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


Staff
Directors: Ishiro HondaEiji TsuburayaSFX directorMotoyoshi OdaKoji HashimotoKoichi KawakitaAssistant SFX directorJun FukudaYoshimitsu BannoMikio Naruse
Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka
Writers: Shinichi SekizawaTakeo MurataTakeshi Kimura
Composers: Akira IfukubeMasaru Sato
Actors and actresses: Akira TakaradaAkihiko HirataMomoko KochiTakashi ShimuraFuyuki MurakamiRaymond BurrHiroshi KoizumiTadao TakashimaHideyo AmamotoKumi MizunoSusumu KurobeSeiji ŌnakaKoji FuruhataDon MessickTGPH
Suit actors: Haruo NakajimaKatsumi TezukaHiroshi SekitaKōji SoraSatoshi FuruyaKoetsu OmiyaShinji TakagiHideto OdachiIsao ZushiTadakki WatanabeToru Kawai
Directors: Kazuki OmoriTakao OkawaraWriters: Kazuki Omori
Composers: Reijiro KorokuKouichi SugiyamaTakayuki Hattori
Actors and actresses: Megumi OdakaMasahiro TakashimaJirō DanMayumi ŌkuwaKaori AizawaKenichirō Shimamura
Suit actors: Wataru FukudaRyō HaritaniKenpachiro SatsumaHurricane Ryu HarikenTsutomu KitagawaMizuho YoshidaAkira OhashiToshinori Sasaki
Printed media: Noriyoshi OhraiHurricane Ryu Hariken
Directors: Takao OkawaraMasaaki TezukaShusuke KanekoHirofumi IshigakiRyuhei Kitamura
Producers: Shogo Tomiyama
Writers: Wataru Mimura
Composers: Michiru OshimaKow Otani
Actors and actresses:Natalia D. AdamsOrga vocalizations
Suit actors: Rie OtaToshinori SasakiHirofumi IshigakiKazuhiro Yoshida
Directors: Roland Emmerich
Producers: Dean Devlin
Writers: Dean Devlin
Actors and actresses: Frank WelkerGodzilla vocalizations
Suit actors: Kurt Carley
Directors: Gareth EdwardsJordan Vogt-Roberts
Producers: Thomas TullJon JashniMary ParentBrian RogersYoshimitsu Banno
Writers: Max Borenstein
Composers: Alexandre DesplatHenry Jackman
Actors and actresses: Aaron Taylor-JohnsonKen WatanabeElizabeth OlsenJuliette BinocheSally HawkinsDavid StrathairnBryan CranstonCarson BoldeCJ AdamsAl SapienzaTom HiddlestonSamuel L. JacksonJohn GoodmanBrie LarsonJing TianToby KebbellJohn OrtizCorey HawkinsJason MitchellShea WhighamThomas MannJohn C. ReillyMillie Bobby BrownKyle ChandlerVera FarmigaO'Shea Jackson Jr.Aisha HindsAnthony RamosCharles DanceRandell HavensThomas MiddleditchBradley WhitfordZhang Ziyi
Suit actors: T.J. Storm
Directors: Hideaki AnnoShinji HiguchiKobun ShizunoHiroyuki Seshita
Writers: Hideaki Anno
Composers: Shiro SagisuTakayuki Hattori
Actors and actresses: Ren MatsuzawaMiwa SasakiHiroki HasegawaYutaka TakenouchiSatomi IshiharaMamoru MiyanoTakahiro SakuraiKana HanazawaTomokazu SugitaYuuki KajiJunichi Suwabe
Suit actors: Mansai Nomura
Directors: Willis O'Brien
Actors and actresses: Peter CullenKing Kong vocalizations
IDW Publishing: Chris MowryMatt FrankJeff ZornowPriscilla Tramontano
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