Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Final Solution: How to Title the Film?

The Korean War ended as a standoff. No peace was actually achieved. The armistice called for the creation of the now famous DMZ with its famous negotiation room replete with long table, one part in the North and the other in the South. Of all the cold wars on record this must be the chilliest and the legacy lives on today in a  stalemate. In his piece on North Korea in The New Yorker "The Risk of Nuclear War With North Korea," 9/18/17), Evan Osnos quotes Thomas Schelling on the theory of “brinkmanship” which is “manipulating the shared risk of war.” Both The New Yorker piece and a current special featuring CNN’s man in Pyongyang Will Ripley underscore a situation which is fast deteriorating with no amount of posturing or language seeming to impede Kim Jong-un whose only response to sanctions is the exploding of ever more powerful bombs while testing the means of delivering them. The Korean ICBM which just traveled 2100 miles had the exact range needed to hit Guam. Are the echoes of the Cuban missile crisis in all this? Movies like On the Beach and Dr. Strangelove were the product of an era in which school children hid under desks in air raid drills (what good that would do in the event of a nuclear strike is hard to figure out) and well equipped bomb shelters were a standard feature of a well appointed upper middle class homes. But what movies will encapsulate our  current age in which the fear of terrorist attacks on infrastructure and nuclear Armageddon create a lethal cocktail of psychic terror. Whole populations are literally suffering from PTSD. Return of the Body Snatchers or Night of the Living Dead hardly does justice to the scenarios unfolding against a background in which ever more ferocious hurricanes (like Harvey, Irma and Maria), devastting earthquakes (like the one that just hit Mexico) and forest fires, nature appears to be in revolt. The “hero” of Michel Houellebecq’s Submission is a J.K. Huysmans scholar. You may remember that Huysmans was the author of A rebours or Against Nature and that “Les Predictions Domage Houellebecq” was the headline on the cover of Charlie Hebdo the day terrorists struck the satiric magazine's office.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.