. I think it’s really important to consider this film was released in 2016 - a year which has seen mass disillusionment with current governments, electoral systems, and democracy in general, with bureaucratic futility obviously being one of the film’s major themes.
  • Easily the best CGI I’ve ever seen in a Japanese production. Godzilla’s fourth form is particularly impressive, and the highest compliment I can give it is that it could often be easily mistaken for a practical effect. It goes without saying that the film’s CGI doesn’t match up to Hollywood standards, but considering Shin Godzilla was produced on a budget of approximately $15 million (as apposed to, say, Jurassic World at $150 million), that point couldn’t be more moot.
  • The score. Oh, man, the score. I’ve been listening to it on and off for the past few months, but to hear the music in its context is something else. The “Persecution of the Masses” sequence is genuinely haunting.
  • I was constantly expecting Malcolm Tucker to burst into a scene.
  • The Goro Maki mystery at the core of the film was really fun to follow. I’m always a fan of little rogue elements in a film’s overarching narrative, and Anno choosing that name is a neat little throwback. The opening with the abandoned boat in Tokyo Bay also reminded me a lot of a similar scene in the opening sequence of Zombie Flesh Eaters.
  • The final strike against Godzilla - Operation Yashiori - threw me back to the glory days of the Showa series, and especially reminded me of the final battle against the Mysterian Dome in The Mysterians. It has the same punch-the-air sense of camaraderie and valiance.
  • Maybe I’m still on a post-viewing high, but right now I’m feeling that this is the most impressively directed and shot Godzilla film ever. Anno’s rapid-fire cutting between shots juxtaposes really well with the monotonous pace at which the government makes decisions.
  • Godzilla’s first deployment of its nuclear breath is terrifying.
  • Every single cast member gives an exemplary performance. Simple as.
  • The ending - with Godzilla’s fifth form taking the shape of man-sized humanoid mutations - is horrifying when the implications are considered, and the perfect ending for this incarnation of Godzilla, absolutely honouring the “perfect organism” evolutionary aspect of the character. I hope this is never explored in further media.
  • Welcome back, Toho. You fucking nailed it.

jeri-dactyl  asked:

The other day I was tagged in a note on facebook with a video of the most majestic looking lion playing with a soccer ball. The lion played with the soccer ball like cats do with toys... The first comment under the video was something akin to "well, that makes sense because lions are genetically closer to dogs." Now - as someone who has gone to school for Wildlife Management and Conservation, I was perturbed... Felidae. Lions. Cats. Why would she think they're related to dogs?

I mean *technically* they are related. 
As in, both lions (Panthera leo) and dogs (Canis familiaris) are carnivores (Class: Mammalia, Cohort: Placentalia; Order: Carnivora). 

Of course, claiming that “lions must play with a ball because they’re related to dogs”  is just about as logical as saying that this lion and I share the same silly [tire / pencil skirt] walk because we’re both mammals. 

He is the picture of elegance and grace.

Just like the funny walk that results from having your legs trapped in something far too tight, the ball situation is a simple matter of observable behavior based on a similar situation. Ball play in the video may look somewhat similar to the FB person because all the species in question (lions, domestic cats, and dogs) engage in social play behavior AND have somewhat similar morphology.* So if you gave a ball to a parrot or to a octopus (who also engage in play behavior), you would see a very different type of play. 

I can’t speak to the mind of that facebook person, so I won’t try. But I can leave you with some pretty lovely sources on play behavior! (Which is way better, don’t you think?)

  1. Animals at Play - Lincoln Park Zoo
  2. Selective and Evolutionary Aspects of Animal Play - American Naturalist
  3. Animal Play: Evolutionary, Comparative, and Ecological Perspectives - UCLA
  4. Social Play Behavior - Mark Beckoff

* There are plenty of differences in felid vs canid play behavior. I originally had them in here but then this post turned into a book. Let me know if you’d like more on this topic.