The Sky is Falling
Film and the Apocalypse (auf Englisch!)
Zur Internationale Sommerakademie Holzöster 2023
25.06. - 28.06.2023
Dr. Wolfgang Görtschacher (University of Salzburg, Department of English and American Studies)
Professor Dr. hab. David Malcolm, (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw)
Visions of the end times have existed for thousands of years. Today, however, we're facing a seemingly endless number of real-life apocalyptic scenarios – from virus-driven pandemics to climate change, from the threat of war and its consequences to civil unrest, from energy crises to rising inflation and more. We're dealing with numerous threats and problems that might conceivably bring about the end of the world as we know it.
In our workshops, we will take a close look at how various movies have dealt with the idea of an apocalyptic event over the past decades – from mankind's struggle with their finitude in the face of disaster in Lars von Trier's MELANCHOLIA to the biting satire about our tendency to bring about our own downfall in Stanley Kubrick's DR. STRANGELOVE; from the dark reality of nuclear fallout in Nicholas Meyer's THE DAY AFTER to the underestimated effects of climate change in Roland Emmerich's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW; from the tribal fight over resources in a post-apocalyptic world in George Miller's MAD MAX 2 to the inevitability of death itself in George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. We will discuss how these films depict their cataclysmic events and how they relate to the circumstances of the era they were made in – and to today's reality.
Beyond these individual scenarios of catastrophe, we will examine the ever-growing popularity of the depiction of disasters in film and fiction: Why are we so fascinated by the end of the world?