Atomic Cafe

Hi and welcome to our blog, specifically dedicated to the 1982 American documentary "The Atomic Cafe". Feel free to look through our blog in any way you like; but be sure not to leave out the atomic jukebox at the right sidebar...

Monday, November 22, 2010

People as still affected by the Nuclear Test Fallout!

The issue of the Nuclear Test is still affecting many people years after the tests in different parts of the world was carried out. I just followed BBC Outlook program on people still affected by nuclear fallout in the town of Kazakhstan years after the A-Bomb Test. If you wish to listen to the details on the subject, please access BBC OUTLOOK

With these drawbacks, there are people or some countries that would like stop at nothing but desirous of obtaining a nuclear bomb. Here is a recent BBC report that says, “The US has said a report that North Korea has built a new nuclear facility is further evidence of Pyongyang's "belligerent behaviour".
The top US military officer, Adm Mike Mullen, said North Korea was "continuing on a path which is destabilising for the region".
A US scientist said he been shown "more than 1,000 centrifuges" for enriching uranium on a visit to North Korea.
Enriched uranium can be used for nuclear fuel or made into weapons.
"From my perspective, it's North Korea continuing on a path which is destabilising for the region," Adm Mullen, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN.
"It confirms or validates the concern we've had for years about their enriching uranium, which they've denied routinely," he said.
In September last year, after having denied enriching uranium, North Korea said it was in the final stage of uranium enrichment, and further warned that it was continuing to reprocess and weaponise plutonium.
Adm Mullen said the latest report of the North's nuclear activity should be seen in the light of the March sinking of a South Korean warship, which Seoul and Washington blamed on Pyongyang.
The sinking of the Cheonan in a suspected torpedo attack left 46 South Korean sailors dead and inflamed tensions on the Korean peninsula.
"All of this is consistent with belligerent behaviour, the kind of instability creation in a part of the world that is very dangerous," Adm Mullen said.
His remarks followed the publication of a report by US nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker on his trip last week to North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex, which is about 100km (60 miles) north of the capital Pyongyang.”
If you are interested in details, please access North Korea nuclear plant 'confirms US suspicions'

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Utah Shelter Systems™ - "Because Survival is the Highest Priority"™

I have recently chanced upon a website which I thought was extremely fascinating and very much related to our topic of the atomic scare during the Cold War.

This website, is for a company named Utah Shelter Systems™, which has been installing 'All Hazard Sheltering' for families across the US since 1984. Their comprehensive website provides the curious family with images like these:

Kitchen, bunks, dining and storage spaces

Now, doesn't that look just like home!

Before anyone scrambles to phone them up for an installation job, I should mention that these shelters do not come cheap. An average fallout shelter for a family, which comes "equipped with two sets single and two sets double bunks", should cost you between 40,000USD to 55,000USD. Any additional furniture, such as the kitchen sink and counter (VERY necessary), would cost you at least several thousand dollars more. Of course, if you have to stay in one of these for a good decade or so, wouldn't you want to make it as comfortable as possible?
One thing which I was unable to understand was that a company like this could still be in business today, and that people today would actually feel that they still need services like these. Well the FAQ section of the website provided me with some kind of answers to that doubt, and now I finally understand what all the fuss is about. Below are some excerpts:

Seldom do all members of a family have the same levels of concern, and it is sometimes frustrating to justify these protective measures to those we care about the most.

We have been asked, numerous times, to expound on the following statements that have been genuinely made by others:

1. I would not want to be the only one to survive.
2. I may not be at home when I need the shelter.
3. There are no more “real” threats to our country.
4. The government will take care of us.

The following is our response to these concerns:

1. I would not want to be the only one to survive:

Our Answer:

According to the worst-case scenario forecasts prepared by the Department of Defense in 2002, the short-term casualties that would be derived from a full onslaught nuclear attack (Russia and / or China) would approximate 30% - 35% of our population with and additional 30% - 35% of our population dying over the following 6-8 weeks from starvation, dehydration, disease, inclement weather, contamination, attack, etc. In this forecasted worst case, 30% of our citizens would survive to start over and rebuild our country. At 290,000,000 people and growing, this means that almost 100,000,000 Americans would survive. Yes, we would be starting over and it would be hard at times. We would be living in a 3rd world country for a period of time. But, unlike our pioneer ancestors, we still have the knowledge and information from before, to build upon.

2. I may not be at home when I need my shelter.

Our answer:

Government war strategists are in agreement that a full-scale nuclear attack would most probably occur during the night or early morning or during a national holiday. ‘Night time’ in America is ‘Day time’ in the countries of our most likely enemies. Our enemies would want to strike while we were asleep.

Most people do not work or live in the vicinity of prime targets, providing time for them to return to their shelters in the event of a full-scale nuclear or terrorist attack.

People who have prepared shelters are aware of their surroundings and in tune to escalating crises and the warning signs They have also pre-planned expedient sheltering capabilities and evacuation routes.

3. There are no “real” threats from which we need to be protected. Russia and China are our friends. The cold war is over. The government has the terrorists under control.

Our answer:

We have been preparing and building shelters for over 21 years, but we are continually amazed at the number of people who don’t recognize or believe that any “real” threats exist. Upon further questioning we most often find that the vast majority of these people do not read a daily newspaper nor watch a daily news broadcast. They are consumed with sporting events and spend their money on useless toys.

Many people refuse to consider the possibility of an attack, because they believe nuclear war is not survivable. If there is nothing one can do, one tends to do nothing. They receive all their information from the media, which consistently tells them this is true. If we can educate these people to the real and fundamental effects of nuclear weapons, they may see that nuclear war is, in fact, very survivable and prepare accordingly.

4. The government will take care of us.

Our Answer:

There is a wide spread misconception that public shelters exist throughout the country. Some countries, such as Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, North Korea, China and Russia have provided shelters for a good portion of their population. It has been estimated by American strategists that about 30% of the population of the world have radiation and blast shelters. Russia has constructed multiple underground industrial communities. Switzerland, has provided 100% of their population with hardened NBC shelters.

Our own government has provided hardened underground facilities for high ranking government officials and their families as well as for our critical mission personnel.

My family members are my ‘critical mission personnel’. Where are the shelters for my family? The answer to this question is that we, as citizens, have not been willing to demand this level of protection for ourselves, nor have we been willing to be taxed to this level of protection. Legislation providing shelters will not occur until we demand it. Current localized disasters have proven that our government is there to assist us, but not to save us in widespread emergencies. More and more Americans are awakening to the reality that the world has become a dangerous place, and as a result, they are purchasing shelters for themselves and their loved ones.

(Read more on the FAQ page of Utah Shelter Systems.)


I have to admit, that FAQ page did make me have a sudden urge to want to install a fallout shelter in my backyard.


(The above photos and information were all retrieved from the website of Utah Shelter Systems™.)

About the key words used in movie

Radioactive fallout: Cloud of dust particles produced because of the explosion of atomic bomb and are transformed far from the place of exploision and contaminate the place where they fall. especiall after the second world war many developed countries started creating atomic bombs. while testing the atomic bomb the dust particles were produced from the atomic bomb which is higly contaminated and had caused raditiation sickness and had lead to death of many people.

Atomic bomb shelter: Especiall in the american society, there was a trend or can be said as a part of culture of building rooms in the basement of their apartment where all types of facilities are provided. the main aim of building bomb shelter is to prevent from the radioactive fallout.

Duck and cove: students in school, employes in companies were trained how to be secure after hearing the atomic bomb explosion and how one can prevent themselves because of the explosion and fallouts.

Reflecting on the films we studied

At one point in comparing the works of one of the filmmakers we studied, ‘Kurosawa’s Dreams and Rhapsodies’, Linda C. Ehrlich commented on Kurosawa’ past and later works as “although he has mixed Western and Eastern aesthetics and philosophical systems in the past, with great success, in his later films his skills as an ‘alchemist’ in this regards fails, becoming instead a confusion of modes”, (Linda, 164).

What I did like to suggest about ‘the Atomic Café’ as a post-modern masterpiece is that, unlike Kurosawa in his later films, the co-producers (Jayne Loader, Kevin and Pierce Rafferty) application of their skills as an ‘alchemist’ was a great success. As it is detailed in ATOMIC CAFE: HISTORY DONE RIGHT, Conelrad added that not only did the producers edit the footage for maximum irony, but it was backed by phenomenal soundtrack, which developed fresh and original work. In support of this claim, Jayne in her interview with Conelrad, said that they succeeded because they worked straightly with their principle of ‘compilation verite’. Jayne went on further to admit that they mixed up motion pictures together with the soundtrack about the cold war, because they got to know ‘the Atomic Café’ movie was going to be about “the Atomic Age (instead about propaganda in general).”

Another information which made me suggest that ‘the Atomic Café co-producers had ‘alchemist’ skills is that, Jayne Loader mentioned that in her 2002 interview with Conelrad, she successfully made another compilation verite film about animals and animal rights entitled “Why do we treat them like animals?” From here you can access Conelrad’s 2002 interview with Jayne Loader.

Reflections on Atomic Cafe - Part 3

The other interesting thing i have observed in this documentary is game of politics and how this game is cleverly staged by cunning politicians , the tactics they have been using throughout was first fear mongering to get the attention and then using ideologies such as nationalism or talking about the "will of God" or anti communist chanting. By manipulating emotional component of the general public the government has successfully achieved their objectives of control and nuclear proliferation. This similar tactics were used by Reagon Administration to justify and increase military spending.

There is one scene in this documentary where one man says to another to not worry about enemies because US is the only country to possess atomic bomb and soon there is another scene introducing the headlines showing Soviet Union developing it s A bomb and later on how competition would grow stronger between these two nations to develop more and more weapons.

What i understand from this is that it was not a government as the founding principle would have claimed "for the people, by the people" but it was indeed "for the power and by the power " government. That could be the worst government and it was more like an autocratic style with a "democratic cream". US government regulating or banning the flow of information about the true nature of atomic bombs and misinforming and then showing under Soviet Union rule the newspaper editor being imprisoned is indeed a big satire.

Reflections on Atomic Cafe - Part 2


In my previous blog post, i discussed about the misinformed soldiers highlighting a scene from the documentary. In fact by watching the whole documentary , the generation of that era as a whole had no idea of what atomic bomb s real impact would be and it was solely due to government s regulation of the flow of information on atomic related matters. The general public of that time was provided protection strategies just in case if there was a bomb attack from the enemies and the strategy was very simple.."duck and....cover"drills or buy a bomb shelter house and the song i uploaded on my previous blog shows school children taught to hide under desks like if it was an earthquake. Well atomic bomb is more deadlier than an earthquake and it has power to vaporize and destroy even the toughest element in the planet. . In the final scenes in the documentary enemy drops a bomb and thereby showing how people react to the sound like hiding under beds and do duck and cover on roads , ultimately revealing the destructive nature of atomic bomb . the following is a final scene from the atomic cafe

In my opinion, the filmmakers of this documentary should have added more Japanese footage of the destruction of A-Bomb. There were only fews scenes in the first phases of the documentary about the radiation effects on the people of Hiroshima. But I reckon there should be some hidden wisdom of not adding it. Perhaps putting too many real scenes of Japanese suffering might have become more serious film rather than their original black comedy film. What do you think?

Notable Quotes, Ironical lines

Most impressionable quotes

*Army information film: When not close enough to be killed, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.

**Civil defense film: Be sure to include tranquilizers to ease the strain and monotony of life in a fallout shelter. A bottle of 100 should be sufficient for a family of four. Tranquilizers are not a narcotic, and are not habit-forming.

American military captain on what he felt was the most “outstanding moment” of the bomb-dropping operation on Nagasaki: “[I] let the bomb go… that was my greatest thrill.

American military official explaining to the natives the reason behind their evacuation: “…that everything being in God’s hands… it cannot be other than good.”

Vice Admiral W.H.P. Blandy, Commander of the Bikini Test: “The bomb will not start a chain reaction in the water, converting it all to gas… letting all the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom… it will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole… it will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me… exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim.”

Senator Owen Brewster’s speech on spies: “…our education is proceeding a pace as to how Russia operates… and how they got the atom bomb… not by independent research… but from America… from traitors within our own ranks.”

Civilians interviewed on whether or not America should build a hydrogen bomb:

“the Russians will try(sic) it anyhow… and should they learn the secret of its manufacture before we do… the life and security of all freedom-loving people will be in danger.”

“…that the United States of America should not necessarily use this bomb, but rather look upon it as a peaceful guardian and protector of the basic American doctrines of liberty and democracy… against the obstacles of Red Fascisms… materialistic and atheistic philosophy.”

Soldier at the detonation site of Castle-Bravo H-bomb test, when asked if he kept his mouth closed during the blast: “…I got a mouthful and face-ful of dirt.”

Father figure in American drama at the ending scene: “…all in all I’d say we’ve been very lucky around here… nothing to do now but wait for orders from the authorities and relax…”

Irony between sound and images

(At between 43:53-47:50)
Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, mentioned that “the 236 natives appear to me to be well and happy” and that the medical staff have reported that no illnesses or diseases will follow, after the nuclear fallout descended on some 20,000 natives due to reckless predictions on wind direction affecting the Castle-Bravo Test. His report was juxtaposed on images of the natives with obvious nuclear burnt marks on their skin and some with their hair dropping off.

(At around 01:12:35)
The footage of Richard Nixon addressing the issue of nuclear weapons being implemented into the nation’s artillery, is immediately followed by him ringing a big bell to signal the opening of “Mental Health Week” joyously, whereby he is said to have commented that the “ringing of the bell throughout the nation will be a reminder of suffering Americans.”

This footage of Nixon ringing the “Mental Health Week” bell was for me the most humorous part of the entire film. The filmmakers have edited the footages so cleverly, by placing such a serious speech right in front of a suggestive one. The bell-ringing footage was suggestive because it makes us link Vice President Nixon to ‘mental health problem’, and of course his eccentric little smile makes it all the easier to make that connection. Perhaps than, we might take his previous speech about the ‘precision and effectiveness’ of nuclear weapons with no more than a pinch of salt?

Note: * and ** were retrieved directly from the Internet Movie Database website.

Basic Film Information

The Atomic Café

Directed and produced by: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty

Production Company: The Archives Project

Country of production: USA

Year: 1982

(Notable) Cast:

Harry S. Truman (as President Harry S. Truman)

Julius Rosenberg
Ethel Rosenberg

Lyndon Johnson (as Senator Lyndon B. Johnson)

Albert Einstein

Richard Nixon

Ronald Reagan

… and others.
(all as themselves, taken from archive footage)

Release dates:
USA – 17 March 1982 (New York City, New York)
Finland – 29 October 1982
West Germany – 5 November 1982
Netherlands – 11 November 1982
Sweden – 19 November 1982
France – 13 April 1983
Australia – 27 May 1983
Japan – 18 September 2004 (Tokyo)

Nominated for the “Flaherty Documentary Award” at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards in 1983
Won the “BSFC Award” for “Best Documentary” at the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards in 1983


The above information (film info, photos and video) were retrieved from the following websites:
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reflections on Atomic Cafe - Part 1

I mistakenly referred "movie" to an acclaimed classic cult documentary "atomic cafe" couple of times while i was doing my part in our group presentation causing confusion to the audience in the last blogger`s conference. My sincere apologies for causing that confusion. It does not really mean that i lack deep understanding of the documentary but due to time constraint i had to rush through all important points that i had to address and saying "movie" was easy instead of documentary...:) and i realized it was a big blunder !!

I want to share some of the scenes from this documentary and i hope this reflection gives you some idea about important messages the documentary wants to convey.
Firstly, i reckon the documentary was made in response to the policies of the US government of that time ( referring to Reagen Era) and his hostile stance in relation to the so called Evil empire (Soviet Union) he was propagating to the American public.

Interestingly, the documentary has no narration and made it in a way to speak for it self. Newsreels, adverts, other actual footages are cleverly weaved together and gives the viewer a perfect compiled documentary. Furthermore it is very humorous with funny atomic themed music. The following is an excerpt taken from the documentary . I would discuss some of the behaviors in that excerpt and other scenes in coming posts

I hope you enjoyed the music . The following is one of my favorite scenes from the documentary I want to highlight

The scene shows how soldiers were fooled to believe the radiation effects were the least thing that they had to worry about and they were commanded to move towards the blast and if they followed the commands correctly , they would be sound and safe. In the initial part of the documentary they do show some of the images of the radiation effect that killed and injured the people of Hiroshima and this scene becomes more like a satire and when a reporter in a voice over asks the soldier ` did u close your mouth ..` and the soldier replies ` i got a mouthful ` . The actual message it wants to convey in my opinion is that how stupid and misinformed were the generation of that time and questions the current generation and it s level of stupidity and it s naivety.

To be continued...

Friday, November 12, 2010


‘The Atomic Café’ is said to be a satirical documentary film. As such I observed that it has some common characteristics with the film, ‘Dr. Strangelove’. Example of the satire in the film is the turtle displayed the “duck and cover” technique. Another is President Harry Truman plans of winning the World War II.

As in ‘Taiyo wo nusunda otoko’, ‘the beginning or the end’, and ‘the Manhattan Project’, ‘the Atomic Café’ present the ‘A’ or H-Bomb as a form of problem solving power. Example President Harry Truman delights of having the bomb first.

As a “compilation verite”, ‘the Atomic Café’ do relate to some of the films we studied in specific ways:
- In terms of family value, the Atomic Café is like the Manhattan Project, that is as Dr. Matheson, Paul, Paul’s Mom and girlfriend reunited at the end of the film, so as a family of three did and thank God after they survived the A-bomb attack on the U.S. Both films were made during the Reagan era.
- With regards, to reconciliation, it relates to ‘the Blast from the Past and Hachigatsu no Rapusodi(1991).
- As per the political factors, ‘the Atomic Café’ relates to ‘the Beginning or the End’, ‘Dr. Strangelove’ and ‘the Blast from the Past’. In all four of the films, I observed that there is a kind of race for the A-bomb or H-bomb between the USA and other outside powers like Russia and Japan.
- Fallout or Bomb shelters: ‘The Atomic Café’ as well as ‘the Blast from the Past and ‘Ikimono no Kiroku’ depict characters who wishes or used the bomb shelters for the protection of the family members. Example, Nakajima thought of a bomb shelter for protection in ‘Ikimono no Kiroku’.
- As in almost all of the films we studied, the special effect of the mushroom cloud is used in ‘the ‘Atomic Café’.

Uniqueness of ‘the Atomic Café’ film:
‘The atomic café” is said to be unique because it is a postmodern masterpiece and the single greatest collection atomic music ever assembled and released. Also the filmmakers kept away from narration and depended solely on their footage source. I also observed that amongst all the films we studied, ‘the Atomic Café’ is unique in that it is in this film the U.S. experienced atomic bomb attack where everyone tried to duck and cover.


  1. ATOM AND EVIL by the Golden Gate Quartet
  2. Audio Clip: Maj. Thomas Ferebee, "Enola Gay" bombardier, 08/15/45
  3. WHEN THE ATOMB FELL by Karl and Harty
  4. Audio Clips: President Harry S Truman, 08/09/45; Capt. Kermit Beehan, "Great Artiste" bombardier, 08/15/45
  5. WIN THE WAR BLUES by Sonny Boy Williamson
  6. Audio Clip: David E. Lilienthal, the first Chairman of the A.E.C.
  7. ATOMIC POWER by the Buchanan Brothers
  8. Audio Clip: Winston Churchill, 03/31/49
  9. JESUS HITS LIKE AN ATOM BOMB by Lowell Blanchard and the Valley Trio
  10. Audio Clip: Rep. James E. Van Zandt (Republican), Penn., 05/08/53
  11. WHEN THEY DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB by Jackie Doll and His Pickled Peppers
  12. ATOMIC SERMON by Billy Hughes and his Rhythm Buckeroos
  13. OLD MAN ATOM by Sons of Pioneers

Timeline of Events & Footages

Here is a comprehensive chronological record of the footages used in the film:

Pilot of Enola Gay, Paul Tibbets, recalls how the jet plane dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima

President Harry S Truman’s speech
Nagasaki’s bombing and mushroom shroud
Interview with captain of the jet plane about his ‘most outstanding moment’ of the bomb-dropping operation
Americans rejoicing with news of the Japanese surrender

Radio programme making fun of the horrific state of Hiroshima after the bomb

Paul Tibbets talks about the selection of ‘virgin targets’ in Japan for the sake of ‘bomb blast studies’

Bomb victims and their injuries at the Nagasaki Infectious Hospital

Paul Tibbets talks about the US’s ‘guilt complex’

American citizens on parade
White people having fun on roller coasters in 1946; white people dancing, being in love, getting married

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cinema Studies of 'The Atomic Cafe'

I have come to learn that in reference to cinema studies perspective, ‘the Atomic Café’ is about the nuclear warfare. It is a documentary film which depicts events between the 1940s and 1960s to the audience. In Atomic Café, there are set of other A-Bomb films we studies recently as well as those of the cold war such as the Korean War, Cold war spy film, U.S. Army training films and parts directly from the U.S. Government Archives, etc. Example: part of the ‘inside of the plan that dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima’, the special effect of the mushroom cloud, the picture of the burnt city of Hiroshima as in ‘the beginning and the end’ film and the pictures of the fallout shelters in the film, ‘the blast of the past’. As per the music, the film contains some songs of the cold war and soundtrack of the atomic bomb [“atomic bomb baby”]. After five years of work, in October of 1982, “The Atomic Café” was produced by Jayne Loader, Kevin and Pierce Rafferty in English. It is also confirmed that this firm was released during the Reagan era, at the climax of the international disarmament movement. As such, the production of the film received wide distribution till it became a cult classic. It is believed that the project of “the Atomic Café” film may have cost about $300.000

Conclusively, ‘the Atomic Café is said to be a "compilation verite", a film which is made up of no new footage, no voice of God narration, rather a set of other films as mentioned above. [Atomic Café: History Done Right]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Scar of memory-My comment of the Atomic Cafe

This is a film of the atomic culture that was star in the America and still popular now, from the film we can see the people at that time try to built a lot of funny things with the atomic bomb, they make the music they make it became the food and drink, the car the bar the cloth the novel… a lot people was falling love with the atomic bomb and the culture it bring to us. But we still can see another sense that every rich American should have a yard with a shelter that can protect them from the fall out, the government try to make citizen pay more attention on the nuclear attack from the USSR.
This is a time period with a lot things cannot give a clearly definition that it is a good period or bad period just as the atomic bomb. I should said that as Chinese I should said that I should thanks for the bomb and also as a person like game and film also should say thanks for the atomic bomb and the culture it brings to. But when we see the film about what should to when you attack by the nuclear weapon, and the US people spend a lot of money to built a shelter, even the people who live in the Nagasaki and Hiroshima, could us still said that is a good time the atomic bomb is good weapon.
Atomic Café just show us at that time the people’s thinking and the fear of the atomic weapon, even the US people make it become culture but everyone knows that they were under the shadow of the atomic attack this is also the same situation with the USSR people. Though this documentary I saw the scar of the memory for the people at that special time. But they bring us the happy till now which is the atomic culture.
The country wants institution of the supremacy by the nuclear weapon but it bring to the people a scar in their mind, may by when we play game or watch film try to think more about them.

Scar of menmory-the start with the Atomic film,time line

I Live in Fear, a 1955 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, is about a Japanese businessman who is terrified of nuclear and was among the earliest films to deal with the psychological impact of nuclear weapons. Many films, some of which were based on novels, feature nuclear war or the threat of it. Godzilla (1954) is considered by some to be an analogy to the nuclear weapons dropped on Japan, another pre-dating film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms being the start of a more general genre of movies about creatures mutated or awakened by nuclear testing. Them! (1954) (giant ants in Los Angeles sewers) is based on a similar premise. The Incredible Shrinking Man (novel) (film, 1957) starts with a sailor irradiated by a bomb test, based on a real incident of irradiation of Japanese fisherman. In A Canticle for Leibowitz, (novel, no film, 1959) the previous war is known as the "Flame Deluge"; On the Beach (novel 1957, film 1959) is most famous for making the end of humanity a theme in popular thinking on nuclear war; Final War (Japan, 1960) nuclear war erupts after the USA accidentally bombs South Korea. The 1962 film This is Not a Test addresses the reactions and emotions of a group of people in the minutes prior to a nuclear attack. Some non-fiction works of the time had an effect on cultural works. Herman Kahn's innovative non-fiction book On Thermonuclear War, (1961) describing various nuclear war scenarios, was never widely popular, but the seeming outlandishness of its projections and the possibility of a "Doomsday Machine" (an idea Kahn got from Leo Szilard before relatively small, deliverable thermonuclear weapons were developed in 1954) as a way to prevent war were direct inspirations for director Stanley Kubrick to handle Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as a black comedy. (Menand, 2005) The 1964 film was loosely based on Red Alert, and a later novelization of the film was also written by the original author Peter George. Fail-Safe (novel 1962) (film 1964) (live-tv remake 2000) was a dramatic version of a similar accidental war that came out soon after. The War Game (BBC TV film, 1965) was a documentary-style film about the effects of nuclear war on England while Planet of the Apes (1963 novel, and five films 1968-1973) was about an Earth ruled by apes because of a nuclear war that eventually ended due to a nuclear bomb. Damnation Alley (1977) features a chilling launch and destruction sequence, followed by a trek across a ruined America; Taiyō o Nusunda Otoko / The Man Who Stole the Sun (1979), When the Wind Blows (British graphic novel 1982, animated film 1986). Special Bulletin was a 1983 made for TV movie about anti-nuclear activists detonating a home built nuclear device in Charleston, South Carolina. The Day After became known for its realistic representation of nuclear war and groundbreaking special effects for a television movie.The Day After (1983) was a "made for TV" movie that became fodder for talk shows and commentary by politicians at the time due to its depiction of explosions on American soil and alleged political content. Testament (1983), another postwar vision; WarGames (1983), features a young computer hacker who nearly starts World War Three when he inadvertently breaks into a fictional NORAD supercomputer named WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) to play the latest video games; The Terminator (4 films, 1984, 1991, 2003, 2009) features a post-apocalyptic future (all James Cameron films from 1986 through 1994 deal with nuclear explosions); Red Dawn (film, directed by John Milius) (1984), Mad Max (3 films, 1979–1985), Manhattan Project (1986, not about the Manhattan Project), Threads (BBC TV production made 1984, shown 1985), based on British government exercise Square Leg, Project X (1986) which deals with animal testing on exposure to nuclear radiation, Miracle Mile (1988), Broken Arrow (1996) ("Broken Arrow" is military jargon for an accidental nuclear event, the event depicted in the film would actually be classified as Empty Quiver). The James Bond films are also known to have plots surrounding nuclear weapons. Films like Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World Is Not Enough involves a plot of nuclear warfare by the enemy, but in a lighter point of view (the weapons are never set off as Bond usually stops them last minute to add to the thrill of the film). In Goldfinger, the titular antagonist attempts to irradiate the US's national gold reserves with an atomic bomb, in order to increase the value of his own stockpile. There have been a few fictionalized accounts of historical events relating to nuclear weapons as well. The Manhattan Project itself, for example, was depicted in the 1989 movie Fat Man and Little Boy. In the miniseries Battlestar Galactica, Caprica (pictured) and the Twelve Colonies of Kobol suffered a massive nuclear attack from the Cylons.The second season of the television series 24 involves Muslim terrorists smuggling a nuclear bomb across the Mexican border and planning to detonate it in Los Angeles. In the fourth season, after a series of terrorist attacks, a group of Islamic terrorists capture and launch a nuclear cruise missile at Los Angeles. The sixth season also involves nuclear weapons as a major theme, with a group of terrorists having access to five nuclear suitcase bombs. Nuclear weapons, both conventional and "enhanced" (through the use of fictional advanced technology), are used in the feature film Stargate and the related television series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. The Tom Clancy novel and movie The Sum of All Fears depicts a nuclear explosion caused by Islamic terrorists in Denver (novel) or by neo-Nazis in Baltimore (film). The movie On The Beach is based around the premise of a nuclear war, fought over the territorial rights of Taiwan. In the comic The Invisibles, writer Grant Morrison references Oppenheimer using the "Destroyer of Worlds" quote as a mystic phrase and using the moment of detonation as part of a magical ritual. The roleplaying game GURPS Technomancer repeats this theme, depicting an alternate history where Oppenheimer unwittingly completes a necromantic ritual that releases magic back into the world at Trinity. The CBS Television Drama Jericho (2006) focuses on a small town that is left without communications and basic necessities after a nuclear attack on major US cities. The film The Hills Have Eyes (2006) features a group of miner's descendants in the New Mexico desert, who have become genetically mutated due to the radiation caused by the atomic tests, and terrorize travelers in the area, who are lured to their mines in the hills by a gas station owner who profits from the victim's jewelry. There have also been a number of plays set around the theme of nuclear weapons development. Michael Frayn's Tony Award-winning Copenhagen (1998), for example, contemplates the ethics and early history of nuclear weapons development through the eyes of the physicist Niels Bohr, his wife Margarethe, and his former pupil Werner Heisenberg. Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt addressed the question of the responsibility of scientists in a post-Hiroshima world explicitly in his 1961 satire, Die Physiker. The rise-and-fall of American physicist and "father of the atomic bomb" J. Robert Oppenheimer has been the subject and inspiration of a number of plays—Heinar Kipphardt's In the Matter J. Robert Oppenheimer (1964) — and even an opera, Doctor Atomic (2005). In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), set in 1957, Indiana Jones finds himself in a nuclear test site in Nevada that has been set up to resemble a suburban area while being chased by Soviet soldiers. Realizing he has a matter of seconds before an atomic bomb detonates, he locks himself in a lead-lined refrigerator. The bomb flings the refrigerator a safe distance away, where Jones emerges without any serious injuries. The third episode of Lost's fifth season, "Jughead," reveals that the United States military brought a hydrogen bomb called Jughead to the island in 1954; the military troops were killed by the Others and the bomb was seized. A time-traveling Daniel Faraday convinces the Others that he is part of a military science team sent to defuse the bomb, which is leaking radioactive material, but eventually confides to one of their members that the bomb must be buried underground after being sealed with lead or concrete, explaining that he knows this will work because the island is still intact 50 years later, having never been destroyed in a nuclear blast. However, in 1977, the bomb was used in an attempt to stop the Incident, in the hope of changing the futu

Movie list
The Beginning or the End (1947)
Invasion U.S.A. (1952)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
The Last War (1961)
Panic in Year Zero! (1962)
This is Not a Test (1962)
Fail-Safe (1964)
The War Game (1965)
The Bedford Incident (1965)
A Boy and His Dog (1975)
Damnation Alley (1977)
Superman (1978)
Special Bulletin (1983)
The Day After (1983)
Testament (1983)
Threads (1984)
Countdown to Looking Glass (1984)
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
When the Wind Blows (1986)
Miracle Mile (1988)
By Dawn's Early Light (1990)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
True Lies (1994)
Broken Arrow (1996)
Independence Day (1996)
The Peacemaker (1997)
The Peacekeeper (1997)
Godzilla (1998)
Babylon 5: In the Beginning (1998)
Babylon 5: Thirdspace (1998)
Armageddon (1998)
Atomic Train (1999)
Chain of Command (2000)
The Sum of All Fears (2002)
Alien Hunter (2003)
Paycheck (2003)
The Core (2003)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Terminator: Salvation (2009)
Watchmen (2009)
The Crazies (2010)

The Theme of Cynical Criticism Included in the Movie

The movie, “Atomic café” is a documentary movie about the nuclear weapon. The movie is constructed by the real images and the voice from news and radio broadcasted in the time, which includes the images of victims of Atomic bomb. Unlike the serious and gloomy atmosphere of the images, the back music used in this movie is all concerned of the nuclear weapon in the United States at the time. From the rhythmical and cheerful tone of the music, we can see the positive image to the nuclear weapon at the United States at the time. The tragic symptom appeared on the body of the victims of the A-bombs, the soldiers rushing toward the mushroom cloud, and the pop music disagree with those images tells us the actual condition of the nuclear weapon and the public opinion about it in the United States at the time ironically.

Officially, the movie is an anti- nuclear weapon movie satirized the politic system of the United States at the time, but another theme included in this film is the fear of the political propaganda carried out by the American government.

Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberg who were doubted to be the spy from the Soviet Union and carried out the death sentence although there were no enough evidence to it, soldiers who were thrown into the nuclear weapon test site without any protection, and students who hide under the desk as a way of the protection from the A-bomb, although we all know that they are ridiculous actions to mention the danger of nuclear weapon, they were actually carried out under the propaganda at the time. What we can see through it is the large influence the political propaganda gives to the public, and people’s ignorance about the nuclear weapon.

The movie is only constructed by the images that are originally existed as the record of the test, or the news. Because of the difficult process, the movie is said to be took about five years to be completed. However, the vivid description of the time was sharply represented in this film under the method, and that is why the movie is very persuasive and outshines even today.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Further reading

Just have a look in this pdf file to get the general ideas and the historical context of the movie "The Atomic Cafe"

What I learnt from the movie and what one have to learn from the movie?

Movie “The Atomic Café”, Produced by the Archives Project over five year period is the combination of a wide variety of vintage newsreels clips, television news footage, official government information, film footage, radio and television programs and pop music.

The film The Atomic Café focuses on the use of nuclear weapons used from Second World War from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the 1960s.

General information about the movie:
Produced and directed by Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty.
Music coordinator: Rick Eaker
Distributor: Archives Project
Release date: April 1982

Some of the fascinating scenes from the movie:

1. The pilots of the planes that dropped the first atomic bombs justify their actions. President Truman, caught "off camera," is joking and smiling before he tells the nation about his decision to drop the bombs on Japan.

2. The Bikini atoll nuclear bomb experiments are shown with U.S. military film, complete with officers telling us how the "little people of the island" were happy to cooperate in the test.

3. The film presents examples of the hysteria and paranoia that accompanied the 1949 explosion of an atomic weapon by the U.S.S.R. A long segment is devoted to the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted as U.S. atomic spies.

4. Using Cold War propaganda footage, the producers present animations of Russian planes bombing America with atomic weapons. These depictions are accompanied by ominous-voiced narrations and martial music. Perhaps the most surprising segments of the film, for the present generation of young people, are the depictions of nuclear civil defense: these and "duck and cover" exercises in schools, pompous statements by officials, appeals to build bomb shelters in back yards and basements, and priests and ministers agreeing that it might be necessary to keep weapons in the shelter to ward off neighbors who may invade.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Clear footage about the A-Bomb Dropping in Hiroshima & it s deep impact

We have watched many documentaries in class such as the begining or the end or gembaku no ko about the A bomb dropping in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and i guess it was not very clear watching in black n white footage.

You should not miss this out, if u really wanna understand the deep impact of the bombings on the two cities in Japan. This was recently made documentary and this footage reveals the massive energy that was released by A-Bomb using the latest special effects in filming and technology.