Doomsday America: The Pessimistic Turn of Post-9/11 Apocalyptic Cinema

Walliss, John and Aston, James (2011) Doomsday America: The Pessimistic Turn of Post-9/11 Apocalyptic Cinema. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 23 (1). pp. 53-64. ISSN 1703-289X

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Abstract

In this article we discuss the cycle of apocalypse films released in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001, examining the ways in which they conveyed a variety of post-9/11 fears and concerns around issues such as the War on Terror, American imperialism and the environment. In particular, we will trace the continuities and discontinuities with similar disaster/apocalyptic films released in the late 1990s, tracking the representations of four thematic elements that permeate through both pre-millennium and post-9/11 apocalyptic Hollywood cinema: the representation of the apocalypse; the role of human agency as saviour; the role of religion; and socio-political commentary made by the films. In doing so, we argue that cinematic representations of the apocalypse have been much more pessimistic post-9/11, thus demonstrating that Hollywood science fiction, or ‘‘sci-fi,’’ can facilitate wider sociopolitical concerns while continuing to provide the expected spectacular, audio-visual displays.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Apocalypse, film, 9/11, contemporary cinema
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 09:53
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2014 09:53
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/160

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