Armageddon/Last Night essay part 1
Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hey all

Tonight was the first step in the long and arduous process of writing a film essay. One of the classes that I am taking is one called "Canadian Cinema" in which we watch and analyze the films of my home country. Now I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking that all Canadian flicks fit into the criteria that Mike Myers once described them as "I suffered, now it's your turn." But I'm here to tell you that it's kind of a yes and no things. Yes, our films are filled with oddball anti-heroes, have next to no budgets and has their share of angst and alienation. But then again, so do a lot of American indie flicks.

But for my essay, I'm doing a comparison between American and Canadian cinema cultures by using two films that deal with the end of the world. And if you havn't figured it out by the title, those two flicks are ARMAGEDDON and LAST NIGHT. Tonight, I watched both films back to back, and I found a lot of amazing similarities.

Both movies open with a voice over monologue, both have goofy looking horndog supporting characters, both are filled to the brim with familiar faces and big stars, both have similar scenes and stock characters as well (particularily someone whose purpose in the film is to run and deliver the countdown), both have a digital readout to the end of the world, both have a song that ties into the narrative, both have a level of homoeroticism to it (in ARMAGEDDON, it's there, but it's a slight undercurrent like other Bruckheimer flicks), and both end with a kiss.

But the differences between the two are like night and day. I can go into detail about the differences, but I'll save it for the essay. But I will put it shortly.

In ARMAGEDDON, the people on the planet cower away in useless bomb shelters in denial of their own inevitable deaths. In LAST NIGHT, Canadians treat the apocalypse like New Years Eve. We party.

If that isn't a testament to the Canadan spirit, I don't know what is.



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