Are We Living in a Disaster Movie?

How Genre Conventions Predict the Plot of the Covid-19 Pandemic


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About the Book

Some periods of history contain so many compounded disasters they seem to be inspired by disaster movies. In the early 2020s, the Covid-19 pandemic upended the world and thrust populations into a state of uncertainty and fear—as seen in movies like Outbreak, The Towering Inferno or Armageddon.

Birthed from the author’s original research on disaster movies, this book argues that the life cycle of Covid closely parallels various apocalyptic films, from the personas of the main players to the strike of the cataclysm itself. To view the Covid pandemic through the language of disaster movies, the book identifies those that mirror (predict!) each stage of the Covid pandemic, analyzing the similarities between the films and real-life events. A filmography of the featured disaster movies concludes the

About the Author(s)

Brian A. Shaer studied communications at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications and earned a master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in South Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Brian A. Shaer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8729-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4755-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Author’s Note: Warning: Massive Spoilers Throughout!!! xi
Introduction 1
The Attraction of Disaster 11
Chapter  1. The Preamble 17
Act One: The Buildup
Chapter  2. Who Are We? 33
Chapter  3. Where Are We? 60
Act Two: All Hell Breaks Loose
Chapter  4. The Primary Disaster 79
Chapter  5. The Poignant Character 105
Chapter  6. Proactive vs. Reactive 127
Chapter  7. Supporting Characters: Will They or Won’t They? 148
Act Three: Out of the Woods?
Chapter  8. The Second Disaster 171
Chapter  9. Things Settle Down 190
Chapter 10. The Coda 202
Filmography 209
Works Cited 211
Index 217