It's the End of the World As We Know It
It's been a long time since I've had time to write here, aside from some notes to jog my memory and make some recos. Now that we're in the Pandemic of 2020, I don't exactly have more time, but I do have more creative energy busting at the seams with few outlets. So I asked a film-critic friend for some recos and, knowing my wont, he suggested Threads (dir. Barry Hines, UK, 1984, the internet archive) with the caveat that it was "FUCKING depressing," which I gladly took on. And indeed he was right.
However, I think the aesthetic of 35+ years ago took away somewhat from the effect—not that I wasn't affected; I was—but I've been more wrecked by (somewhat) more current films, such as The Book of Eli and The Road (or the OG book by Cormac McCarthy). Also did not love the suffering cat part... However, I had asked him for a timely reco, and that I got. There were two parts that struck me as too close to home. One was the beleaguered NHS with no resources; the other was the lack of food and communications. Food shortage seems to be a very localized thing. My friend in Brixton is having nowhere the same problems (after restocking from the initial panic buying) getting basics such as flour, rice, pulses, eggs, bread etc. whereas others can't find them in any grocery stores or off licences or local grocers. So that part hit a little too close to home. What did hit me in this specu-drama was the inability to bury bodies. With the recent transformation of the ExCel centre in London into a makeshift Nightingale Hospital of 4000 beds for expected Coronavirus patients, this was a little too real, especially based on what we're hearing about death rates in other countries. I also was struck by the scene entitled Ruth and Her Daughter which mirrored the biblical Ruth and Naomi story (albeit in reverse).
I wasn't totally freaked out by this fim itself, but it certainly highlighted themes and information that the current POTUS is not processing, thereby putting us all at risk. And that's the really scary part.