Real life has been a bit of a pain in the backside recently, preventing me from updating this site as much as I’d have liked. The film recommendations I’d been posting with uncharacteristic regularity at the beginning of the year have all but dried up. I’m hoping to put that right, and I wanted to start today by recommending that rarest of things: a film with apocalyptic overtones which manages the delicate balancing act of being positive without resorting to cliché.
Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR reminded me of Kubrick’s 2001 for all the right reasons. I’m sure many of you have seen it by now. If not, here’s a quick synopsis followed by a trailer. Click the link below for my thoughts on the movie.
With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history: traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.
Do away with The Stand: we’ve all read it (hopefully) and seen the TV movie. I am Legend as well – you’re not welcome here. Anything with zombies spelling the end of mankind? Please leave the building in an orderly fashion, kindly taking any severed limbs with you.
It’s all the Mayan’s fault. They ran out of days on their calendar and created a concern that touched almost every man, woman and child on the planet in the process. The big day came and went with about so much as a plane falling from the sky: an incorrect belief that circled the globe because an ancient mathematician was too lazy to count any further than he had too. Every soothsayer and psychic since we’ve been able to put quill to papyrus has had the fantasy of getting it right and guessing humanity’s ultimate demise, as if correctly guessing our extinction would earn them bonus points in the afterlife or perhaps to be smug for that last second before we’re all wiped out would make it all worthwhile.
Death is our last fetish and is as inevitable as taxes, as the adage goes. It greets us on the news, in soap operas and in our own little lives with our own sequence of tragedies that pepper our existence. There are many books that speculate on our end. Nostradamus had a good go. The Bible dwells on fire, brimstone and punishing sinners with the arrival of the Four Horsemen and the ultimate torture room, Hades. The recent surge in post-apocalyptic fiction, with the rise of The Walking Dead series for example has further cemented the end of days into popular culture. The end sells.
Many writers have explored this, some more popular than others. So I’d like to introduce you to five powerful novels which treat the end of us just as brutally as Stephen King preaches in The Stand, Richard Matheson explores in I am Legend and John Wyndham shows the dangers of meddling with nature in The Day of the Triffids.