Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-03-08
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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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. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Kirsten Moana Thompson is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Wayne State University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Apocalyptic Dread, Kierkegaard, and the Cultural Landscape of the Millenniump. 1
Cape Fear and Trembling: Familial Dreadp. 29
Strange Fruit: Candyman and Supernatural Dreadp. 59
Dolores Claiborne: Memorial Dreadp. 83
Se7en in the Morgue: Dystopian Dreadp. 105
Signs of the End of the World: Apocalyptic Dreadp. 127
War of the Worlds: Uncanny Dreadp. 145
Notesp. 155
Works Citedp. 175
Indexp. 181
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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