CMCI lecturer Dr. Harvey G. Cohen appeared last Saturday morning on SkyNews, discussing the rash of apocalyptic-themed movies arriving from America in the last couple of years (Cloverfield, Wall-E, and the upcoming 2012, Book of Ely and The Road). He argued that anxiety over 9/11 and global warming plays a part in this trend, just as anxiety over the atomic bomb and the Red Scare led to the angsty science fiction films of the 1950s, such as Them, The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
But, Cohen argued, economics undoubtedly plays a part as well. The computer generated imagery of the 21st-century makes apocalyptic imagery (such as California falling into the sea in 2012) much easier, less expensive and more impressive to create on the screen than ever before. Spectacular special effects require no subtitles, and since the big Hollywood studios get most of their box office revenues from non-American audiences, this is important as well. Lastly, with increased competition in recent years from video games and the internet, major studios seem to feel that making films that resemble video games will attract more of that younger demographic they prize back into cinemas.
If you enjoyed destroying things as a child, then this autumn’s movie season could be for you!