Continuing with this week's "Knowing Me, Knowing You" theme (A-ha!), here is the Twilight Zone episode "The Midnight Sun," which nicely captures the same "sun incinerates the planet" dynamic we saw in the craptacular-Cage movie. The episode features two women slowly being roasted in an AC-less apartment--a horror I can relate to--as the planet, sprung from it's orbit, drifts closer and closer to the sun and civilization bakes, chokes and struggles to squeeze out its last gasps. I think it's a great episode, which in classic Zone tradition, does a lot with a little, and is quite effective at conveying a sense of both impending doom and stifling heat. Though subtle, the intonations of rape inherent in the scene with the male intruder is quite disturbing. Like so many other Zone episodes, it portrays giant "macro" ideas and themes--nuclear war, race, totalitarianism--from an tiny, individualized perspective. I especially like the moment towards the end, when the older lady bugs out, and the paint on the canvas starts melting.
From the wikipedia entry, J. Hoberman writes,
Whether explicitly nuclear or otherwise, the apocalypse was never far away [in the Twilight Zone]. "The Midnight Sun" was telecast on the day the U.S. consolidated its drive for "push-button warfare" with the first successful launching of a Minuteman missile from an underground silo. The episode substitutes a kink in the Earth's orbit—an analogue to what we currently call "the greenhouse effect"—for an atomic holocaust. Instead of blowing up, the planet is falling into the sun. Rape and pillage seem imminent, and even the pigment is boiling on the heroine-artist's canvases as the radio weatherman goes nuts on the air.
Also, I want to second the crew at Agitprop's tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing...
"Don't mess with God's America..."