22 Jul 2013


Hi, I am home today as after a wee wobble in the city. My building has been damaged and I cannot go into work today.

But the situation has made me thing about the various disaster films out there. Hollywood created this new genre to feed our morbid fascination with destruction. Disaster movies create wonderful scenarios for drama, tension and heroism and awesome spectacle outside of war and science fiction films.

Ooooh drama

Ooooh Spectacle
 Of course there is an argument that any post apocalyptic film is a disaster movie. But I dispute this for the obvious argument that, by its very nature it really is a post disaster movie. It shares elements of adversity and human conflict, I think it is a sub genre at best.

For me a disaster movie is defined by a scenario where a group of people and this could be a group together or various people in various situations all coping with the same disaster. There is usually other sub plots like romance or a crime as well. Generally there is a hero/heroine who triumphs over adversity, usually while trying to save a group. Whether this is the disaster or an antagonist can vary. Typically there is usually a morality similar to horror films where good people survive, and selfish evil people die horribly.

Disaster movies run the gambit of natural disasters (including meteors), to carrier transportation like the ship in The Poseidon adventure,  technological disasters like  The China Syndrome, and my personal favourite MONSTERS! While the disaster movie had a golden age in the 70’s, Michael Bay brought the genre back with Armageddon.  The film where Aerosmith save the world from Steve Buscemi by placing more American flags in any movie since Andy Warhol filmed the Stars and Stripes waving in the wind for more than an hour.  
I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you pesky glam rockers and your flags

As an aside while Armageddon  is a ludicrous movie, I did like the montage sequence at the end of the film. That was cool.

I personally do not like disaster movies in general. I have seen a few and in general I hadn’t enjoyed them all that much. But I can understand the appeal of the tension and the wonderful spectacle and cinematography usually found in other genres. I just like those other genres more. Nothing like watching a man in a monster suit fighting another man in a monster suit over a burning model Tokyo, I say.

High art indeed

I think I just like my disasters more fictional than close to home. In times like these, and this is just a minor shake by all accounts, it is still a good chance to reconnect and reach out to people. Something that we should do without the need of a disaster.

 I hope you are all well and safe and sound. 

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