2012, the movie


2012, The Movie

Tsung Su

After I bade adieu to James Joyce (the subject of my last lecture) and his “ Bloom’s Day”, I immediately dashed to the nearest theatre to meet the “Doom’s Day”—–to see the movie 2012. I have discussed months ago in my WJ Blog on the origin of the Endtime syndrome of 2012 and other matters which are not related to this movie, thus I am going to skip all the philosophical implications of 2012 (the year) here. In the genre of Disaster movies, this is the Mother of all Disasters. After all, in the year 2012, when stars are supposed to collide, oceans rise, earth breaks up, mountains submerge, “human civilization as we know “ is supposed to be reduced to stone age, to ground zero, to nada, this is IT, the Big One. This short and hurried piece is not meant to be a critique, just a summary of personal observations.

1. It is a grand time to be “Black” : In the past two decades, Hollywood has been gradually shifting its stereotyping propaganda : Lifting blacks from roles of servants, lowly laborers and / or criminals to police captains, smart scientists and the President of these United States. Thus, predictably, here the kind, compassionate and conscientious President is played by the black actor who used to play Mel Gibson’s partner in the Lethal Weapon series. And the Best and the Brightest of them all here also is a black geologist who symbolizes the “conscience of all humanity.”

India, given by US the role to counter-balance and rein – in a rising China in Asia, is granted some prominence. An Indian scientist played a pivotal role in discovering the impending doom. Chinese actors have yet been given any more than walk-ons and non-speaking shadows looming in the background. The veteran actress 盧燕played a Tibetan grandma who spoke less than three sentences. Maybe we should be grateful that the days when Chinese played Charlie Chan, or laundry man who mouthed “flied lice” are over.

2. Hollywood being what it is— a gigantic money-making machine with $ signs for eyes, ears and nose — is not stupid enough to ignore the Chinese market. Thus the Arks, the vehicles to carry the survivors, are made in China and by Chinese workers. When the self-appointed Commander-in-Chief (after the President and V.P. both died, the Speaker of the House missing ) first saw the Arks, he marveled : “Ah, I did not think it is possible, leave it to the Chinese! ”
Of course, after China coped magnificently with the 2008 giant earthquake, the Tibetan riots and the Olympia Games, China is perceived as being able to do almost anything. (The habitual China-haters certainly disagree , then that is another matter.)

To counter-balance the praise, then there is a fleeting frame of PLA soldiers roughing up workers, among whom are some Tibetan-looking folks. Is this a not-too-subtle reminder of China’s “oppression” of Tibet?


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