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July 1996, Week 4


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"J. Senft" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Jul 1996 19:46:21 -0400
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>Another aspect of this escalation (or is it a desensitization?) is in the
>portrayal of the Bomb itself.  What had been a source of apocalyptic fury
>in the past (see KISS ME DEADLY for what even a "small" atomic bomb
>represents) becomes just another weapon for blowing things up real good
>in recent films.  The emblematic image has to be Curtis and Schwarznegger
>embracing in front of a nuclear explosion at the end of TRUE LIES.  It's
>a long way from DR. STRANGLOVE.
I actually think Dr. Strangelove is an argument on the other side.  I see it
as one of the first horrifying film views of nuclear war threat.  The final
blow-up image, yes, but also its constant diegetic insanity -- the
characters and the cinematography (Peter Sellers in a schizophrenic three
roles).  The film is claustrophobic, scary, and charmingly and eerily
entertaining.  In a way, I think it was the precursor for many that followed
and failed.  The True Lies explosion looks different, more MTV 90's perhaps,
but is it "bigger?"
-- Jennifer
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