Harold Camping, who earlier this year put up those billboards declaring the Rapture would come on Saturday, May 21, has just announced that in fact, no, the world will end this very weekend, on Friday, October 21.
And he’s right! For you see, October 21 is the opening night of the third annual Doomsday Film Festival and Symposium. The Doomsday Fest, “Exploring our collective fascination with the Apocalypse in film, art and culture” since 2009, will be held this weekend at 92YTribeca.
Last year, when we interviewed festival director Andrew Miller, he mused, “As long as humanity endures, it seems we will be imagining the way in which it will end. Which is good… I guess, since it makes for an ever expanding library of films for us to cull from.” (In future years—assuming we’re still around—you can also look for a handful of titles from this year’s New York Film Festival.)
And indeed, this year’s festival features a well-curated selection of cult items and rarities, whose frequently bargain-bin paranoia is set off by Y2K, sentient computers, rapture-ready zealots, and vampires, among other things.
There’s also at least one received classic: Dr. Strangelove, everybody’s favorite nuclear-holocaust comedy, plays on Sunday, to be followed by a panel.
The panel, moderate by BOMB‘s Paul W. Morris, features neuroscientist Joseph Le Doux; Dr. Mark Siegel, author of False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear; academic Lee Quinby, author of Millenial Seduction: A Skeptic Confronts Apocalyptic Culture; and, for some reason, a couple of film critics: the lovely Keith Uhlich, of Time Out NY, and Mark Asch, film editor of The L Magazine and author of this very blog post.