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Apocalypse-Cinema2012 and Other Ends of the World$
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Peter Szendy

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264803

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264803.001.0001

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Twelve Monkeys, or The Pipes of The Apocalypse

Twelve Monkeys, or The Pipes of The Apocalypse

(p.87) Chapter 11 Twelve Monkeys, or The Pipes of The Apocalypse

Peter Szendy

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995). It shows that the film generalizes and exploits what we might call the figure of the narratological rewind (and its symmetrical fast-forward counterpart) that is seen in many other films in the apo or post-apo repertoire, including S. Darko (Chris Fisher, 2009), Crack in the World (1964), and Day the World Ended (Roger Corman, 1955). It discusses how James Cole's (Bruce Willis) recurring dream is a crack that opens in the layers of the cineworld by separating it from itself or by folding it in on itself. A split or a fold thanks to which Cole, in effect, finds himself facing himself eye to eye with the child he was and yet light-years away from what he was: Between the two of them, between himself and himself, there is the apocalypse, that end of the world that the 1996 pandemic was.

Keywords:   Twelve Monkeys, Terry Gillam, time travel, apocalypse-cinema, apocalyptic film, apocalyptic genre

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