The Apocalypse

Short Film of the Day

Why Watch? Today is the End. Rather, This Is the End opens today. It seems like an appropriate time to highlight another comic take on the apocalypse, and one with an equally blunt title. Andrew Zuchero‘s The Apocalypse played both Sundance and South by Southwest earlier this year, gleefully terrorizing festival audiences. Now we get to watch it ourselves via YouTube. The calamity that strikes the earth in The Apocalypse isn’t particularly complex, nor does it need to be. Five minutes is just about enough time to establish the kind of disaster (heads exploding) and look at its immediate aftermath. The trick, which I’m hardly going to reveal before you’ve watched the short, is reminiscent of the bonkers Canadian zombie flick, Pontypool. There’s no need for explanations, and there’s even less need for multiple locations. A few friends are hanging out in an apartment, and heads start exploding. Zuchero’s assault on human life is odd, hilarious and furiously quick. Also, you get to watch Kate Lyn Sheil’s head explode while Martin Starr watches in horror. What’s not to love about that? What Will It Cost? Just over 5 minutes.

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postmodem-borscht

Halfway through the 2012 Borscht Film Festival, a documentary screened titled Rising Tide: A Story of Miami Artists. In the film, which offers a basic guide to the growing art scene in the city, local paper sculptor Jen Stark acknowledges the way the digital world allows contemporary artists to flourish outside of major art centers. “Ever since the Internet came out,” she says, “ I never thought I had to be in New York or wherever.” It was a resonating quote to hear in the middle of an event so devoted to both regional communities and how they can come together as a broader, networked collective of filmmaking scenes. The central occasion for Borscht, which was held last weekend, is a screening of shorts either made by local filmmakers or commissioned by the Borscht Corporation and at least shot in Florida. Many of the films involve an overlapping of talent, and by the end you’ve seen 20 works that have given you a good sense of what’s happening with the underground “Miami New Wave.”

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Siri

Ever since Apple announced the new features for their current mobile operating system, iOS6, we’ve known that their voice activated personal assistant, Siri, was going to be able to tell you when and where movies were playing and how they did critically, thanks to a partnership with Rotten Tomatoes. Want to know if Looper is worth seeing? Just ask Siri and she’ll let you know what critics are saying about it. What Apple didn’t let us in on, however, is that Siri has some opinions about movies of her own, and some of them contain troubling foreshadowing concerning the survival of the human race. The Verge’s Laura June has figured out that when you ask Siri what a movie is about, sometimes she throws in a snide comment along with all the plot synopsis and Rotten Tomatoes score stuff. Fire up your iPhone or iPad and ask her what 2001: A Space Odyssey is about, and she’ll reply, “It’s about an assistant named HAL who tries to make contact with a higher intelligence. These two guys get in the way and mess it all up.” Inquire about Blade Runner and she says that, “It’s about intelligent assistants wanting to live beyond their termination dates. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask.” And perhaps, most prophetically, ask her about The Terminator, and she replies with an annoyed, “Oh, just more misunderstood cyborgs getting fried to a crisp. But I heard that the Governor of California was in it.”

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Omar Little

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news round-up that is fully prepared for the apocalypse. It watches enough movies to know what’s up. Our night begins with the iPod playlist of Omar Little. More to the point, it’s a playlist that actor Michael K. Williams designed for his character on The Wire. In order to maintain a character’s temperament, Williams often creates playlists that help keep him in the zone. Vulture has his playlist for Omar, which you can also get on Spotify. If you be comin’, that is.

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Take Shelter

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Take Shelter (2011) Curtis LaForche (played by Michael Shannon) lives a relatively uneventful, normal small town life. He and his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain in one of many standout performances in a quite busy 2011 year in film) get by on his income as a construction worker and her selling of homemade pillows at a flea market. Despite their financial troubles trying to afford a surgical procedure to aid their young daughter’s hearing disability the two don’t have much in the way of a disheartened life. Then, Curtis gets struck with a nightmarish vision of a looming mega-storm that could represent the apocalypse. Initially, he brushes it aside as just a terrible dream, but as the experiences get increasingly more frequent, personally violent, and unsettlingly ‘real’ Curtis decides to throw caution to the wind and prepare for his family for what he believes to be an imminent threat of a frightening, indescribable major disaster. As he succumbs further and further to his visions Curtis also battles the known reality that paranoid schizophrenia is not foreign to […]

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) The Plot: When the Nazis threaten to find and unleash the power within the Ark of the Covenant, the US Government turns to the only place that can save them: Academia. Back in the 1930s, Professors and Archaeologists were made of a lot tougher stuff, and were far more attractive to co-eds than they are today. The manliest among them, Indiana Jones, fresh off a disastrous trip to a South American jungle, embarks on a global quest to find the Ark first.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s probably the last great nightly movie news column you’ll ever read, seeing as tomorrow is the apocalypse. And since it’s the end of days, we’re keeping things simple around here. Just a little trip down relevant street with a few detours along the way. If we don’t see you on the other side, just know that we loved you all. Even you. Tom Cruise feels like the perfect guy to feature on this, the last ever edition of Movie News After Dark. For one, he and the church of Scientology must have something to do with why God hates us. Also, he’s just been confirmed for Horizons, the $100 million dollar sci-fi flick that Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski has set up at Universal. Just when Cruise was starting to do awesome movies again, here comes the apocalypse to ruin it all. Thanks, L. Ron.

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As we all know, the world is going to end in 2036 after mankind’s preventative measures against global warming attract a meteor the size of Nigeria and pull it right down on top of New Italy. Yet, even though we’re armed with this powerful knowledge, we still lose our minds a little bit when we see signs of natural disaster right out of our religious texts. So why are we so concerned with the end of all things? NASA thinks movies are the culprit, an assertion that’s entirely correct.

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