The Horror of Knowing: Catastrophe and Meaning in HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’

By Louis Bayman

The five-part miniseries Chernobyl has become the popular television phenomenon of the year, and one of the most critically successful ever. Over thirty years since the explosion at the core of a nuclear reactor in 1986, the production has been praised for its fidelity both to the events around the disaster and to the look and feel of the Soviet 1980s. This has in turn prompted a backlash…

“You Don’t Even Have Pockets in That Suit”: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, 1977

I’m not going to beat around the bush, I’m not going to play humble, I’m not going to worry about the fact that I’ve bored literally everyone who’s ever met me with this, my one true fan-slaying anecdote, an anecdote that will echo down through the ages like the Iliad or the Mabinogion—no, I’m just going to come out and tell it: I watched The Amazing Spider-Man with Gary Kurtz…

The Good, the Bad and the Living Dead: How the Zombie Apocalypse Replaced the Western

By Audrey Fox

Zombies have long stood as a cipher for a variety of fears that range from the AIDS crisis to environmental disasters to governmental malfeasance to the breakdown of the nuclear family. But the decision to focus on the post-apocalyptic element of these films, where humanity has been massively culled and civilization has ceased to function on a large scale, is particularly salient in a world that seems now more than ever on the brink of disaster…