Hollywood between paranoia & sci-fi
The Power of Myth
Year : 2010
Running Time : 52 min
Channel : TCM Turner Classic Movies
Extra-terrestrials, the end of the world, nuclear war, visions of doom, giant tsunamis, devastating meteorites, destruction of the earth, invaders of every sort: For over 50 years, the American movie industry has specialized in disaster films, in pre or post-apocalypse science fiction, in the visionary or futuristic genres in which political and biblical allusions collide.
Ever since The Forbidden Planet, continuing with The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, War of the Worlds 1, Soylent Green or The Thing, and more recently Independence Day, Deep Impact, 2012, or I Am a Legend, this genre is specifically American, like the Western or the Film Noir. By deploying powerful metaphors, these films feed off and sustain the fantasies and fears of American society: the communist threat and the terror of a nuclear apocalypse through the 50’s and 60’s, the menace of genetic and scientific manipulation in the 70’s, the threat of terrorism and ecological disaster in the 90’s and into 2000, and many more
Often considered a secondary genre, limited to small production budgets and relegated to the B-Movie or even Z-Movie category, these films grew out of the fear of communism that evolved over the following decades as history changed. They also reflected the evolution of the most paranoid fears in our century.
With Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, George Lucas, Roland Emmerich, Philip Kaufman, David Scarpa, Mark Protosevich and Vivian Sobchack.