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Book details
  • Genre:PERFORMING ARTS
  • SubGenre:Film & Video / History & Criticism
  • Language:English
  • Pages:115
  • eBook ISBN:9781941629017

Approaching the End

Imagining Apocalypse in American Film

by Peter Labuza

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Overview
Tracing a timeline from World War II to the present day, Approaching the End rethinks apocalyptic cinema by considering its relationship to film noir, the fatalist crime genre of the 1940s and 1950s that remained pervasive through Hollywood’s changing tides. Challenging the common notion of apocalyptic films as special effects destroying cities through natural disasters and alien invasions, Peter Labuza examines films that truly push humanity to the edge, considering why certain American works have imagined our ends.
Description
Tracing a timeline from World War II to the present day, Approaching the End rethinks apocalyptic cinema by considering its relationship to film noir, the fatalist crime genre of the 1940s and 1950s that remained pervasive through Hollywood’s changing tides. Challenging the common notion of apocalyptic films as special effects destroying cities through natural disasters and alien invasions, Peter Labuza examines films that truly push humanity to the edge, considering why certain American works have imagined our ends. Starting with the explosive Kiss Me Deadly, the book examines various apocalyptic scenarios and how each one ties together through issues of displacement and amorality: from the atomic anxiety of The Big Heat and Lady from Shanghai, to the religious peril of Days of Heaven and The Rapture, to science fiction dystopias of The Terminator and They Live, and ending with the media implosion that is Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales. As diverse as these films may appear on surface, Labuza investigates the hidden structures underneath, which reveal how apocalyptic narratives explore the darker edges of humanity’s moral failings.
About the author
Peter Labuza is a film critic and scholar whose work has appeared in Va-riety, Reverse Shot, Little White Lies, and Indiewire. He is also the host of The Cinephiliacs podcast and an editor with Masters of Cinema. He holds an MA and a BA in Film Studies from Columbia University, and is currently a Ph.D candidate in Critical Studies at the University of Southern California. All of his writing can be found at www.labuzamovies.com.
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