2012: disaster porn at its best
I’m not quite sure when this site turned into the House of Pulp (note to self – finish long post about The Kindly Ones before literary credentials evaporate completely) but at the risk of alienating those few serious people still hanging in there, I invite you to feast your eyes on the glory that is the new trailer for Roland Emmerich’s 2012.
I’ve long thought Emmerich, who directed Godzilla, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and, most recently, the brain-numbingly dopey 10,000 BC is misunderstood. It’s easy to point to the cornball dialogue (“What happened to the right of people to FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES!”) and the increasingly ridiculous plots of his films and miss the very real beauty of the images of mass destruction he creates. In many ways his movies seem closer to the work of a painter like Breugel, with their beautifully rendered landscapes and occasional, apocalyptic fervour, than to conventional movie-making. Certainly there’s something almost painterly about much of The Day After Tomorrow, which is filled with images of sudden, and breathtaking beauty (the birds flying away from New York, for instance).
The trailer for 2012 is all this and more. A riff on the broader conflation of the Mayan calendar and theories predicting the end of the world (there’s a nice Wikipedia article on the subject if you’re not familiar with them), it begins with the assumption that the end of the Mayan Long Count on 21 December 2012 really does predict the end of the world, and moves from there into the usual collage of characters fighting for their lives. Now I’ve obviously not seen the film, but it looks pretty gob-smacking to me (not least because the whole Long Count idea has always given me a little shiver of anxiety anyway) with one completely awesome image of destruction after another. And, in the midst of it all, there’s a magnificent little grab where one of the characters says he’s heard the government is building a huge boat, and a moment later a giraffe is seen being winched into it.
Like I said, pure genius . . .
It’s also available in HD: