Tag: science fiction

Reflecting Upon Movies Portraying the End of the World

Reflecting Upon Movies Portraying the End of the World

Source: Michelle Buchman on Nerdist.com
Source: TheFunambulist.net

The first film I watched this week was a short film, La Jetée, in which a man is taken through a journey of his memories from the past and present, and is then taken to the future all while being a part of something that seems to be some type of psychological test. The main character is one of a few survivors trying to stay alive, literally, under Paris after a nuclear destruction. Instead of being a movie that you expect in which it’s 24-frames-per-second is watched as a constant video stream, this film is made up of multiple still images, almost as if you are reading a picture book with a narrator telling you everything that has happened and is happening.

La Jetée was very interesting. I had never watched a film like this before. Honestly, I kept getting confused as to if I was in the unnamed man’s dreams or if I was watching what happened to him after he escaped this experiment chamber. However, I did find it interesting that when the man was dreaming, he would see everything and move clearly. Then, he would suddenly vanish. In a matter of seconds, he would return to his dream world where the same woman, who seemed to be his love interest, would be sitting there waiting for him to return. You know how when you are having a really good dream, but you wake up too early and don’t get to know what happened? I hate that. I always wish I could go back and finish the dream. The man didn’t always reappear in the same location, but he always saw and spent time with the woman who was there.

Source: The Road (2009)

The second film I watched this week was The Road (2009) directed by John Hillcoat. I watched the trailer for this movie and was not so sure about it from the looks of it. It looked like it was going to be severely graphic and violent. However, I was very surprised. There was violence and it was somewhat graphic, but it was so much more enticing than I expected. Just when I thought all of their problems were solved, or that they were finally safe, I was thrown a curve-ball.

In this film, a father and son, who are never named, must survive through the post-apocalyptic world they have been thrown into. This GIF above illustrates how there is literally nothing left in their world. Shortly after this shot in the movie ends, the man/father looks at the fire and says “It’s like it used to be when the sun came out.” Another quote that becomes a theme in this movie is when the man/father says to the boy “You have to keep carrying the fire.” The boy then asks, “What fire?” The man responds, “The fire inside you.” This quote is something that really struck me in a way as expressing that no matter how bad life gets, even if you have nothing, keep that light inside of you going, no matter what.

Also in this film, the man’s wife, and son’s mother, left them and died somewhere unknown. It is only the two of them left to survive. They encounter cannibals who they must protect themselves from. They also face starvation, until they happen upon a bunker stocked with enough food to feed an army. However, there troubles do not end there. They are robbed, nearly killed, and learn to trust the last people alive on earth after the apocalypse. I won’t spoil anything because the story is constantly changing and surprising you around ever corner! If you are looking to watch this movie, I definitely recommend it. You can find it on Netflix!

Reflecting on More Apocalyptic Fiction

Reflecting on More Apocalyptic Fiction

I have just finished reading two short stories based on separate apocalyptic worlds.

The first story I read was Tupac Shakur and the End of the World by Sandra McDonald. If you’re intrigued, check it out here! The second story I read was There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. If you want to read this one, you can find it here!

Before I read Sandra McDonald’s story, I didn’t know what to expect. I figured that she was going to somehow bring Tupac back from the dead as a character in the apocalypse, but wasn’t quite sure. However, once I began to read, I quickly realized that she had been an author, and researched and studied Tupac Shakur’s life for one of her books. As the story began I was not sure what kind of environment these characters were in. Soon enough, the imagery she used in her story helped me picture these survivors walking down an empty I-95 trying to survive long enough to get to Florida. I could also picture the abandoned cars with people who have been infected and killed by the killer disease, called “The Creep.” Susan, the narrator and main character of the story, goes to each dead body and collects something from each of them to put in her backpack.

As I was learning more about this terrible disease, “The Creep,” I pictured people turning into stone, without ever being able to become mobile ever again. It really reminded me of Ariana Grande and MIKA’s music video for their song “Popular Song” in which Ariana and MIKA are bullied in school, and when they invite their bullies over for dinner, the “mysterious potion” served turns the bullies into stone, which later crumble to the floor.

source: http://gigihelps.tumblr.com/post/89793858254/negative-ariana-grande-gif-hunt from Giphy.com

I really enjoyed this story. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see who would be turned into a ‘statue’ next. This story also didn’t hold back on violence, but these acts were mostly done as humane choices. When Chris kills Tina, who becomes infected by “The Creep,” it is his way of putting her out of her misery due to the fact that she’ll never get her life back. The same thing is done to the trooper who the survivors find on the road.

I felt almost like I was there. I felt like I was trying my best to survive and stay as far away as possible from the infectious disease. I could imagine being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of dead people while trying to understand why Susan wanted a ‘souvenir’ from each body. At the end of the story, I was pleasantly surprised by the somewhat happy ending. Susan is saved, but we don’t know for sure what happened to Jack. I would definitely read a sequel if there is one!

Ray Bradbury’s story was not as enticing as McDonald’s. I think this was in part to the length of the story. If it had been longer, it could have included even more detail about where all of the families had disappeared to. Why was this house the only one still standing? However, this is not to say that I did not enjoy this story!

When I first began reading, I could not figure out what was happening. What kind of ‘end’ had occurred? I was running through the list of possible scenarios such as a volcano eruption, disease, meteorite, tsunami, black hole, etc. I don’t think I ever got an exact answer to that question, though. When I started to realize that the house was completely self-sufficient and more of a “smart-home” than anything else, I felt like I wanted to live there. I wish I could go down my stairs in the morning and have my kitchen making me pancakes for breakfast. Maybe that’s what we have to look forward to in 2026? I was able to picture this “smart-home” in an environment where there is nothing else around it but ash and remnants of houses and buildings that used to exist. However, the one question I really wanted to have answered was what happened to the family? Had they disappeared completely? Had they escaped? Had they died? We are told that there are silhouettes of a family playing catch burned into the side of the house, but what does that mean?

As the first story reminded me of Ariana Grande and MIKA’s music video, this story reminded me of the old Disney movie, Smart House. In this movie, a robot named “Pat” becomes a mother figure in the household who takes care of the children and the father in the house. You can only imagine how that story goes. If you want to watch the trailer, you can find it here!

Both stories were quite enjoyable and intriguing. I didn’t know if I could be this interested in science fiction, especially stories about the apocalypse. However, these grabbed me, in somewhat of a disturbing way. I look forward to reading similar stories in the future!