Ten End of the World Films to watch while the world ends.
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Notable is an absolutely stunning extended shot, eight minutes, of Theo and (spoiler alert!) a pregnant woman running through city streets while a fierce battle rages all about them. Wow!
And as with The Last Man on Earth and many other EOTW movies, it is filled with Christ imagery of various sorts. Funny how when times get bad the filmmakers know to draw on JC for hope, isn’t it?
9. Bezhin Meadow (1937) Free on YouTube!
This film wrenches my guts when I watch it.
Sergei Eisenstein directed this film in the Stalin era but quickly recanted it when it fell out of favor with the government, thereby avoiding the political arrest that others involved in the film suffered! (So much for the freedom of artistic expression we can expect in the future!)
Bezhin Meadow is only 27 minutes, and on YouTube you’ll only see a remnant of the original, as most was destroyed. It’s been pieced back together with original footage and stills from missing scenes. An amazing story of reproduction.
The film tells the story of a farmer who resists Soviet ideology and sabotages the harvest to the detriment of the many. His young son reports his father to the authorities. The Father is enraged and kills his son. (If Eisenstein had directed The Titanic, Norman would have shoved backward-thinking women off the boats to make room for more young idealistic, forward-thinking collectivists!)
Content aside, I have to hand it to Eisenstein; this is powerful filmmaking. Powerful propaganda. The scene that still scares the bejeezus out of me has the collectivist peasants storming and desecrating the church, laughing while they wear the priest’s hats, tossing the Host to the floor, laughing as they smash a crucifix. An incredibly powerful scene, and all that is left of it is stills! Black and white and no sound!
Bezhin Meadow shows the Wolf and Bear side of liberal youth that Hollywood won’t. Don’t watch Billy Jack without also watching Bezhin Meadow.
10. Stairway to Heaven (1946) Also titled as A Matter Of Life And Death. Available on Amazon Instant Video. And for free on YouTube! (It’s in public domain.).
The best for last!
This is perhaps the greatest of many great films written and directed by the great team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (otherwise known as The Archers). It also stars David Niven, and isn’t it odd how many conservative actors appear in this list of films?
Where to begin? The film is vast and epic and noble and illustrates to today’s conservative how to look at our present twilight as part of the broader sweep of history. It reminds us that we’re human souls first and conservatives second and if that doesn’t take the bite out of the death the conservative movement I don’t know what does.
The opening scene (from minutes 5-10 on YouTube!) has Peter (Niven), the lone survivor in a doomed, flaming WWII bomber, heading back to England, talking on the radio to June (Kim Hunter), the air controller. In five minutes, a hundred miles apart, knowing Peter will die, they fall in love. And it’s a love premised on their shared ideals; love of beauty in poetry, love of country, love of family, love of courage. Compare this opening to the opening osculation scene in The Bothersome Man and you know all you’ll ever need to know about the liberal/conservative chasm.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?