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Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium (Suny Series, Horizons of Cinema) Paperback – March 8, 2007


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Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium (Suny Series, Horizons of Cinema) + Postmodern Apocalypse: Theory and Cultural Practice at the End (New Cultural Studies) + After The End: Representations of Post-Apocalypse
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In Apocalyptic Dread, Kirsten Moana Thompson examines how fears and anxieties about the future are reflected in recent American cinema. Through close readings of such films as Cape Fear, Candyman, Dolores Claiborne, Se7en, Signs, and War of the Worlds, Thompson argues that a longstanding American apocalyptic tradition permeates our popular culture, spreading from science-fiction and disaster films into horror, crime, and melodrama. Drawing upon Kierkegaard's notion of dread--that is, a fundamental anxiety and ambivalence about existential choice and the future--Thompson suggests that the apocalyptic dread revealed in these films, and its guiding tropes of violence, retribution, and renewal, also reveal deep-seated anxieties about historical fragmentation and change, anxieties that are in turn displaced onto each film's particular "monster," whether human, demonic, or eschatological.

"This important contribution to the study and revaluation of popular cinema offers a methodology that is multifaceted in its uses of philosophical, historical, and cultural insights to characterize contemporary cinematic production. It will be of extreme interest to scholars in film and cultural studies, as well as to a more general audience interested in film." -- Marcia Landy, editor of The Historical Film: History and Memory in Media

"Thompson brings to her study a great wealth of valuable and revealing research and shows a truly expert command of film analysis. Engaging and provocative, the book lends itself well to assignments in college courses, where professors can assign film screenings in conjunction with the individual case studies. It can be used in classes on film, cultural studies, religion, women's studies, and popular culture." -- Timothy Shary, author of Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Kirsten Moana Thompson is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Wayne State University and coeditor (with Terri Ginsberg) of Perspectives on German Cinema. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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More About the Author

Kirsten Moana Thompson is Professor of Film Studies at Victoria University, Wellington New Zealand and former Associate Professor and Director of Film studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, USA. She received her Ph.D in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1998. She grew up in New Zealand but spent many years in the United States. She is the author of two books, and a co-editor, with Terri Ginsberg of a third, Perspectives on German Cinema (GK Hall, 1986), which includes 43 essays by leading scholars in German studies, philosophy and film studies. Her first book, Apocalyptic Dread: American Cinema at the Turn of the Millennium examines a series of films made in the late nineties and first decade of the new century through Soren Kierkegaard's concept of dread, situating millennial cinema in philosophical, theological and cinematic traditions of fear and anxiety. Her second book Crime Films: Investigating the Scene, examines the broad field of English and American Crime cinema from the gangster film to the detective story, whodunnit and film noir, and links the representation of the crime, criminal and crime solver to historical developments in criminology, the police force and forensic investigation. She is also the author of numerous articles on animation and New Zealand cinema.

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Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium (Suny Series, Horizons of Cinema)
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