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Yoshimitsu Banno (坂野義光?) is a Japanese director, writer, and producer best known for Godzilla vs. Hedorah, which he directed and co-wrote. Banno was a special guest at G-Fest XII in 2005 and an executive co-producer for Legendary Pictures' 2014 film Godzilla. He ended up passing away on May 7, 2017, at the age of 86.


Biography

Godzillamovie.com

YOSHIMITSU BANNO (Executive Producer) is the veteran Japanese filmmaker best known for the cult-classic “Godzilla vs. Hedorah” (1971, a.k.a. “Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster”), directing and co-writing the 11th film in Toho Company’s long-lived franchise, which began in 1954 with the eponymous original directed by Ishiro Honda.

Banno joined the Toho Company shortly after graduating from Tokyo University in 1955, studying at Toho under such directors as Hiromichi Horikawa, Mikio Naruse, Kengo Furusawa and Seiji Maruyama. He began his career as an assistant director, first working with the legendary Akira Kurosawa on four consecutive features—“Throne of Blood” and “The Lower Depths” (1957), “The Hidden Fortress” (1958) and “The Bad Sleep Well” (1960).

He continued as an assistant director on ten more features (many for filmmaker Furusawa) before making his own directorial debut on the 1970 feature, “Japanese Nature and Dream,” which played at Osaka's Expo 70 at the Mitsubishi Future Pavilion. Banno created a true audiovisual experience in the film, using mirrors to simulate the effects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, attracting record-breaking crowds.

The huge success and unique vision of Banno’s directorial debut led “Godzilla” series producer Tomoyuki Tanaka to enlist the filmmaker to help revitalize the series. The result, “Godzilla vs. Hedorah,” was a passionately avant-garde film born out of Banno’s visit to a severely polluted beach near the industrial area of Yokkaichi. Banno called his new monster Hedorah, taking its name from the Japanese word Hedoro, which means “mud.” Critics cited the film as one of the most unusual and unique in the series, mixing a blend of social satire, fighting monsters, animation, psychedelic imagery, split screens and musical sequences with death and violence.

After “Godzilla vs. Hedorah,” Banno realized the documentary “Starving Sahara” (1972), co writing the screenplay for the film which depicted the severity of the drought in Africa. He next returned to the assistant director ranks with “Prophecies of Nostradamus” (Nosutodoramusu no Daiyogen, 1974), adapted from the novel by Tsutomu Goto.

Over the next four years, Banno made a series of documentaries for the television program “Wonderful World.” In the early 1980s, he produced the Toho telefilm “Tokyo Earthquake M8” before writing and producing several animated films such as “The Story of Shigeo Nagashima,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Techno Police” (Tekuno porisu 21C).

Banno also worked on the development of Japax, a shooting format and 70mm projection system similar to IMAX. He produced the first Japax film, “Breathe,” for the Tsukuba Expo in 1985. Further evolution led to Opax (70mm format projection screen dome), Cubic (3-D 70mm format) and Twin Cubic, which used dual Japax projectors.

Several films in various formats were presented at festivals and exhibitions throughout Japan. Those projects produced by Banno include “Magma Adventure” (1988), “Hurry Up Children of Earth” (1988) and “Eagle Fly” (1989). He also designed for the amusement park Space World, located in the city of Kitakyushu.

In 1989, Banno became an executive director in TOHO E・B Co. Ltd. and established Advanced Audiovisual Productions Inc., and became its President in 2001.

Filmography

Directing credits

  • Birth of the Japanese Islands (1970)
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
  • Ninja, the Wonder Boy (TV Series) (1985)
  • Jinzo ningen Casshan (TV Series) (Android Casshan) (1988)

Assistant directing credits

  • Throne of Blood (1957)
  • The Lower Depths (1957)
  • The Hidden Fortress (1958)
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
  • Nippon musekinin yaro (The Irresponsible Guys of Japan) (1962)
  • Nippon musekinin jidai (The Irresponsible Age of Japan) (1962)
  • Kyomo ware ozorami ari (1964)
  • Nippon ichi no horafuki otoko (Japan's Number One Braggart Man) (1964)
  • Nikutai no gakko (School of the Flesh) (1965)
  • Taiheiyo kiseki no sakusen: Kisuka (A Miraculous Military Operation in the Pacific Ocean: Kiska) (1965)
  • Hyappatsu hyakuchu (1965)
  • Kureji no musekinin Shimizu Minato (The Boss of Pickpocket Bay) (1966)
  • Doto ichiman kairi (The Mad Atlantic) (1966)
  • Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Writing credits

  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
  • Prophecies of Nostradamus (Nosutoradamusu no daiyogen) (1974)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1982)
  • Techno Police 21c (1982)

Gallery

Godzilla
Film Godzilla (GalleryVideosSoundtrack)
Marketing Godzilla - Comic-Con 2012 TrailerGodzilla - Official Teaser TrailerGodzilla - Official Main TrailerGodzilla - International TrailerGodzilla - Asia Trailer

It Can't Be StoppedI Can't Believe This Is HappeningWhatever It TakesCourageExtended LookNature Has An OrderYou're Hiding Something

Kaiju Godzilla (2014 design) • MUTO (2014 design; Male and Female)
Cast and Characters Joseph Brody (Bryan Cranston) • Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche) • Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) • Elle Brody (Elizabeth Olsen) • Sam Brody (Carson Bolde) • Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) • Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) • William Stenz (David Strathairn)
Staff Gareth EdwardsThomas TullJon JashniMary ParentBrian RogersMax BorensteinDavid CallahamPatricia WhitcherAlex GarciaYoshimitsu BannoKenji OkuhiraSeamus McGarveyOwen PatersonBob DucsaySharen DavisJim RygielAlexandre Desplat
Godzilla: Awakening Godzilla: AwakeningGodzillaShinomura
Books Godzilla: AwakeningGodzilla: The Official NovelizationGodzilla: The Art of DestructionGodzilla: With Light and Sound!
Websites Godzillaencounter.comGodzilla Encounter AppGodzilla EncounterMUTOResearch.netGodzillamovie.comGodzilla-Movie.jpGodzilla.jp
Toys and games Bandai Creation's Godzilla 2014 Toy LineJakks Pacific's GodzillaNECA's GodzillaGodzilla: With Light and Sound!Godzilla: Smash3Godzilla: Strike ZoneGodzilla: Crisis DefenseS.H. MonsterArtsGodzilla EggsBattle SpiritsGodzilla (2014 video game)
Partners and sweepstakes SnickersFIATMikadoSweepstakes
Scrapped elements RokmutulPterodactylJune 2012 screenplayUnnamed multi-legged monster
Staff
Directors
Showa era Ishiro HondaEiji TsuburayaSFX directorMotoyoshi OdaKoji HashimotoKoichi KawakitaAssistant SFX directorJun FukudaYoshimitsu BannoMikio Naruse
Heisei era Kazuki OmoriTakao Okawara
Millennium series Takao OkawaraMasaaki TezukaShusuke KanekoHirofumi IshigakiRyuhei Kitamura
TriStar Pictures Roland Emmerich
MonsterVerse Gareth EdwardsJordan Vogt-Roberts
Post-Millennium Hideaki AnnoShinji HiguchiKobun ShizunoHiroyuki Seshita
Miscellaneous Willis O'Brien
Producers
Showa era Tomoyuki Tanaka
Millennium series Shogo Tomiyama
TriStar Pictures Dean Devlin
MonsterVerse Thomas TullJon JashniMary ParentBrian RogersYoshimitsu Banno
Writers
Showa era Shinichi SekizawaTakeo MurataTakeshi Kimura
Heisei era Kazuki Omori
Millennium series Wataru Mimura
TriStar Pictures Dean Devlin
MonsterVerse Max Borenstein
Post-Millennium Hideaki Anno
Composers
Showa era Akira IfukubeMasaru Sato
Heisei era Reijiro KorokuKouichi SugiyamaTakayuki Hattori
Millennium series Michiru OshimaKow Otani
MonsterVerse Alexandre DesplatHenry Jackman
Post-Millennium Shiro Sagisu
Actors and actresses
Showa era Akira TakaradaAkihiko HirataMomoko KochiTakashi ShimuraFuyuki MurakamiRaymond BurrHiroshi KoizumiTadao TakashimaHideyo AmamotoKumi MizunoSusumu KurobeSeiji ŌnakaKoji FuruhataDon MessickTGPH
Heisei era Megumi OdakaMasahiro TakashimaJirō DanMayumi ŌkuwaKaori AizawaKenichirō Shimamura
Millennium series Natalia D. AdamsOrga vocalizations
Paramount Pictures Peter CullenKing Kong vocalizations
TriStar Pictures Frank WelkerGodzilla vocalizations
MonsterVerse Aaron Taylor-JohnsonKen WatanabeElizabeth OlsenJuliette BinocheSally HawkinsDavid StrathairnBryan CranstonCarson BoldeCJ AdamsAl Sapienza
Post-Millennium Ren MatsuzawaMiwa SasakiHiroki HasegawaYutaka TakenouchiSatomi Ishihara
Suit actors
Showa era Haruo NakajimaKatsumi TezukaHiroshi SekitaKōji SoraSatoshi FuruyaKoetsu OmiyaShinji TakagiHideto OdachiIsao ZushiTadakki WatanabeToru Kawai
Heisei era Wataru FukudaRyō HaritaniKenpachiro SatsumaHurricane Ryu HarikenTsutomu KitagawaMizuho YoshidaAkira OhashiToshinori Sasaki
Millennium series Rie OtaToshinori SasakiHirofumi IshigakiKazuhiro Yoshida
TriStar Pictures Kurt Carley
MonsterVerse T.J. Storm
Post-Millennium Mansai Nomura
Miscellaneous
Printed media Noriyoshi OhraiHurricane Ryu HarikenChris MowryMatt FrankJeff ZornowPriscilla Tramontano