Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-4422-6027-6 • Hardback • December 2015 • $105.00 • (£81.00)
978-1-4422-6029-0 • eBook • December 2015 • $99.50 • (£77.00)
Karen A. Ritzenhoff is professor in the Department of Communication at Central Connecticut State University and is also affiliated with the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. She is the co-editor of Screening the Dark Side of Love: From Euro-Horror to American Cinema (2012) and Selling Sex on Screen: From Weimar Cinema to Zombie Porn (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).
Angela Krewani is professor for Media Studies at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. She is the co-editor of Hollywood – Recent Developments (2005) and McLuhan’s Global Village Today (2014).
IntroductionKaren A. Ritzenhoff and Angela Krewani
PART ITHE EARLY DEPICTIONS OF DISASTER
Chapter 1World War One and Hollywood’s First Modern Armageddon: Understanding Wartime and Post-Conflict Representations of a Global Cataclysm in Civilization (1916) and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
Chapter 2The End of the World: Loss and Redemption in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
PART IIGLOBAL DEMISE AND COLD WAR
Chapter 3‘Radiation’s rising, but one mustn’t grumble too much’: Nuclear Apocalypse Played as Farce in Richard Lester’s The Bed-Sitting Room (1969)
Chapter 4The Legacy of Dr. Strangelove: Stanley Kubrick, Science Fiction Blockbusters and the Future of Humanity
Chapter 5‘Gentleman, You Can’t Fight in Here’: Gender Symbolism and the End of the World in Dr. Strangelove and Melancholia
PART IIIMELANCHOLIA AND OTHER REPRESENTATIONS OF THE APOCALYPSE
Chapter 6 Is There an End to It? Fictional Shelters and Shelter-Fiction
Chapter 7Melancholia and the Apocalypse Within
Chapter 8Eco Apocalypse: Environmentalism, Political Alienation and Therapeutic Agency
Philip Hammond and Hugh Ortega Breton
PART IVPOLITICS OF SHOWING THE UNTHINKABLE
Chapter 9Disaster Films: The End of the World and the Risk Society Hero
Chapter 10 The (Gender) Politics of Disaster in 2012 (2009)
Charles Antoine Courcoux
Chapter 11Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: A Religious Humanist Apocalypse
Chapter 12Dead Narratives: Defining Humanity Through Stories
A. Fiona Pearson and Scott Ellis
PART VMOVING BEYOND THE END OF THE WORLD
Chapter 13Opposing Thatcherism: Filmic Apocalypse as a Political Strategy in 1980s Britain
Chapter 14Painting in Time: On the Use of Digital Visual Effects in Melancholia (2011)
Chapter 15The Corporate and Corporeal: Min(d)ing the Body—Conscience and Consumption in Early 21st Century Hollywood Dystopia
About the Editors and Contributors
Ritzenhoff and Krewani introduce and present essays on the ‘filmic and narrative representations of contemporary catastrophes,’ including television programs, digital media, and even action figures associated with those media. Since ‘apocalypse’ can mean different things—destruction, devastation, disaster, revelation—the contributors of the 15 essays go in a variety of directions in exploring their subjects. Several essays treat Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011), an international art film that renewed critical interest in apocalyptic cinema. Other films covered include The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rex Ingram, 1921), Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964), and The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986). Also considered are zombies in Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968) and The Walking Dead (Frank Darabont, 2010). An intriguing essay by Frederick Wasser shows how producer Irwin Allen’s disaster films (e.g., The Towering Inferno, 1974) were rendered obsolete by Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). This collection joins Kristen Moana Thompson’s Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium (CH, Nov'07, 45-1383), another readable, exciting work on films about last things. Film stills are well chosen.
Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.
— Choice Reviews
One whose interest in cinema transcends mere entertainment may find this collection of theories and analyses quite fascinating.
— Free Kittens Movie Guide
From the cruel winds of austerity to the savage songs of war and terror, the end of times proclamations surround us. Our cinema is filled with the rubble of catastrophe and our stories with the characters of nihilism and annihilation. In this incredibly timely and wonderfully structured collection on the apocalypse, chaos and catastrophe are examined across the history of film and through a remarkably interesting set of themes. From the war film to the science fiction spectacle, from the melancholia of dark dystopias to the hungriness of the zombie film, we see the world ending, and with it a present already dead and a future not yet born. Each chapter is filled with insightful textual and contextual analysis as the dead skin of past and present decompose and recompose before us. A must read and must have collection for those interested in the chaos within cinema.
— Sean Redmond, Deakin University
Using the depiction of human-made catastrophe in more than a century of apocalyptic film-making the authors of this first-rate, edited volume analyze political, social, racial, gender, religious, and ecological problems threatening the real world—often in different ways than presented in movies. This book is an excellent example of contemporary scholars looking at popular culture, here motion pictures, as at times reflecting and more often disregarding reality.
— Brigitte Nacos, Columbia Univeristy
This collection of essays, edited by Karen A. Ritzenhoff and Angela Krewani, accounts for the omnipresence of the apocalypse in English-language cinema, a motif which represents a particularly potent allegory in our globalized world. I was very much impressed by the sheer novelty and range of the in-depth explorations the book offers.
— David Roche, Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès