This is a pre-archive page for the future event  – The Bioskop Presents… What’s So Great About Apocalypse?

Its where we post research, materials and ideas that will go into shaping the night.  If you have any ideas you want to share on the topic please put them in the comments, or you can write your own post if you send it to us at bioskop@cubecinema.com.

blow debris

Last modified on 2012-11-28 19:42:48 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

doug atkien, 2000

slow motion blackbird

Last modified on 2012-09-17 21:27:16 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

slowing down to the end of the world.
chris hughes after steve reich, 2010.

skeeter davis’s the end of the world, askew

Last modified on 2011-11-29 15:00:51 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

hollow men

Last modified on 2011-11-02 17:55:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

TS Eliot saw it all in 1925, when he wrote ‘The Hollow Men’. George Romero must have been reading this.

The Hollow Men

A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us – if at all – not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer -
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom.


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Everything Crash

Last modified on 2011-10-04 11:10:22 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

by The Ethiopians, 1968.

Corporate Cannibal

Last modified on 2011-07-21 13:27:32 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Four Horsemen

Last modified on 2011-02-07 12:38:03 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Here they come the dreaded riders who called the apocalypse, within their mercy is the fate of all human race. But wait! That’s what the ancient times say. The famous toy company who gave birth to constructive and analytical but enjoying childhood moments has again widened its range, this time going biblical with their rendition of the four horsemen.

The four LEGO® horsemen are creatively patterned with images depicted by the revelations. Based on the bible the four LEGO® horsemen come in four figures—-war, famine, pestilence and death. According to the revelations, the four horsemen are the ones that came out of four seals during a period when God would put an end to the world. LEGO® presents these characters in a lighter mood with the four LEGO® horsemen. Each LEGO® horseman brought with them a specific disaster that man has to contend with  -  Pestilence, War, Famine and Death.

LEGO®‘s equation in making toys is composed of two things: education and enjoyment. The four horsemen may represent a dark chapter of our holy book but with the use of an open and critical mind, not to mention a good guiding explanation for younger minds, these LEGO® horsemen figures can serve as a good foundation for the creative and diverse thinking of the new generation. There are those who are looking for a unique inspiration when playing and building their collections and works of art.

The End (Christopher Maclaine, 1953)

Last modified on 2011-05-26 14:50:22 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Christopher Maclaine, a beat poet of the 1940s and ’50s living in San Francisco, made only four films in his lifetime – The End (1953, 35 min.), The Man Who Invented Gold (1957, 14 min.), Beat (1958, 6 min.), Scotch Hop (1959, 5 min.)

The End (1953), is composed of six stories of people on the last day of their lives. The  fragmented narrative, weary voiceover and jilty editing are framed by an image of a nuclear mushroom cloud – “his conceit is that his characters have reached the end of their personal ropes the day before a nuclear holocaust” (Fred Camper).

First shown in San Francisco in 1953 the film was initially met with derision by the audience. Stan Brakhage notes:
“[The] audience was about as restless, and occasionally hysterical with laughter, as I’ve ever seen as American audience get; but I knew even then that what touched-off the audience was the absolute uniqueness of the film and that it laughed just to the extent that the film extends an almost unbearable love to the eyes AND ears of the viewing world…I marveled that Christopher Maclaine had made such a gesture without once, visually or audioly [sic], covering himself in shields of intellectual protect-and-pretensions, that he had been willing and able EVEN THEN to gesture in a way he must have known would be open to the worst, most painful, laughter if even 2 dozen members of the audience chose to vent their embarrassment by making the gesture seem foolish.”

Full film can be accessed here: http://www.ubu.com/film/maclaine_end.html

More notes from Brakhage on Maclaine can be found here: http://blog.sfmoma.org/2010/11/in-search-of-christopher-maclaine-10-stan-brakhage-interviewed-1986/

living at the end of history – capitalist realism

Last modified on 2011-03-31 13:31:49 GMT. 0 comments. Top.


The idea of the end of History derives from Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man. Essentially Fukuyama posits the global dominance of liberal democracy as the terminus of historical development.  With the collapse of the USSR, it appeared that capitalism had won the ideological battle as the best provider of “equal recognition under the law”. At the End of History, there may still be inequalities in wealth and opportunity, but in principle everyone has equal status in the eyes of the law.  There is no serious progressive challenger to liberal democracy; individual status needs are to be managed by consumerism.  This idea gained common currency throughout the nineties and was tirelessly repeated: capitalism isn’t perfect but it’s the best system we have, or can have.

Carl Neville – Classless, Recent Essays on British Film

image : QVC

We live in a world in which we have been told, again and again, that There Is No Alternative.  Living in an endless Eternal Now, we no longer seem able to imagine a future that might be different from the present. Steven Shaviro

Following the biggest financial collapse since the 1930s, the apparent relief that astronomical government bailouts have returned us to ‘business as usual’ is surely proof that the expression ‘there is no alternative’ – once an extremist ideological battle cry – is now an accepted mainstream orthodoxy. This is a paradox…  on the one hand, the neoliberal faith in markets has been spectacularly discredited before the eyes of the world, together with the notion that obscene personal wealth – exemplified by banker’s bonuses – is a sign of general economic health; on the other hand, the only available response to such a monumental failure appears to be the most cautious, ameliorative regulation to get the old system up and running again. Dean Kenning

[This is] a subject that has frustrated and haunted me all my adult life-the seeming social, economic and cultural totality of late capitalism and the corresponding impossibility of offering any alternative to the system without hitting a brick wall of ‘being practical’ or ‘realistic,’ translated as ‘there is no alternative to the market.’ Underground Man blog

The last quotes – from Steven Shaviro, Dean Kenning and Underground Man – all come from reviews of Mark Fisher’s (author of the k-punk blog) book Capitalist Realism.

The call center experience distils the political phenomenology of late capitalism: the boredom and frustration punctuated by cheerily piped PR, the repeating of the same dreary details many times to different poorly trained and badly informed operatives, the building rage that must remain impotent because it can have no legitimate object, since-as is very quickly clear to the caller-there is no-one who knows, and no-one who could do anything even if they could. Anger can only be a matter of venting; it is aggression in a vacuum, directed at someone who is a fellow victim of the system but with whom there is no possibility of communality. Just as the anger has no proper object, it will have no effect. In this experience of a system that is unresponsive, impersonal, centerless, abstract and fragmentary, you are as close as you can be to confronting the artificial stupidity of Capital in itself. Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

Neoliberal apologists can hardly claim that free market capitalism promotes equality; but our consumerist economy does promise pleasure and happiness, above all else. Why, then, are we in the UK suffering from epidemic levels of depression? Dean Kenning

end of history boys

A Guide to Armageddon

Last modified on 2010-11-10 20:35:22 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

world war three/don’t blame me/you will have no electricity

Last modified on 2010-11-03 11:09:58 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

it’s all doom and gloom.

with thanks to david hopkinson x

gee vaucher of crass

Last modified on 2011-08-20 12:53:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Gee Vaucher was the visual artist for the anarcho-pacifist punk band Crass.  Her super-realist collage paintings which featured on the band’s record covers and liner notes communicate an almost hysteria-provoking aura of dread.  Imagery from the Nazi holocaust, victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Vietnam war attrocities appear in  apocalyptic urban landscapes populated by grinning Thatchers, Reagans, Brezhnevs, oil sheiks, the British Royal Family and mushroom clouds.

In the early 1980s Crass albums were regularly selling 100,000 and the collective was  as much a counter culture (pre-internet)  information machine as a “rock”  band.  Liner notes and pamphlets available at gigs were about pacifism, feminism, nuclear disarmament, the war in Northern Ireland, US involvement in Nicaragua, The Falklands war, globalism (then known as Late Capitalism), animal rights, anti-consumerism, and growing your own vegetables and allotmenting.

As a schoolboy coming into contact with the extremity of Gee’s imagery and Crass’s music, and trying to understand what these people were talking about was both scary and transformative.

Vaucher was also responsible for creating and projecting many of the background films that played at Crass concerts which were often collaged from material that had been filmed directly from a tv screen…

The Ossuary

Last modified on 2010-10-15 21:14:45 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The bones in the Sedlec Ossuary come from mass graves of up to 70,000 corpses from the C14th Black Death and the C15th Hussite Wars …

In 1870 the aristocratic family who owned the chapel employed a woodcarver, František Rint who created the arrangements seen in the Chapel. A hundred years later in 1970 surrealist animator Jan Svankmajer was commissioned by the Czech government to make a film about the ossuary to mark the centenary of Rint’s creations.

The amazing soundtrack was composed by Zdeněk Liška, based on a surrealist poem by Jaques Prevert How to draw a portrait of a bird.  Svankmajer’s original soundtrack – a field recording of a bossy and officious guide herding a bunch of anarchic and disobedient school children around the ossuary – was banned by the Czech authorities as subversive.

apocalypse as mental breakdown : alan moore

Last modified on 2015-12-02 16:49:04 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

interview with Alan Moore by bioskopians, in the cellar of Northampton shoe museum, 2008.


Last modified on 2010-10-11 11:06:03 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Whoops Apocalypse! was a satirical comedy made during the late cold war of the early eighties. The plots of both the tv series (1982)  and the film (1986) involve political events in the uk triggering a nuclear war in the middle east.
Watching it now you’re struck that however grotesque the writers made their characters they don’t compare to the real players of the time – Reagan, Thatcher, Brezhnev, the Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini etc. (although Peter Cook does a good job in the clip below)

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