Aesthetic Legacies and Dashed Political Hopes: Caspar David Friedrich Motifs in Roland Emmerich's Post-9/11 Popcorn Message Movies
The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory
Until the 2004 release of his global warming movie, The Day After Tomorrow, German émigré and Hollywood A-list director Roland Emmerich had always presented himself as an apolitical entertainer. Film critics generally saw the content of his films as amounting to nothing more than the clever reworking of Hollywood clichés. As Emmerich became more consciously political in his moviemaking aims, he increasingly incorporated motifs from the work of nineteenth-century landscape artist and Romantic icon Caspar David Friedrich. This essay suggests that the character of his cinematic engagement with Friedrich correlates both with the nature of his film material and the evolution of Emmerich's hopes for political change in post-9/11 U.S. politics. While Friedrich motifs are present in Emmerich's optimistic tales of multicultural solidarity—10,000 BC (2008) and 2012 (2009)—their use proliferates in his latest release, Anonymous (2012), which dramatizes the disillusionment of the political artist.
"Aesthetic Legacies and Dashed Political Hopes: Caspar David Friedrich Motifs in Roland Emmerich's Post-9/11 Popcorn Message Movies."
The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory, 88 (4): 400-417: Taylor & Francis Online.
Copyright and Open Access: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/18976