A compilation of 1960's films about what to do in case of a Nuclear attack and the effects of radiation, also footage of troop tests of the exposure to an atomic bomb.Written by
Michael Edwards <email@example.com>
The filmmakers, according to one of them, Jayne Loader, describe this documentary as a "..."compilation vérité" - a compilation film with no 'Voice of God' narration and no new footage created by us, the filmmakers". Loader said: "Emile de Antonio, Bruce Conner, Philippe Mora were some of the filmmakers that influenced us during the production process. The entire cinema vérité movement influenced us, as did novelists like Robert Coover and theorists like Herbert Schiller and Gerry Mander". See more »
Civil defense film:
Be sure to include tranquilizers to ease the strain and monotony of life in a fallout shelter. A bottle of 100 should be sufficient for a family of four. Tranquilizers are not a narcotic, and are not habit-forming.
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I saw The Atomic Cafe in a theater when it was first released. Someone exclaimed derogatorily as they walked out on it. But I thought it was brilliant. Sort of a sub-genre of documentary, this one had no commentary, narrative or explanations for the material presented. No retroactive interviews with those who were there. It relied 100% on archival materials.
A few years back, I visited the Trinity Site (here in New Mexico) on the 50th anniversary of the first test of the bomb. Quite a few of those who were somehow involved back then and still living turned up for the event. So I did get to hear some hindsight comments. Definitely different than what was being said back then, and such commentary could have really changed the picture.
This is a rare approach, and therefore thought provoking. One can argue that the choice of material, editing and music track impose some interpretation, and there may be something to that. Although it's unlikely that one could turn the story into something really different unless latter-day, hindsight interviews were added to provide a different spin.
Being a "Baby Boomer", I was born during the times depicted in the movie, and have some early memories of them. For those who were alive in that time, it's fascinating to see how it tweaks your memory. I, for one, didn't think deep thoughts about the "duck and cover" drills at school - it was just another thing that got us out of our seats, like fire drills and recess. But it does tweak memory, to bring back things not thought of for many years. Interesting to consider how one's own memory is incomplete, wanders, can be influenced, etc. (Now, re-read Orwell's 1984.)
Brilliant, and disturbing. Interesting to consider in light of current events (spring 2003).
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