1st article in our 7-week series on the film Cosmopolis
The film Cosmopolis will be released in US theaters August 17th, 2012. The long awaited film is an adaptation of Don DeLillos poetic novel of the same name. On Amazon.com some warn readers saying, “recommended for literary buffs who relish discomfort.” Perhaps this is a fair assessment given the volatile period this book is based upon. In this article, LIH will examine the political and social conditions that defined the 90’s as one of the most excessive and violent periods in America’s history.
As soon as the trailer hit the Internet, many critics defined this film as a “must see” for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Directed by David Cronenberg, this film has continued to intrigue critics for its bold and complex philosophy about the future of capitalism. Filled with an eclectic mix of suspense, thrill and absurdity. This story is not for a PG-13 audience looking for comfort. DeLillo chooses to tell this story centering on 28-year old billionaire Eric Packer (portrayed by Robert Pattinson) asymmetrical nightmare that questions the future.
1990’s- The Decade of Violence & Sex:
- In 1990-7 women accused President Clinton of sexual misconduct.
- In 1991- . Navy and Marine Corps fliers were accused of sexually abusing 26 women at the 35th Annual Tailhook Symposium, at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
- In 1992- South Central Los Angeles rioted after four white policemen were acquitted on assault charges for beating an African American motorist Rodney King.
- In 1993- Terrorism was brought to American Shores as a bomb detonated in a garage at the World Trade Center.
- 4 agents of the Bureau of US Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were killed during a raid at the Branch Davidian cult. Led by David Koresh, the compound was in Waco, Texas.
- In 1995- US Army Veteran Timothy McVeigh bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma, City.
- In 1995-O.J. Simpson was tried for the murder of his ex wife Nicole Simpson and her male friend Ron Goldman.
- In 1999-Within the US, there was at least 14 school shootings.
- In 1999-The most lethal school shooting took place at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Twenty-three were wounded, one teacher and fourteen students were killed.
What was happening in America to cause such dissension? Michael Moore’s documentary Bowling for Columbine released in 2002 gives a chilling recount of a nation desensitized to violence.
Could overconsumption and sleep deprivation be the reason for the violence?
Here’s an excerpt from the book Cosmopolis on pg.5
“Sleep failed him more often now, not once or twice a week but four times, five. What did he do when this happened?”
As Americans bought bigger cars and homes they had to work longer hours to pay for them. Many were moving further away from the cities they worked in. Causing them to spend more time and money commuting back and forth to work. This meant less sleep and time spent with family around the dinner table. As one writer explains in an article entitled, America 1990-1999: Lifestyles and Social Trends.
“The stock market and executive salaries soared, while the wages of many workers stagnated; many employees lost their jobs as the result of layoffs, mergers, and corporate downsizing. Politicians and policymakers, advertisers and marketers, all focused on children. Children, however, struggled to deal with the pressures of the adult world to which they were increasingly exposed; many were forced to adjust to new stepfamilies. Meanwhile, a disturbing number of adolescent and teenage boys went on deadly shooting rampages that left dozens dead or wounded, and a troubled nation asking “why?”
Contrary to the reader who stated Cosmopolis is for “literary buffs who relish discomfort.” I disagree; it’s for readers who want to be reminded of how far they’ve come and where they’re going. The absurd nature of violence and the poetic dialogue used (in both the book and film) lures audiences into taking a trip. While on this ride through hell, it allows audiences to question their own judgment about violence, sex and over indulgence. Now that Americans are returning back to work after a long recession; will history repeat itself?
Please join us for a discussion Thursday 7/12/2012@7pmE/12UTC