R-lab Filmography



R-Lab: Marvels and Catastrophes: Architecture and Cities and the Force of Nature with the 4th Istanbul Design Biennale, School of Schools, 2018.





Filmography: (basic running themes: love story while volcano or earthquake erupts, science of prediction where guys get to rescue or blow up threats, and religious or spiritual themes, the dog, and animals, mass extinction event, Moloch .) the Pompeii films—the Last Days of Pompeii, use the Vesuvius for their films’ spectacular finales, a sort of Deus-ex-machina, to an otherwise straightforward and rather dated Christian vs. pagan love stories.. and aftermath stories, of survival and revival.

NEW> Stromboli, or  Stromboli, Land of God  Released 1950, Director, Roberto Rossellini.

FROM WIKI > Bergman plays Karin, a displaced Lithuanian in Italy, who escapes the internment camp by marrying an Italian POW fisherman (Mario Vitale), whom she met in the camp on the other side of the barbed wire. He promises her a great life in his home island of Stromboli, a volcanic island located between the mainland of Italy and Sicily. She soon discovers that his home island is very harsh and barren, not at all what she expected, and the people, very traditional and conservative, show hostility and disdain towards this strange, foreign woman.

Adding to her difficulties, Karin speaks little Italian. She becomes increasingly despondent and eventually wants to escape the volcano island. The film also features documentary-like segments about fishing and an actual evacuation of the town after an eruption of the volcano.

Dr. Strangelove, or I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Released in 1964




Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, stars Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, and features Sterling HaydenKeenan Wynn, and Slim Pickens. Production took place in the United Kingdom. The film is loosely based on Peter George‘s thriller novel Red Alert (1958).

The story concerns an unhinged United States Air Force general who orders a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. It follows the President of the United States, his advisers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer as they try to recall the bombers to prevent a nuclear apocalypse. It separately follows the crew of one B-52 bomber as they try to deliver their payload.

Effects of the Kennedy assassination on the film[edit]

A first test screening of the film was scheduled for November 22, 1963, the day of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The film was just weeks from its scheduled premiere, but because of the assassination, the release was delayed until late January 1964, as it was felt that the public was in no mood for such a film any sooner.[45]


NEW: Soylent Green, 1973. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_jGOKYHxaQ

FROM WIKI: Soylent Green is a 1973 American post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston and Leigh Taylor-YoungEdward G. Robinson appears in his final film. Loosely based on the 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison, it combines both police procedural and science fiction genres; the investigation into the murder of a wealthy businessman and a dystopian future of dying oceans and year-round humidity due to the greenhouse effect, resulting in suffering from pollutionpovertyoverpopulationeuthanasia and depleted resources.[2]

In 1973 it won the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film.

NEW: Logan’s Run  1976. Michael Anderson. TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USADM5Gk9Gs


Logan’s Run is a 1976 American science fiction film, directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael YorkJenny AgutterRichard JordanRoscoe Lee BrowneFarrah Fawcett, and Peter Ustinov. The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman is based on the book Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It depicts a utopian future society on the surface, revealed as a dystopiawhere the population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by killing everyone who reaches the age of 30. The story follows the actions of Logan 5, a “Sandman” who has terminated others who have attempted to escape death, and is now faced with termination himself.

Produced by Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, the film uses only the basic premise from the novel, that everyone must die at a set age and that Logan runs off with a female companion named Jessica, while being chased by another Sandman named Francis. After aborted attempts to adapt the novel, story changes were made including raising the age of “last day” from 21 to 30 and introducing the idea of “Carrousel” [sic] for eliminating 30-year-olds. Its filming was marked by special-effects challenges in depicting Carrousel and innovative use of holograms and wide-angle lenses.

The film won a Special Academy Award for its visual effects and six Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film. In 1977, a TV series aired, though only 14 episodes were produced.

Stalker, Tarkovsky 1979 (restored version: 2017)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB7jVTut3-g

How the Zone appeared is never explained, though this forbidden territory could be the result of either a radioactive disaster or some extraterrestrial impact. The story brings science and philosophy together in this mystic search for truth.

Wiki: Stalker (Russian: Сталкер, IPA: [ˈstaɫkʲɪr]) is a 1979 Soviet science fiction art film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky with a screenplay written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, loosely based on their novel Roadside Picnic (1972). The film combines elements of science fiction with dramatic philosophical and psychologicalthemes



Dante’s Peak, released in 1997



Dante’s Peak is a 1997 American dramatic disaster thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson. Starring Pierce BrosnanLinda HamiltonCharles HallahanElizabeth HoffmanJamie Renée SmithJeremy Foley and Grant Heslov, the film was set in the fictional town of Dante’s Peak where the inhabitants must survive a volcanic eruption and the resultant dangers. It was released on February 7, 1997 under the production of Sony PicturesUniversal Pictures and Pacific Western Productions. WIKI


On the difficulty of predicting Volcanic activity…Love Story


Volcano, released in 1997




Volcano is a 1997 American disaster film directed by Mick Jackson and produced by Andrew Z. Davis, Neal H. Moritz and Lauren Shuler Donner. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Jerome Armstrong and Billy Ray. The film features Tommy Lee JonesAnne Heche, and Don Cheadle. Jones is cast as the head of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) which has complete authority in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. His character attempts to divert the path of a dangerous lava flow through the streets of Los Angeles following the formation of a volcano at the La Brea Tar Pits. WIKI


Deep Impact, released in 1998.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfcoWexWCzc

Extinction Level Event

Director: Mimi Leader,

Deep Impact is a 1998 American science-fiction disaster film[4]directed by Mimi Leder, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin, and starring Robert DuvallTéa LeoniElijah WoodVanessa RedgraveMaximilian Schell, and Morgan FreemanSteven Spielberg served as an executive producer of this film. It was released by Paramount Pictures in the United States and by DreamWorks Pictures internationally on May 8, 1998. The film depicts the attempts to prepare for and destroy a 7-mile (11 km) wide comet set to collide with Earth and cause a mass extinction.

Notably, Deep Impact was released in the same summer as a similarly themed film, Armageddon, which fared better at the box office, while astronomers described Deep Impact as being more scientifically accurate.[5][6] Both films were similarly received by critics, with Armageddon scoring 39% and Deep Impact scoring 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nonetheless, Deep Impact grossed over $349 million worldwide on an $80 million production budget. It was the final film by cinematographer Dietrich Lohmann.[7]




The Core released in 2003



This film destroys center Rome



This article is about the 2003 science fiction film. For other uses, see Core.

The Core is a 2003 American science fiction disaster film, directed by Jon Amiel and starring Aaron EckhartHilary SwankDelroy LindoStanley TucciTchéky KaryoDJ QuallsBruce Greenwood and Alfre Woodard. The film focuses on a team whose mission is to drill to the center of the Earth and set off a series of nuclear explosions in order to restart the rotation of the Earth’s core. The film was released on March 28, 2003. WIKI


The Day After Tomorrow 2006

Everyone flees the new ice age to Mexico caused by global warming. President dissolves third world debt. Single Dad and single boy?





The Day the Earth Stood Still 2008 (remake)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcSJ-6354-A


In the original of the 1951 classic the earth was threatened by nuclear annihilation, in this version the earth is threatened with environmental disaster. (Will the next version a misogynist reality TV television host turned tyrannical leader?). Commonalities: Single Dad, single mom. Single kids meet.

Original trailer 1951: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfpSXI8_UpY


WIKI The Day the Earth Stood Still (a.k.a. Farewell to the Master and Journey to the World) is a 1951 American black-and-whitescience fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, that stars Michael RenniePatricia NealBilly GrayHugh Marlowe, and Sam Jaffe. The screenplay was written by Edmund H. North, based on the 1940 science fiction short story “Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates. The score was composed by Bernard Herrmann.[4]

In The Day the Earth Stood Still, a humanoid alien visitor named Klaatu comes to Earth, accompanied by a powerful eight-foot tall robot, Gort, to deliver an important message that will affect the entire human race.



Tidal Wave Haeunde 2009



and a short clip:



Tidal Wave (Hangul: 해운대; RRHaeundae) is a 2009 South Korean disaster film. Billed as South Korea’s first disaster film,[1] Tidal Wave is directed by Yoon Je-kyoon and stars Sol Kyung-guHa Ji-wonPark Joong-hoon and Uhm Jung-hwa


Meanwhile, Hwi notices that the East Sea is displaying similar activity to the Indian Ocean at the time of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The Disaster Prevention Agency assures him that South Korea is at no risk, but a megatsunami soon forms near Japan and starts to travel towards Haeundae. Hwi realizes that the citizens of Haeundae have only 10 minutes left to escape. There is a short earthquake (a little aftershock) at Haeundae; the elevator Yoo-jin is in stops perhaps due to the earthquake. The sea starts receding from the shore, causing mass hysteria on the beaches as people realize that a tsunami is coming. Thousands of people run for their lives, but the tsunami soon reaches Haeundae. Dong-choon, Seung-hyun, his Grandma, and other people on the Gwangan Bridge are swept away by the tsunami. A powerful electric shock from a telephone pole happens on the now-flooded street where Man-sik and Yeon-hee are on, electrocuting everyone in the water and those clinging onto metallic surfaces, but the two survive.



Knowing 2009

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQE-rB3Nkh8

Extinction Level Event


See the connection to ”copy of Matthäus Merian‘s engraving of Ezekiel’s “chariot vision”,  divorced parents, dead mom, single boy.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Knowing (disambiguation).

Knowing (stylized as KNOW1NG)[3] is a 2009 science fictionmystery thriller film directed by Alex Proyas and starring Nicolas Cage. The project was originally attached to a number of directors under Columbia Pictures, but it was placed in turnaround and eventually picked up by Escape Artists. Production was financially backed by Summit EntertainmentKnowing was filmed in Docklands Studios MelbourneAustralia, using various locations to represent the film’s Boston-area setting.

The film was released on March 20, 2009, in the United States. The DVD and Blu-ray media were released on July 7, 2009. Knowing grossed $186.5 million at the worldwide box office, plus $27.6 million with home video sales, against a production budget of $50 million. It met with mixed reviews, with praise for the acting performances, visual style and atmosphere, but criticism over some implausibilities.



2012, released in 2009.




2012 is a 2009 American epic science fiction disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich, and stars John CusackChiwetel EjioforAmanda PeetOliver PlattThandie NewtonDanny Glover and Woody Harrelson. The film was produced by Centropolis Entertainment and distributed by Columbia Pictures.[1]

Filming, originally planned for Los Angeles, began in Vancouver in August 2008.[4] The plot follows novelist Jackson Curtis as he attempts to bring his family to safety amid a worldwide geological disaster. The film refers to Mayanism and the 2012 phenomenon in its portrayal of cataclysmic events.

After a lengthy advertising campaign which included the creation of a website from its main character’s point of view[5] and a viral marketing website on which filmgoers could register for a lottery number to save them from the ensuing disaster,[6] 2012was released internationally on November 13, 2009. Critics gave the film mixed reviews, praising its special effects and dark tone relative to Emmerich’s other work and criticizing its screenplay and length. It was a commercial success and one of 2009’s highest-grossing films. WIKI

 Into Eternity:   released 2010, Director Michael Madsen

Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoyKe-HxmFk

from WIKI Into Eternity is a feature documentary film directed by Danish director Michael Madsen,[1] released in 2010.[2] It follows the construction of the Onkalo waste repository at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant on the island of Olkiluoto, Finland. Director Michael Madsen questions Onkalo’s intended eternal existence, addressing an audience in the remote future.

Into Eternity raises the question of the authorities’ responsibility of ensuring compliance with relatively new safety criteria legislation and the principles at the core of nuclear waste management.[3]


Melancholia, released in 2011. Lars von Trier

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzD0U841LRM

Probably goes in the category of Extinction Event, though the film only dwells on the lead up.

Melancholia is a 2011 science fiction art film written and directed by Lars von Trier and starring Kirsten DunstCharlotte GainsbourgAlexander Skarsgård, Cameron Spurr, and Kiefer Sutherland. The film’s story revolves around two sisters, one of whom is preparing to marry just before a rogue planet is about to collide with Earth.

Von Trier’s initial inspiration for the film came from a depressive episode he suffered. The film is a Danishproduction by Zentropa, with international co-producers in SwedenFrance, and Germany. Filming took place in Sweden.

Melancholia prominently features music from the prelude to Richard Wagner‘s opera Tristan und Isolde(1857–1859). It is the second entry in von Trier’s unofficially titled “Depression Trilogy”, preceded by Antichrist and followed by Nymphomaniac.[4]


The Impossible. 2012

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1649419/videoplayer/vi118006809?ref_=tt_ov_vi

In the genre of films where the action is set mostly after the tsunami hits, dealing with the human struggles, of tourists, to re-unite their families. Some controversy over the treatment of the local Thai population. There were upwards of 20,000 Swedish citizens on these beaches when the earthquake tsunami hit in 2005.

Wiki: Plot[edit]

Henry Bennett (Ewan McGregor), his wife Maria (Naomi Watts), and their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin), and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast) go on a Christmas holiday in 2004 to Khao LakThailand. Arriving on Christmas Eve, they settle in and begin to enjoy the brand new Orchid Beach Resort. Two days later on Boxing Day, the massive 2004 tsunami inundates the area.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)


Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.


Benh Zeitlin


Lucy Alibar (screenplay), Benh Zeitlin (screenplay)


World War Z, with Brad Pitt.

Plan B is a Brad Pitt Production company. released in 2013.

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816711/videoplayer/vi3616319001?ref_=tt_ov_vi

While making this list I decided early on to avoid the monster-horror film genre. But I also realised that Zombie films represent some of our greatest fears, about disease and death, and some of the best critiques of human society can be read in films like Dawn of the Dead and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, both films released in 1978. I would be willing to entertain a debate on whether to include those two films in this list, and then other films come up, like Nosferatu the Vampire, by Werner Herzog, made in 1979, where we have the earlier living dead Vampire theme coupled together with rats and the bubonic plague.

Considering  World War Z,  it is problematic from the start, with lots of  contentious political issues, beginning by the too good to be true role of the United Nations and the UN investigator,  played by Brad Pitt, with highly questionable plot turns, like when Israel is portrayed as momentarily accepting Palestinians into the Jerusalem enclave as they build higher walls to fend off –the Zombies– (incredibly naive and controversial, but typical of Brad Pitt) as well as the choice of film sets, in Malta, Glasgow and Budapest. So reluctantly I include WWZ to consider how we deal with massive death by contagion…


POMPEII. 2014 in 3D

Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6TRwfxDICM

Standard plot with gladiators and love interests, but this film is notable for its recreation of Pompeii and its near accurate portrayal of the volcanic eruption that destroyed the city. The images of the famed plaster casts, and the director’s obsession with Pliny the Elder’s text, are unusual for this kind of Hollywood style production.


WIKI The film opens with scenes of plaster casts of the victims of Pompeii as quotes on the destruction are made. Pompeii is a 2014 3D romantic historical disaster film produced and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson.[8] An international co-production between the United States, Germany and Canada,[4] it is inspired by and based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. that destroyed Pompeii, a city of the Roman Empire. The film stars Kit HaringtonEmily BrowningCarrie-Anne MossAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeJessica Lucas, with Jared Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.


The film relies for its reconstruction of historical events on two letters from Pliny the Younger to the Roman historian, Tacitus. It opens with quotation from Pliny in which he states, “You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying. Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore.”[28] Anderson became enamored of his writings, particularly their near fantastical element and their eloquence, whose influence can be seen throughout the film in the destruction of Pompeii.[29]



The 33. 2015

Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOoIBOYqHyw

Mine Disasters, and rescue operations are archetypal narratives, valid for most all disaster stories. consider the canary in the coal mine as one of the most recognizable tropes of our time.

The 33 (SpanishLos 33) is a 2015 English-language American-Chilean biographical disastersurvivaldrama film directed by Patricia Riggen and written by Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten and José Rivera. The film is based on the real events of the 2010 mining disaster, in which a group of thirty-three miners were trapped inside the San José Mine in Chile for more than two months. The film stars Antonio Banderas as trapped miner Mario Sepúlveda


San Andreas. 2015



San Andreas is a 2015 American disaster film directed by Brad Peyton and written by Carlton Cuse, with Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore receiving story credit. The film stars Dwayne JohnsonCarla GuginoAlexandra DaddarioIoan GruffuddArchie Panjabi, and Paul Giamatti. Its plot centers on an earthquake caused by the San Andreas Fault devastating Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Principal photography of the film started on April 22, 2014 in Queensland, Australia and wrapped up on July 27 in San Francisco. The film was released worldwide in 2D and 3D on May 29, 2015, received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $473 million worldwide.


Into the Inferno. 2016,




Into the Inferno is a 2016 documentary film directed by Werner Herzog. In it, Herzog explores active volcanoes from around the world, following volcanologist and co-director Clive Oppenheimer. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on 3 September 2016 before its debut on Netflix on 28 October 201

An exploration of active volcanoes in Indonesia, Iceland, North Korea and Ethiopia, Herzog follows volcanologist and co-director Clive Oppenheimer, who hopes to minimize the volcanoes’ destructive impact. Herzog’s quest is to gain an image of our origins and nature as a species. He finds that the volcano is mysterious, violent, and rapturously beautiful and instructs us that, “there is no single one that is not connected to a belief system. WIKI


Pandora. 판도라; 2016,

Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbjy_MWFAFE

South Korean film, on an earthquake damaging a nuclear power plant.

This film shares certain aspects with mine disasters, where the workers struggle to save themselves, to reach safety.

WIKI Pandora (Hangul: 판도라; RRPandora) is a 2016 South Korean disaster filmwritten and directed by Park Jung-woo, starring Kim Nam-Gil. The film was released in South Korea on December 7, 2016

Jae-hyeok lives with his mother, his sister-in-law and nephew Min-jae in a small Korean town. He is dating a woman named Yeon-joo, while working at the local nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Pyung-sub works at the same plant. He is worried about the conditions there, but nobody in the government listens to him. An earthquake strikes the small town where Jae-hyeok lives and causes explosions at the plant. The situation quickly spirals out of control, leading the entire nation to panic. To prevent another nuclear disaster, Jae-hyeok and his co-workers return to the nuclear power plant.




7:19. Mexican, 2016,

Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBkogYmgeTc


A sort of Brechtian reality play, this is probably one of the most visceral and difficult films in the disaster genre, and probably one of the best.


Wiki: 7:19 is a 2016 Mexican drama film directed by Jorge Michel Grau.[2] It was named on the shortlist for Mexico’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, but was not selected.[3]


IMDB Martin and Fernando are at the reception of the building where they work. Suddenly, an earthquake buries them under seven floors of concrete and twisted metal. It is 7:19 am September 19, 1985. Martin and Fernando will have to reconcile all their differences in order to survive together; Now, more than ever, they have to tear down the borders between them.



Annihilation. 2018,




No Dogs, sex, and very Stalker Tarkovsky.

WIKI At “Area X”, a government facility along the southern coast, a cellular biology professor and former U.S. Army soldier, Lena, undergoes a quarantined debriefing about an expedition into an anomalous electromagnetic field nearby known as “The Shimmer”. Lena was the only survivor of the expedition.



Academic Documentaries:

Documentary on Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine.


The Shock Doctrine is Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein’s companion piece to her popular 2007 book of the same name. In short, the shock doctrine is a theory for explaining the way that force, stealth and crisis are used in implementing neoliberal economic policies such as privatization, deregulation and cuts to social services. The shock doctrine suggests that in periods of chaos often following wars, coups, natural disasters and economic panics, pro-corporate reformers aggressively push through unpopular “free market” measures. Klein posits that followers of Milton Friedman and other market fundamentalists have been perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock, then quickly making the “reforms” permanent. The video was converted from the PAL DVD upscaled from 576i to 720p. This film is Copyright 2009 Shock Films Ltd.