Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Film screening honors Earth Week

If women ran the planet, would wars exist?

Gynocracy advocates (myself included) insist we’d see peace breaking out as never before.

Naysayers customarily cite such historic flies in the ointment as Margaret Thatcher, Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Empress Dowager Cixi and Amina, warrior queen of Zaria (now Nigeria), while throwing in the likes of potty-mouthed Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and even Hillary Clinton for hair-splitting measure.

Unfortunately, lost in this argumentative impasse is the obscure yet essential voice of filmmaker Robert J. Gurney and his 1958 low-budget curio, “Cage of Doom.”

Combining feminism and anti-nuke activism cloaked in a unique B-movie about a time machine’s peek at our radiation-poisoned future, “Cage of Doom’s” final cut saw Gurney’s concern with the introductory question squashed by apathetic studio suits unconcerned with anything but the bottom line.

At “Cage of Doom’s” core is its creator’s disappointment with The Manhattan Project’s female participants for “standing idly by” as resident testosterone enabled nuclear madness, thus failing their responsibility to estrogenic wisdom and all of creation as far as Gurney was concerned.

Apparently, Robert J. Gurney didn’t care that J. Robert Oppenheimer would’ve had any distaff mutineers dealt with harshly, but I digress. Thankfully some fascinating remains of Gurney’s original vision survived suppression of the balance by studio brass, making “Cage of Doom,” warts and all, an absolute must-see.

To mark Earth Week 2015, I will present a double-feature of “Cage of Doom” and 1981’s “The Day After Trinity,” the ultimate documentary about The Manhattan Project, whose fallout (pun intended) remains the ultimate threat to Mother Earth.

To quote Martin Luther King, “I have a dream.”

I have a dream of securing a turnout comparable to the attendance for “Josh Fox & Friends” in Yokum 200 last month.

After all, if there’s anything matching the environmental urgency of combating fracking and in turn climate change, it’s the fact we are facing an increasingly worrisome state of nuclear precariousness not seen since the height of the Cold War.

At any rate, I’ll screen these films on good, old fashioned reel-to-reel 16mm film Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the Newman Center located at 90 Broad St. across from PSUC’s Myers Fine Arts building. Free and open to all, with donations welcome to defray operation costs.

This is an all-celluloid event with no high-fructose digital additives whatsoever.

Andy MacDougall
Class of ’84

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