Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Obsessed with the Apocolypse

I'm pretty excited to read Paul Harris' article "Hollywood searches for escapism after the apocalypse" today.

I'm excited about the film The Road because I think Cormac McCarthy's book is incredible, and that the father-son relationship in the film is the beauty amidst the devestation.

Beyond The Road, I'm not too interested in the new Hollywood fascination with the Apocolypse in films like Wall-E, Book of Eli, 9, and 2012.

Harris in his article discusses this with University of Texas at Austin professor Professor Barry Brummett who chalks up the apocolyptic-fascination with anxiety over change.

I find this an interesting theory because the proliferation of apoclyptic films does not neccesarily show a wide-spread fascination, I imagine box-office figures will show relatively dismall interest in the apocolyptic genre as a whole. But perhaps I'm wrong.

But I do agree with the general theory, perhaps people do feel like the world is changing to quickly. Perhaps there is fear about the cumulitive effect of so many significant changes.

And perhaps when it comes to movies like 2012 it's really all about what the article terms "Apocalypse porn" were the trailer alone shows the distruction of Himilayas, Los Angeles, the White House, the Vatican, and a statue of Christ in Rio de Jeneiro.

I imagine all these different films if anything will spur some different thoughts on "the end of the world" and either spur some healthy curiousity by those who don't think beyond the now, as well as some fatalistic fascination by those who only live in the confines of a devestated planet.

I for one, can easily skip them all, with the exception of The Road, which I'm hoping will be an exceptional and uniquely beautiful film.

(pictures from top to bottom: The Road, Book of Eli, and 2012)


Fox said...

I wonder, sometimes, if the fascination with apocolyptic imagery (from the films you mentioned through the popular Resident Evil films to Blade Runner all the way to Mad Max) somehow signal a laziness when it comes to ideas of change. An apocolyptic response to a time of change seems cynical, the easiest most extreme way of adjusting.

Or, maybe not. It's an interesting theory and article nonetheless.

Loren Eaton said...

WSJ had a similar article a little while ago.

I'm less interested in why people chose to set a story in a particular genre than in what they want to do with it. Though both Cormac McCarthy and John Christopher wrote post-apocalyptic, their aims were entirely different, the former exploring a theology of the Imago Dei, the latter urging a kind of United Nations-esque togetherness.

jennybee said...

Interesting blog. Will try to come visit again. I found it by clicking on your name at LivinginCinema.com after I read your comment.

jennybee said...

And yes. The Road is one of the most disturbing and poetic books I've ever read. There's a certain beauty to the horror and bleakness in it. The film can not be as strong, but may have its own merits. Other dystopian films like Book of Eli don't interest me so much, seems like a knockoff. 9 does, because I love interesting animation and visuals. I'll see 2012 because every so often (not very, but still) I'm in the mood for a big dumb Hollywood disaster pic.

And I'll defend WALL-E to the death: