Friday, 23 August 2013

Film School Friday Lesson #1 - How To Survive An Atomic Blast

Stories prepare us for life. From a very young age, children are inundated with nursery rhymes and fairy tales that teach them the basic values necessary for navigating their daily lives. 
But it doesn't stop there. 

Even as adults, we're still learning every day and a big part of this is down to cinema. Some of the lessons are obvious; Robots will turn against humanity, kissing is sexier in the rain and Tim Burton should stop making films with Johnny Depp, but some are more subtle than that...and that's what Film School Fridays are all about.

Once a week, Film School Friday will guide you through some of the more ingenious messages provided by your local multiplex/DVD store/illegal download site. Upcoming lessons will teach you how to become a successful super villain and what you need to do to get by in a dystopian future but today, I wanted to give you some practical advice that can and will save your life one day. So sit up straight and take notes goddammit!
Lesson #1 - How To Survive An Atomic Blast

No one wants their skull to be crushed by the Terminators of the future but if you take James Cameron's word for it, we have less than sixteen years to go before nuclear holocaust consumes the earth. War Games taught me that there's only so many times a young Matthew Broderick can convince a launch computer to play tic tac toe against itself, so it's time to prepare ourselves.

Rather than listen to advice from actual experts, I decided that the best course of action would be to see how fictional characters survive an atomic blast and go from there. 

Find The Nearest Fridge

Personally, my first port of call would be to freak the hell out until my face melts off but apparently my friends, that's not how Indiana Jones does things. No, according to our good friend Indy, the only thing one can do in a nuclear crisis is hide inside a fridge and ride the shock waves out to safety. Don't believe me? He's a doctor. Remember to make sure the fridge is lined with lead though or you may find your face fused to last nights leftovers. 

Go Jump In A Hole

But what if there's no fridge to hand? For those of you who haven't had the foresight to keep a fridge close by in the event of a nuclear holocaust, a hole in the ground might be your only option. Just ask Japanese officer Yashida, who Wolverine saves from an atomic blast at the start of his latest solo outing. While everyone else gave up and started disemboweling themselves, Yashida hid with Logan at the bottom of a giant hole and he turned out just fine, aside for a few minor burns. Sure it helps if you're shielded by a hairy mutant with exceptional healing powers but we can't all afford that luxury. 

Duck and Cover!

Now I know what you're thinking... this all sounds like a lot of preparation for something that is likely to never happen. If you're as lazy as I am, then jumping in fridges and holes all sounds like far too much effort. 

Thank goodness then for Bert the turtle. As the star of civil defense film Duck and Cover, Bert advises that when all else fails, you just duck and cover. Simple as that. It worked for everyone back in 1951 and they turned out all right. It's the lazy mans perfect defense against nuclear attack and if there isn't a table or turtle shell nearby, then all you need to do is duck and cover against a wall. Even hiding under a picnic blanket or newspaper will do the trick!

As you can see then friends, surviving an atomic blast is easy when you know how. I hope you've all been taking notes because this information will definitely save your life one day. Failing that though, you could just do a Strangelove and learn to love the bomb... 

But what do you do when you've survived I hear you ask? No one wants to get eaten by the cannibals from The Road. Fact. And joining the human resistance seems like it could be more trouble than it's worth... Hmmm that's a lesson for another day methinks. 

Thanks for reading and come back next week for another Film School Friday, where we'll be learning how to avoid the pitfalls that let most super villains down in their quest for world domination. 

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