By Kirsten Moana Thompson
The facility and presence of dread in fresh American cinema.
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Additional resources for Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium
Freud’s famous reading of the uncanny in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “The Sandman” considered the paradoxical etymological relationships between heimlich and unheimlich; on the one hand, heimlich signiﬁes that which is familiar, homely, or agreeable, and on the other hand, it signiﬁes that which is concealed, hidden or secret, this latter meaning coinciding with its ostensible etymological opposite, unheimlich. The familiar and the unfamiliar thus form a complex interrelationship that evokes the uncanny in those strange, yet familiar, things that arouse dread and horror.
If the horror of rape, mutilation, and violent death is the obvious threat that Cady bears, the parallels that connect him to his alter ego, the self-righteous lawyer Samuel Bowden, link horror to theology in an ethical interrogation of justice and law, crime and punishment. Not unlike an Ibsen play for the nineties, this portrait of a ﬂawed white middle-class nuclear family critiques the ideological complacency proffered by J. Lee Thompson’s original. Scorsese’s version exposes the chasms and ideological struggles over the constitution of the contemporary nuclear American family and the repressions that its hegemonic representation as white, suburban, and middle-class necessitates.
OE draedan} vt. (bef. 12C) 1a: to fear greatly, (archaic): to regard with awe, 2: to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face ~ vi: to be apprehensive 2 dread n. (13c) 1a: a great fear esp. In the face of impending evil 1 b: extreme uneasiness in the face of a disagreeable prospect<~ of a social blunder: archaic : awe 2: one causing awe or fear 3 dread adj. (15c) 1: causing great fear or anxiety 2: inspiring awe —Websters (1988 1st edition) Cape Fear (1991) constructs an atmosphere of spectatorial dread and fear that threatens the limited boundaries of what Isabel C.
Apocalyptic Dread: American Film at the Turn of the Millennium by Kirsten Moana Thompson