The new film about a total apocalypse of the human race is being slammed by many film reviewers. But when I chat to people who have seen it they think it brilliant. And my Facebook wall is full of friends writing versions of OMG what a film! So what might these extremely different reactions tell us?
When I read the reviews of ‘Don’t Look Up’ they seem to misunderstand the film. Even the reviews from environmentalists who slag off the other reviews miss what is seen as important about the film by me and people who are alive to the very latest climate trends.. So here are my two cents on the film and – like all important art – the lessons from the reactions it has generated.
Judging by its output since WWII, the role of Hollywood has been to produce stories that celebrate human power (mostly male), including conquest, progress, success and heroic individualism. The stereotypical ‘Hollywood Ending’ is not only good but is thanks to one special person. Even tragedies and horror films would typically include some of those themes. Compare American output to French films and those aspects of Hollywood content are quite clear. Such aspects are not accidental. They align with an ideology of modernity and progress that has dominated global cultures for… well there are many views on how deep it goes.. But at least since WWII.
With that background, a film that was released for Christmas and ends with all the main characters expressing love for each other before they are obliterated along with the entire human race is not very usual! Don’t Look Up is the first time I have seen ‘doomer humour’ in a film with the biggest stars.
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