Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Knowing" Trailer (UPDATED)

Genocide and catastrophe coming to a theatre near you! Directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow/Dark City/I, Robot) and starring good ol' Nic "Ben Star-Gates" Cage. Bonus Synchronicity plot device! And don't forget Roland Emmerich's 2012 starring John "Superstar" Cusack. Man, we're getting wiped out on the silver screen!

Bonus factoid: Knowing was also the name of the third act of The Nines.

UPDATE: Folks in the comments section are mulling over what messages this latest wave of Apocalyptainment is supposed to be transmitting. Is all of this destruction some kind of precognitive warning, or worse, some public service announcement of the Coming Culling? Whatever the case may be, I think it's important that we keep an eye on these films and the semiotics loaded within them (and in the concurrent news media as well).

But there's also another, more Jungian interpretation of these films that I wanted to address. I think they also reflect our collective inner rage, our chafing at restriction and authority. I remember noticing way back in '91 while seeing T2 that we love to see cops and soldiers and businessmen and other figures of mundane authority get shredded to bits onscreen, preferably by a single heroic/messianic character. We also love to see buildings that represent the ruling structure get blown up, as in ID4, never stopping to identify with the regular schmoes cleaning the toilets or making photocopies inside them.

Are these films are some kind of Orwellian release for us, especially as our daily lives become more boring and controlled?

We saw something similar in the late 60s and early 70s, as the old Industrial Economy ran out of steam. There was a whole host of disaster and apocalypse films then as well: Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, Omega Man, Earthquake, Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, Where Have All the People Gone?, etc etc. It's interesting to note that a lot of these films were make-work opportunities for the old 50s generation of stars (of whom Charlton Heston was the exemplar) who were made irrelevant by the new wave of method actors like DeNiro and Pacino. There may be another strange wish-fulfillment there as well- people who line up to see disaster movies always identify themselves with the survivors, given a blank slate in which to begin life again.

They usually don't identify with the "corpse #5" prop in the burned out old Buick.