Tuesday June 27. Starts 5.00pm with introduction by Earl Harper, free Pizza between the films and discussion to follow. PG13
An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2006) and The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich, 2004)
These two films excellently demonstrate a clear battle between two ideologically allied, but often opposing social institutions: science and politics. Emmerich’s highly celebrated and later often criticised ‘cli-fi’ thriller shows a world where science isn’t taken seriously, leading to a cataclysmic onset of rapid climate change (technically, a weather event as the storyline unfolds over a few days not 30 years). In Guggenheim’s An Inconvenient Truth, the story of Al Gore, introduced as the former “next President of the United States”, unfolds in relation to his growing concern and passion for informing the public about climate change science. In both films, the story of one man, fighting to be heard on environmental issues whilst dealing with family crises (for Al Gore, the hospitalisation of his son, for Dennis Quaid, his son becoming trapped in freezing New York City) is told with a backdrop of (what the scientific community now argue is) flawed science. Whilst both films were made ostensibly to promote a better understanding of possible climate change induced futures, their apocalyptic narratives based on an over-simplified version of the climate science of the time have, perhaps, done more to damage understanding than to further it.
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