sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

Writing The History of the Future: Doomsday Cinema

Because people have knowledge of their mortality, they have tried to organize their relationship with time in every epoch and to reach infinity through cultural products. The process of modernization is not exempted from this effort. The modern notion of time, constructed upon ancient Greek philosophies and millenarianism, depends on the idea of progress, which can be seen in three stages: Past (before Christ), Present (after Christ), Future (Parousia). Parousia implies Doomsday. In the 21st Century, speculation about the future and about Doomsday has been energized and the amount of speculation has increased. But not all speculation affirms the idea of progress; according to some, history’s drive for progress has come to an end and Doomsday is already a reality. From this point of view, as in science, the only progressive thing in art today is technology and therefore it seems that newness is no longer possible. Cinema is going through a similar crisis, and the crisis is expressed in various contexts, especially through the theme of Doomsday. This study proposes that the concept of “speculation” offers an opportunity for newness. The films Melancholia, 2012, and Le Temps de Loup (Time of the Wolf) are analysed philosophically, in line with the three stages of time. In this way, the possibility of “the new” is examined.

Keywords: Doomsday, speculation, millenarianism, modernization, progress.