Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword. One Sun Too Many

Samuel Weber

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pp. ix-xx

The apocalypse is in fashion. Ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when it first became evident that human beings had acquired the power to destroy life on earth, and to destroy it in a spectacular and rapid manner, apocalyptic thoughts...

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1. Melancholia, or The After-All

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pp. 1-4

I am in front of the black screen.
In the black screen.
I disappeared at the same time the last image did. I melted into darkness. I, too, exploded, and my remains have been dispersed into the universal night...

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2. The Last Man on Earth, or Film as Countdown

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pp. 5-14

I am writing these pages in the United States, certainly the biggest producer of apocalyptic images in the world. America is the place where the genre its French fans call “apo” has flourished. You can feel it on every street corner; imagery...

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3. Cloverfield, or The Holocaust of the Date

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pp. 15-22

An anthology of different ways of staging or showing the date stamps of filmic images would have to give pride of place to Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008), from the many time-codes that are superimposed before the opening credits...

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4. Terminator, or The Arche-Traveling Shot

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pp. 23-30

All of it: Th is is no doubt what so many so-called apocalyptic films deal with, each in its own way. But they do so bit by bit, step by step.
When destruction is propagated on screen like a wave that goes from thing...

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5. 2012, or Pyrotechnics

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pp. 31-40

“Tools turn out to be damaged,” writes Heidegger in Being and Time (§16).1 After the scene of relentless wrecking that we just saw between Terminators and humans, I reread...

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6. A.I., or The Freeze

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pp. 41-50

In the eighth episode of the ninth season of the famous animated series South Park, one finds an excellent algebraic formula for the narrative logic of disaster movies. Aft er Stan and Cartman’s antics cause a flood by bursting...

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7. Pause, for Inventory (the “Apo”)

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pp. 51-56

Nietzsche—whom, like Kant, we might sometimes read as a science-fi ction scriptwriter—also imagined a scene for the end of the world through glaciation:
Once upon a time, in some out of the way...

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8. Watchmen, or The Layeringof the Cineworld

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pp. 57-68

Before getting us lost in the drawers of the central filing system of genres and among all the categories in which films run and compete in their race to the end of the cineworld, we were fascinatedly watching the cosmic conflagration...

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9. Sunshine, or The Black-and-White Radiography

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pp. 69-80

When Dr. Manhattan is teleported into the studios of the show Face to Face, where he has been invited, the producer mumbles that “this blue is too light for television” but that there is, unfortunately, “not enough time...

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10. Blade Runner, or The Interworlds

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pp. 81-86

Let’s open an eye from the end of the world (of the film).
Or rather: Let’s open it aft er all, remembering that passage from The World as Will and Representation where Schopenhauer affirms that “the suns and the planets without...

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11. Twelve Monkeys, or The Pipes of the Apocalypse

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pp. 87-100

“Between two worlds,” writes Cicero in his De divinatione (I, XVII): Th is is where, he says, Epicurus situated the house of the gods. And in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius, practically the only ancient...

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12. The Road, or The Language of a Drowned Era

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pp. 101-106

In one of the first postapocalyptic science-fiction novels written by James Ballard, in the 1962 The Drowned World, Lieutenant Hardman undergoes strange experiments performed by Dr. Bodkin, who is working with Kerans...

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13. The Blob, or The Bubble

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pp. 107-122

“Doom!” exclaims D. H. Lawrence when he finishes his mad reading of Melville’s novel Moby-Dick.1 The word returns two, three, four times in a row, like a death-knell for a drowned world:
Doom! Doom! Doom! Something seems...

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Postface

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pp. 123-136

“Il n’y a pas de hors-texte”: We know the fate and misfortune of this statement that appears under Derrida’s pen for the first time in 1967 in De la grammatologie. And its first English translation by Gayatri Spivak—“There is nothing outside...

Notes

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pp. 137-156

Index of Films

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pp. 157-159