Disaster and Thriller FilmsPresentation Transcript
Disaster - Thriller - Movies byFederico Lara & Sebastián Loglen November 5 , 2012
CatastrophesCatastrophes can take so many different forms - but they are mostly man-made or natural.They can be either inminent or ongoing, or they can exist locally or globally.The most commonly portrayed disasters in films are:•natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms, etc.)•accidents (skyscraper fires, plane crashes, ocean liners capsized or struck by icebergs, viruses unleashed)•planetary-related (asteroids or meteors off-course)•criminally-instigated (bombs planted in planes, terrorist conspiracies)•alien invasions and rampaging creatures (often mutant)•nuclear-related crises•millennial-related (the end of the world, or end of the century tales)•about failed technology or technology-gone awry (computers•running amok)
Before the 1970s -when disaster films underwent a strong revival-, there weremany earlier action/adventure disaster films, such as The Hurricane (1937) -including one of the most spectacular tropical storm scenes ever shot in filmhistory. And two 50s films, The High and the Mighty (1954) and Zero Hour(1957) - were the inspiration for all the airplane disaster films of the 70s.[Hitchcocks Foreign Correspondent (1940) also contained a terrible airplanecrash sequence.]The real horrors of World War II, and the perceived threat of nuclear destructionand radioactive mutancy during the resultant Cold War led to a further increase ofdisaster-related films in the 50s.
The Major Era of Disaster Films: The 1970sIn the 1970s, real disasters, such as the Watergate crisis (from 1972 to 1974), thecollision of two 747s in the Canary Islands (in late March, 1977), and the Three MileIsland incident (in late March, 1979) made the time ripe for Hollywood to contribute.Producer and director Irwin Allen was nicknamed "The Master of Disaster" in the 1970sdue to the tremendous success of his films. The three films most responsible for jump-starting the renaissance of spectacular disaster films were Airport (1970), and Allenstwo special effects-laden epics The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The ToweringInferno (1974).
More Recent Resurgence of Disaster Films:There was a modern-day resurgence of disaster films, beginning in the mid-1990s.The sub-genre was really revived at this time with the emergence of advancedspecial effects techniques.The focus of such films is on the spectacular calamity and a small group of people inimminent danger, and how they must cope or devise a method of escape, or morerecently, to survive in the apocalyptic aftermath.Disaster films from the recent past and present have included similar and moreimaginative kinds of catastrophes, threats or disasters, such as killer viruses, deadlyterrorists, tornadoes, asteroid impacts, ecological disasters, among others. Black Horror Comedy of Post-Apocalyptic Survival by Remaining Few Against Zombies: Zombieland (2009)
Resident Evil:from a game to a series of movieson biological weapons and virusesout of control creating a world ofzombies.
A post-apocalyptic aale of a devastated Earth and One Manssurvival:The Book of Eli (2010)
Thriller Films: These are types of films known to promote intenseexcitement, suspense, a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightenedexpectation, uncertainty, anxiety, and nerve-wracking tension. Thriller andsuspense films are virtually synonymous, having with similar characteristicsand features.
Thrillers are often hybrids - there are lots of varieties of suspense-thrillers:•action- or adventure- thrillers•sci-fi thrillers (such as Alien (1979)•crime-caper thrillers (such as The French Connection (1971)•western-thrillers (such as High Noon (1952))•film-noir thrillers (such as Double Indemnity (1944))•even romantic comedy-thrillers (such as Safety Last (1923)After the assassination of President Kennedy, the political thriller genrebecame very popular.
The primary elements of the thriller genre:•The protagonist(s) faces death, either their own or somebody elses.•The main storyline for the protagonist is either a mission or a character who cannot be put down.•The main plotline focuses on a mystery that must be solved.•The films narrative construction is dominated by the protagonists point of view.•All action and characters must be credibly realistic in their representation on screen.•The two major themes in the thriller genre are the desire for justice and the morality of individuals.•A significant, aspect of a thriller is the presence of innocence in a corrupt world.•The protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) may battle, themselves and each other, not just on a physical level, but on a mental one as well.•Either by accident or their own curiousness, characters are dragged into a dangerous conflict or situation that they are not prepared to resolve.
Another common subgenre of thriller is the spy genre which deals withfictional espionage. Successful examples of thrillers are the films ofAlfred Hitchcock. The horror and action genres often overlap with thethriller genre.Hitchcock: The Master of Suspense ThrillersNo list of suspense or thriller films can be complete without mention ofEnglish film-maker/director Alfred Hitchcock, who is considered themaster of the thriller .Psycho (1960): This Alfred Hitchcock film is among the best thrillers everand perhaps also the very best thriller film. This movie is based onRobert Bloch’s book, and tells the story of the woman Marion Crane, whosteals a large amount of cash from the woman’s employer, and reallywants to start a brand new life using the money.
Filmssome of the best known thriller films:The Sixth Feeling (1999): This is actually the best movie yet produced bydirector Michael. Night Shyamalan. This movie is all about a kid psychologist(Bruce Willis) who’s treating the boy (Haley Fran Osment), who is able to seedead people.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991): This masterpiece isbased on a screenplay by Jones Harris, and tells the story ofDr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) along with a youngFBI cadet (Jodie Foster), who wants to find the serialmonster.
Black swan (2010)Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by DarrenAronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis.The plot is about a production of Tchaikovskys Swan Lake ballet by aprestigious New York City company. The production requires a ballerina toplay both the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committeddancer Nina (Portman) is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual BlackSwan, which are qualities embodied by the new arrival Lily (Kunis). Whenthe two dancers compete for the part, the pressure causes Nina to graduallylose her connection to reality as she descends into a living nightmare.
The Rite (2011)The film builds on a novel by Matt Baglio. An American student who ispreparing for the priesthood, is in a stage of loss of faith and attends anexorcism school at the Vatican to come face to face with the demonic forces.
Limitless (2011)A writer discovers a top-secret drug which bestows him with super human abilities.