Saturday, March 29, 2008

Society Reflected in Hollywood

When Dr. Webber suggested an energy class which ties together popular media of the time, "Hollywood", with the history of energy, I thought it was a great idea. We all know that to some extent, movies reflect our current culture, especially when it comes to apocalyptic type movies. The filmmakers know that for some strange reason, people like to see a movie which reflects their current fears . There are several categories of apocalyptic movies: attacking aliens/outer space disaster, monster attacks, widespread incurable disease and last, but probably the most likely to actually happen, the environmental/energy disasters.

When the gas crises of the late 1970's hit, the Mad Max movies, staring Mel Gibson, were released . They are really kind of corny if you've seen them, but the premise of these movies is that the world has basically been destabilized because of energy (oil) shortages. Mel Gibson is fighting the lawless gangs in Australia and gas is a very sought after commodity.

Water World (Ken Costner, it was grossly over budget as I recall), The Day After Tomorrow (Dennis Quad) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence (that Steven Spielberg film with the little boy who is kind of annoying) all are based on the premise that global warming has caused some big change in our world's climate, which dramatically alters the human way of life. All of these films did pretty good at the box office and are worth seeing if you haven't seen them.

These are just a few examples of an energy/environmentally caused apocalypse. We can be assured that more of these movies are to follow with an actual energy/environmental crises looming.

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