May 12, 2004

The Day After That

Cinecultist doesn't often get the chance to comment on politics and its intersection with cinema, though now that we think about it, with the amount that Hollywood and Washington are in bed together, it should come up more often. Just when you thought poor Al Gore was running out of things to do, what with his busy schedule of growing beards and reading his daughter's chick lit manuscripts, he's offering comment today in the New York Times about the growing controversy over disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow and how it may or may not influence environmental legislation.

In a telephone news conference on Tuesday former Vice President Al Gore compared the exaggeration of the film's premise to the approach of the Bush administration to global warming. "There are two sets of fiction to deal with," Mr. Gore said. "One is the movie, the other is the Bush administration's presentation of global warming." He accused the White House of "trying to convince people there's no real problem, no degree of certainty from scientists about the issue."

This seems like a lot of hullabaloo over nothing to Cinecultist. In a nutshell: the environmentalists are cranky because they think that the producers of the film are distancing themselves from any involvement with any actual information about global warming (the cause of the big ol' disaster in the movie's plot). But the filmmakers, including schlock king Roland Emmerich, say the movie is a fiction. Correct CC if we're wrong, but isn't there something essentially conservative about disaster movies? Even when they're not funded by Rupert Murdock's money. Save for perhaps Godzilla with its nuclear fall out/effects on the bombed Japanese cities commentary but that was removed from the original US release anyhow. We think the real issue here is that these invitations were extended, retracted and then offered again to the environmentalists. CC doesn't like being uninvited to stuff either.

To ask this movie to offer real debate about our country's current policies on the ecosystem seems to be asking too much from a summer disaster popcorn flick. Disaster flicks post-release can be interesting historical artifacts to use for examining our thoughts at the time of their making (like Independence Day as a metaphor for terrorism) but to ask for impact on their release is a bit pie in the sky to Cinecultist.

Posted by karen at May 12, 2004 8:47 AM