High Museum of Art: Films


Apocalypse Now: Staff Picks by Linda Dubler
July 10, 2009, 10:36 am
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I’ve asked Museum staff again for their two cents on their favorite apocalyptic movies. (Learn about the inspiration for the current exhibition Richard Misrach: On The Beach here >>)

Johan Harper, Security
Damnation Alley and
Night of the Comet

Why does the end of the world have to be so depressing? Damnation Alley has everything you need in a Post-Apocalyptic movie. Bad special effects, cheesy dialogue, a strange monster truck that floats called “The Land Master”, man-eating cockroaches, George Peppard, and Jan-Michael Vincent! What more can you ask for? O.K. the movie’s beginning is pretty grim and serious, but the low production values turn the whole mess into an unintentional comedy before too long. The scene where the actors fail to pretend to be afraid of tons of plastic cockroaches tied to long strings pulled across the floor is comedy gold! “This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches. I repeat: KILLER COCKROACHES!” Too funny! damnation_alley_ver2

Another enjoyable end of the world movie is Night of the Comet. If you wake up one day and everybody else has become little piles of red dust, wouldn’t you really rather just go shopping at the mall? If everyone is dead, everything is free! Night of the Comet has it all – zombies, mad scientists, and gun-toting valley girls! It is a comedy, it is a horror movie, it is a time capsule from 1984!

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Goodbye Cruel World by Linda Dubler

As I wrote in an earlier post, landscape photographer Richard Misrach’s On the Beach, a show of exquisite, large scale pictures shot from an overhead vantage point in Hawaii after 9/11, is currently on view at the High. Some of the images are populated, some devoid of human presence, but all suggest both seaside paradise and doomsday unease. Earlier posts looked at the beachy aspect of the Misrach pictures, so now we’re turning to the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic currents that run through the series.

What are your favorite movies from this genre?

I’m not a huge sci-fi and/or horror fan, so apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic movies aren’t my strong suit. Though I enjoy cinematic suspense, the surreal, and things blowing up real good as much as the next gal, I tend to avoid the gore and gross-outs that pop up in most sci-fi and horror. (I remember next to nothing about Soylent Green, which I saw when it first came out, but I still feel vaguely icky even thinking about it).

Johan Harper, a security officer and the High’s resident B-movie connoisseur, steered me to this brilliant post-apocalyptic cheat sheet, which rates a bunch of films based on such PA hallmarks as cannibalism, warlords, mutants and degraded culture. You’ll hear more from Johan when we run staff picks on Friday.

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Staff Picks: Summer Movies by Linda Dubler
June 19, 2009, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Staff Picks | Tags: , , , , , ,

Museum staff weigh in on their favorite summer beach movies.

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10

10

10  (1979)
Cinque Reeves, Security Officer

I’d have to go with 10 from Blake Edwards for the most memorable beach scenes. Just thinking about George trying to walk on the hot sand makes me laugh. It’s probably one of Dudley Moore’s best performances.

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Endless Summer

Endless Summer

The Endless Summer (1966)
Dana Haugaard, Coordinator of Facilities

My favorite summer beach movie is also the one of my favorites for the middle of winter: The 1966 documentary The Endless Summer by Bruce Brown. It is as carefree as every summer should be, and the soundtrack cannot be beat.

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One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer (1986)
Emily Beard, Web Content Coordinator

This movie is basically exactly the same as Savage Steve’s other Cusack vehicle Better Off Dead, except instead of snow there’s sand, and in lieu of a French exchange student, you get Demi Moore with hippie braids. There’s the rich-boy bully, his hot 80s girlfriend, sidekicks Bobcat Goldthwait and a Murray brother, a vindictive 9-year-old, drive-ins and cartoons. Even when it tries to be serious it isn’t, and that’s what makes it an excellent beach movie.

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Shag

Shag

Shag (1989)
Berry Lowden, Curatorial Assistant, Decorative Arts and Design

1. Myrtle Beach in the 60s
2. Bouffant hair
3. Shag dancing
4. Making out in vintage 60’s cars
5. Racy Bridget Fonda routines with American flags (errr….)

It’s a keeper!

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Weekend at Bernie's

Weekend at Bernie's

Weekend at Bernies (1989)
Danielle Avram, Curatorial Assistant, Modern & Contemporary and Photography

It may be embarrassing to admit, but Weekend at Bernies is one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures. We had a VHS copy when I was a kid and actually destroyed it from watching it so many times.