The Imagination of Disaster

The Imagination of Disaster
The American atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and nuclear testing throughout the Cold War spawned disaster films in both the U.S. and Japan. Films imagining nuclear catastrophe and contamination emerged in several genres, including science fiction, film noirs, documentaries, anime, and even comedy. Susan Sontag’s seminal essay, “The Imagination of Disaster”, will be our touchstone for exploring nuclear fear in films from the 1950s to the 1980s. Students will analyze the ways in which the representation of nuclear apocalypse is similar and different across the two cultures. Films for study include Godzilla (Honda, 1954),/ D.O.A./ (Maté, 1950), Record of Living Being (Kurosawa, 1955), Kiss Me Deadly (Altman, 1955), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1964), The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise, 1951), Atomic Café / (Rafferty, 1982), /Akira (Otomo, 1988), and Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind (Miyazaki, 1984).
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INTD 1200

All Sections in Winter 2018

Winter 2018

INTD1200A-W18 Lecture (Cavanaugh)