Wednesday June 28. Starts at 5.00pm with introduction by Earl Harper, free Pizza between the films and discussion to follow.
After Earth (M. Night Shyamalan, 2013) and The Age of Stupid (Franny Armstrong, 2009) PG13
The cli-fi genre has many problems, one of which being the characteristics of climate-fact. As Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, a cli-fi author, has noted, it is very difficult to get an audience excited by watching small changes in global average temperature unfold over a 30 year period. For this reason, most films which express collective anxieties around climate change focus instead on bio-technical apocalypse. After Earth is a brilliant example of this, as real-life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith, portray a father and son marooned on a hostile and long-abandoned Earth. The bio-technical apocalypse comes in the form of an alien creature which escapes their transport ship when they crash land on Earth. The Age of Stupid, an activist film by Director Franny Armstrong, utilises a mixture of fiction and documentary to promote the common humanity of people engaged in the solutions and causes of climate change as well as those affected by its processes. The film, whilst giving a message of hope, that humanity has it within themselves to change, also is quite deterministic, in depicting this message of hope being recorded by a lone Archivist working on a climate ravaged planet before transmitting the film into space as a warning to other species. Both films play heavily on the idea that to conquer a bio-technical apocalypse, we must first conquer our fears of becoming human once more.
Earl Harper of Bristol University is curating our Climate and Apocalypse movie nights.
About Earl Harper
Earl is currently undertaking his doctoral research at the University of Bristol, UK. He is studying the interaction between popular imaginaries of apocalypse and environmental dystopia in Hollywood and other films and the virtual geographies of contemporary urban development projects. He holds a Masters and Bachelors of Science from the University of Manchester and has worked with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, also in Manchester, as well as a two year post as a Science Communicator at the National Museum of Science and Industry