Temporality in Ancient and Contemporary Revelations: Hypermasculinity and Violence in the Book of Revelation and Donnie Darko

  • Author(s): Alexander Cox-Twardowski
  • When: 2014-08
  • Where: Queen’s University
  • Since the birth of cinema, religion has played an integral role in filmmaking. The marriage between religion and film has yet to relent, and over a century later, religiosity continues to surround cinema. Judeo-Christian apocalyptic ideas influence a wide range of Hollywood films. This paper will explore the Book of Revelation and its relation to Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001). Both seers, John of Patmos and Donnie, use and manipulate time to reveal contemporary socio-political and cultural concerns. Two varying outcomes emerged from this exploration. First, more importance is attributed to the seers’ visions, rather than the violent, sacrificial messiahs. Second, there is a correlation between the controller of time and hypermasculinity. These findings are contrasted with other films, as well as the Jewish apocalypse, The Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 1-34) and Christian apocalypse, The Shepherd of Hermas. The conclusions of this research suggest that authorized hypermasculinity and violent narratives were used in attempt to improve and conserve the cultural values of communities experiencing new millennia. These attempts were not always agreed upon, and other contemporary works used apocalypses and the motif of time to challenge systemic patriarchy and misogyny.

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