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joke thomas pynchon book movie

Thomas Pynchon likes to talk about Godzilla in his novels. In Inherent Vice, there is a funny scene where the main character Doc told his girlfriend Penny that the 1964 Japanese movie Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster was a remake of the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday. Later that night, Doc caught Penny sobbing at the TV, because she watched the Japanese monster movie as a romance. Pynchon is good at writing this type of plot that is ridiculous but oddly touching. I watched the Ghidora movie after reading Inherent Vice. It is obviously nowhere near a remake of Roman Holiday (we are talking about a movie that is mostly about actors in rubber suits fighting other actors in rubber suits), but the writers must have lifted some plot elements from Roman Holiday.

I recently watched a Godzilla spin-off movie Rebirth of Mothra with my 4.5yo daughter, and I had a Pynchon moment. It’s a tragic scene where a comically giant moth caterpillar watched her mother, a giant moth, died and sunk into the ocean. It’s an unbelievably ridiculous scene featuring hilariously looking monsters. But it was genuinely touching. The filmmakers managed to tug a heart string with a giant moth and a caterpillar.