Forget Godzilla. Japan’s popular visual artist, Takashi Murakami, has taken a break from his usual gig to make what looks like a much more interesting film. It’s called “Jellyfish Eyes,” and though its intended audience is children, it still looks pretty impressive.
“Jellyfish Eyes” is engrossing on many levels, one of which is an ambience that recalls Japanese kaijū (monster) movies from the 1950s. Some of the Friends could have been inspired by Godzilla or Mothra — only scaled down and child-friendly. But the queasy anxiety that fueled those old movies is duplicated in the film mainly because this country is currently revisiting the fears that existed in the age of kaijyū : mistrust of government, radiation, pollution and isolation. According to Murakami, made-in-Japan monster movies are emblematic of a larger anxiety.