Monday, 6 October 2008

Threads

Carl Neville

Ostensibly a straight if harrowing made-for-TV docudrama about the run up to and aftermath of a full-scale nuclear strike on England, Threads is also one of the great examples of the dramatic and representative powers of television as a medium.




Threads as Docudrama.

Threads lays claim to the imagination through a number of exegetic and diegetic strategies. Firstly there is the solidly professorial voice-over that ushers in the action and reappears at key points to explain the difficulties of particular situations, considerably more so in the more speculative second than first half. There is also the use of text overlaying images in order to establish location and population levels etc, hammered up onto the screen and accompanied by the whirring of an electric typewriter, as well as a more dramatic series of inter-titles. These provide the outer shell of Thread’s verisimilitude, enclosing the fiction, the main dramatic action of the piece.

But there is also a far more subtle intrusion into Thread’s fictional realm; from within. The use of Lesley Judd, a familiar face as a real-world newscaster within the film’s fictional world, allows the outside access. The TV as a portal or a trapdoor through which reality leaks frighteningly into the fiction. There is no safe, hermetically enclosed fictive world in Threads. The use made of television is vital to Threads’ power, without it we would simply be contained within the horizon of the docudrama. Here the fiction is put under pressure from both without and within

There is also a slow leakage of footage from the TV into the films real-world frame: all the genuine documentary footage within the film is initially contained within the TV screen, but slowly as the panic spreads and the television news becomes a more central focus the film begins to inter-cut stock footage with the filmed drama, until during scenes of protest and the blast itself the two schemes of representation have collapsed into each other. The stock footage is also complemented by what might be termed “realia”, the use of government emergency broadcasts and films to pressure the fictional realm further.

In Threads the creation of a world is more important than the creation of characters. This does not mean that the identification with the characters is weaker, quite the reverse. We identify more deeply with them, despite the lack of time the film can spend on them, precisely because the factors considered extraneous to most drama, the setting of the protagonists within a richly realized world, a world we recognize absolutely as our own and which is partially composed from the fabric of our daily lives forces a deep and immediate identification. The terrible poignancy in Threads is not what happens to its central characters, Ruth’s eventual death is dealt with perfunctorily, but in watching a world fall apart. It’s neither plot nor character driven, it is instead an act of assembly and disassembly on a cosmic scale. The making and unmaking of a world.

Threads as cold medium.

Threads power is dependent on its status as that most reviled of cultural artefacts, the Made-for-TV movie. Here, rather than simply producing neutered Cinema Threads exploits its own inherent and richly persuasive set of dramatic and diegetic possibilities to the maxim. Threads is to TV what “Man with a movie camera” is to cinema.

The cold medium forces a greater attention on the part of the observer, a deeper engagement of his interpretive abilities. This is why Thread’s seemingly underfunded apocalypse is so powerfully felt compared to the spectacle of New York being overwhelmed in, say, “The Day After Tomorrow.” The cold medium demands a suspension of disbelief that spectacular cinema can never enlist. This is why science fiction has been so much more effective on television, not despite but because of all the budgetary constraints. The symbiotic relationship between the viewer and the televisual world is the true and vital interactivity in the TV form, and it’s in it from the start.

Before and after the blast

With the blast itself comes a moment of total erasure, an unrepresentizable access to the real of the nuclear strike. Whiteout. Soundless, imageless, an overwhelming surplus of reality. The film itself winks out of existence for a moment and when it returns nothing is the same.

The blast divides the film technically into a before and after. The first half is filled with matching shots, beginning with the spider’s web and the shots of power lines and phone cables hanging over Sheffield, reaching a brilliant apex with the shot of Ruth opening a tin of cat food cutting into a letter from the ministry of defence being typed up. The shots are used as a way of reinforcing the interconnectedness of all lives and social spheres in the pre-apocalypse. In the second half of the film, with humanity scattered and divided, there are none.

The second half of the film also reverses the stealthy assimilation of found footage into the drama. Exploiting still, black and white images of ruined cities and civilian casualties the filmmakers slowly begin to use black and white freeze frames from the film itself, which then spill forward into movement and colour. Here, rather than reality invading the fictional frame in the speculative second half the fiction begins to take on the character of stock footage.

The first half of the film repeatedly focuses on hands, the hands that have been instrumental in building the world that is about to be laid low, knitting, keeping birds, playing games, the second is a portrait gallery of ravaged faces straight from Bosch or Brueghel.

In one of the few moments of hope in the film the hands reappear, sewing together the purple threads that have been salvaged from the ruins. Another world may be coming into being, but if so it will carry traces of the first. There is a deeply ambiguous snatch of Chuck Berry as Ruth’s daughter flees through the city, echoing the opening shot of her mother and father in the car the day she was conceived and the bad news from Iran was still just something to spin past as you hunted down the football scores.



Threads as horror

Threads begins with an image of a spider. Hung in a void and spinning out its web, the sounds of an unseen nature chattering around it, the spider is gradually inter-cut with establishing shots of Sheffield. It is this first shot that suggest a more radical reading of Threads. Throughout the piece there is little suggestion that the events can be overturned or intervened in and this first shot is the only overtly symbolic moment in the piece, the only moment that stands outside Threads’ remorseless real world and seems to ground it. Some extra-human agency spins the world into being, crouched in the void at the centre of all things. The spider is there, endlessly spinning, throughout every sequence in Threads, the dark, alien engine of history itself. Even up to the final sequences of Ruth’s daughter giving birth in the semi-abandoned hospital the spider is invisibly present.

And that last scene is Threads' coup de grace, its masterstroke. After the excess of horror that has preceded it we are cruelly denied the catharsis of the girl’s final scream as her stillborn baby is delivered into her arms. The image freezes, there is no escape or release. Instead, we scream for her.

13 comments:

Elton A.R. Alwine said...

The only film to ever scar me until this day is The Day After, our US version of Threads.
I just watched Threads on YouTube. That was hell of a film, that only scares me second to The Day After, because the true horror comes from seeing something so familiar ripped down, burned, and waiting patiently for what the world is going to become afterwards.
Thanks for introducing me to the film.

M said...

This film I hate so much. The film frightens me and yet is greatly enthralling. It is a film that deserves attention for its notoreity and it's very interesting technical features. Less is more in terms of the production values.

电灯 said...

中国公文网 中国皮肤网 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 癌症康复网 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述职述廉 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习体会 工作体会 培训体会 读后感 领导讲话 庆典致辞 节日致辞 开业开幕 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 营销方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 法律法规 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 自我鉴定 工作计划 工作规划 年度工作计划 学校工作计划 个人工作计划 团委工作计划 工会工作计划 单位工作计划 党支部工作计划 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 党性分析材料 先教活动 整改措施 剖析材料 公告通知 模板范例 贺电贺词 常用书信 合同范本 社交礼仪 法律文书 论文

goodeda1122 said...

內衣模特兒寫真,
自慰套
愛愛貼圖,真愛密碼,
自慰套,自慰器,情趣,自慰套,情趣,充氣娃娃,
性感丁字褲,AV,按摩棒,電動按摩棒,情趣按摩棒,
角色扮演,角色扮演服,吊帶襪,丁字褲,情趣用品,情趣用品,飛機杯,

按摩棒,變頻跳蛋,跳蛋,無線跳蛋,G點,
潤滑液,
SM,情趣內衣,內衣,性感內衣,

smallawei said...

情人節|伊莉,情趣商品,情色文學,

G點,按摩棒,轉珠按摩棒,變頻跳蛋,跳蛋,無線跳蛋,

飛機杯,男用強精長軟質套,男用強精短軟質套,充氣娃娃,男性性感內褲,性感內褲,
自慰套,自慰套,情趣娃娃,自慰器,電動自慰器,充氣娃娃,
角色扮演,角色扮演服,

性感睡衣,情趣睡衣,性感內衣褲,性感內衣,內衣,性感內褲,C字褲,內褲,
性感貓裝,性感睡衣,貓裝,吊帶襪,情趣內褲,丁字褲,SM道具,SM,

震動環,潤滑液,情趣禮物,情趣玩具,威而柔,精油,逼真按摩棒,數位按摩棒,

情趣加盟,情趣,情趣用品,巴黎,

Tegar Fajar said...

Judi Bola Terpercaya | Bandar Bola Online | Agen Taruhan
Prediksi Bola | Judi Online | Agen Casino | Taruhan Bola
Casino Online | Agen Bola | Prediksi Dan Berita Sepakbola
Agen Bola Online | Bandar Bola | Agen Casino| Situs Judi
Agen Bola | Taruhan Online | Bandar Judi Terpercaya
Agen Bola | Taruhan Bola Online | Agen Casino Terpercaya
Taruhan Bola | Judi Online | Agen Casino Terpercaya
Agen Bola Online, Situs Judi Casino Online, Bandar Taruhan Bola
Agen Casino | Judi Online | Bursa Taruhan | Bandar Bola
Agen Judi Bola | Bandar Bola Online | Casino Online
Informasi Terupdate | Sumber Berita | Sumber Inspirasi
Berita Terbaru | Inovatif
Berita Bola | Prediksi Bola Jitu
Hanya Untuk Anda Pecinta Dunia Maya
Info Masa Depan | Ulas Bola Hari Ini
Info Terupdate | Berita Inovatif | Berita Pilihan
Prediksi Skor | Berita Bola | Jadwal Bola
Prediksi Bola | Pasaran Bola | Berita Bola Online
Informasi Terkini | Prediksi Dan Berita Sepakbola
Info Berita Terbaik | Bursa Taruhan
Berita Terhangat | Info Masa Depan
Berita Terupdate | Sumber Berita
Hasil Skor | Prediksi Bola Terpercaya

Tegar Fajar said...


Info Skor Hari Ini | Update Bola
Prediksi Online | Bursa Taruhan Bola
Berita Terkini | Informasi Akurat Berimbang
Jadwal Dunia Sepak Bola | Prediksi Skor
Dapatkan Info Berita Bola Terbaru
Informasi | Berita Terbaru Era Masa Kini
Harian Bola | Bursa Online dan Berita Bola
Info Terakurat dan Terpercaya
Opini Info Terkini
Info Terkini | Kumpulan Informasi
Info Online | Berita Bola | Prediksi Skor | Cerita Dewasa
Semua Tentang Bola dan Khusus Dewasa
Portal Berita Bola | Prediksi Skor
Berita Informasi Terkini | Harian Bola | Ulas bola
Info Akurat | Prediksi Bola - Berita Bola - Jadwal Bola
Info Berita Bola | Prediksi Skor | Cerita Dewasa
Sumber Informasi Terkini | Cerita Dewasa
Berita Akurat Bola | Cerita Sex dan Foto Bugil | Prediksi Bola
Info Akurat | Cerpen Dewasa | Foto Seksi
Info Bola | Bursa Bandar Bola | Dewasa News
Prediksi Bola Malam | Berita Bola
Berita Baru dan Selalu Update
Informasi Terkini | Prediksi Dan Berita Sepakbola
Berita Terkini Dan Terpecaya
Bocoran Togelria.com | Prediksi Togel Singapura | Hongkong | Macau
Info Asia Skor | Prediksi Skor | Berita Bola
Info Berita | Prediksi Skor | Berita Bola | Tips Dan Trik
Ulas Bola Hari Ini | Prediksi Skor | Jadwal Bola

Tegar Fajar said...


Prediksi Jitu FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi Bola FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi levadia tallinn vs sparta prague 22 juli 2014
Prediksi levadia tallinn vs sparta prague 22 juli 2014
Prediksi levadia tallinn vs sparta prague 22 juli 2014
Prediksi tns vs slovan bratislava 22 juli 2014
Prediksi tns vs slovan bratislava 22 juli 2014
Prediksi tns vs slovan bratislava 22 juli 2014
Prediksi tns vs slovan bratislava 22 juli 2014
Prediksi maccabi tel aviv vs fc santa coloma 23 juli 2014
Prediksi maccabi tel aviv vs fc santa coloma 23 juli 2014
Prediksi maccabi tel aviv vs fc santa coloma 23 juli 2014
Prediksi maccabi tel aviv vs fc santa coloma 23 juli 2014
Prediksi maccabi tel aviv vs fc santa coloma 23 juli 2014
Prediksi TNS Vs Slovan Bratislava 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014
Prediksi FSV Frankfurt vs Hannover 96 22 Juli 2014

Tegar Fajar said...


Buahpoker.com Agen Poker Domino Online Uang Asli Tanpa Robot
BUNDAPOKER.COM Agen Texas Poker dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya
DaunPoker.Net Agen Poker Domino Online Indonesia Terbaik Terbesar dan Terpercaya
LIGADAUN.COM Agen Bola Piala Dunia 2014 Casino Tangkas Poker Online Terbaik Terbesar dan Terpercaya
SaranaPoker.COM Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia
GLOBALBOLA.COM Agen Bola Piala Dunia 2014 SBOBET IBCBET Casino Poker Tangkas Togel Online Terbaik Terbesar Dan Terpercaya
Buahpoker.com Agen Poker Domino Online Uang Asli Indonesia Terpercaya Tanpa Robot
GLOBALBOLA.COM AGEN BOLA PIALA DUNIA 2014 SBOBET IBCBET CASINO POKER TANGKAS TOGEL ONLINE TERBAIK TERBESAR DAN TERPERCAYA
LIGADAUN.COM AGEN TARUHAN BOLA PIALA DUNIA 2014 CASINO TANGKAS POKER ONLINE TERBAIK TERBESAR DAN TERPERCAYA
DAUNPOKER.NET AGEN POKER DOMINO ONLINE INDONESIA TERBAIK TERBESAR DAN TERPERCAYA
Buahpoker.com Agen Poker Domino Online Uang Asli Indonesia Terpercaya Tanpa Robot
Daunpoker.net Agen Poker Domino Online Indonesia Terbaik Terbesar Dan Terpercaya
BUNDAPOKER.COM AGEN TEXAS POKER DAN DOMINO ONLINE INDONESIA TERPERCAYA
LigaDaun.com Agen Taruhan Bola Piala Dunia 2014 Casino Tangkas Poker Online Terbaik Terbesar dan Terpercaya
SARANAPOKER.COM AGEN TEXAS POKER DAN DOMINO ONLINE INDONESIA TERPERCAYA
Globalbola.Com Agen Bola Piala Dunia 2014 Sbobet Ibcbet Casino Poker Tangkas Togel Online Terbaik Terbesar dan Terpercaya

saputra dua said...

PokerStar88.com Agen Texas Poker dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya
POKERPELANGI.COM AGEN TEXAS POKER DOMINO ONLINE INDONESIA TERPERCAYA

saputra dua said...

CMCPoker.com AGEN JUDI POKER ONLINE,AGEN JUDI DOMINO ONLINE INDONESIA TERPERCAYA
PokerBuaya.com Agen Judi Poker, Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya
GLOBALBOLA.COM AGEN BOLA PIALA DUNIA 2014 SBOBET IBCBET CASINO POKER TANGKAS TOGEL ONLINE TERBAIK TERBESAR DAN TERPERCAYA
DaunPoker.Net Agen Poker Domino Online Indonesia Terbaik Terbesar dan Terpercaya
BUNDAPOKER.COM Agen Texas Poker dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya
Buahpoker.com Agen Poker Domino Online Uang Asli Tanpa Robot
CMCPoker.com Agen Judi Poker Online Agen Judi Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya
Sarana99.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya
INIPOKER.NET Judi Domino 99 Online Terpercaya Indonesia

Musisi Kampung said...

PokerStar88.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

PokerStar88.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

JagadPoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

Judi Domino 99 Online ituDomino

PokerPelangi.com Agen Texas Poker Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

IDRPoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

IDRPoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

IDRPoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya

deni indra said...

prediksi-brentford-vs-fulham-agen-bola-terbesar
prediksi-watford-vs-derby-country-taruhan-bola-terbesar
prediksi-rotherham-united-vs-birmingham-city-bola-online
Bursa Taruhan