From Stained Glass Windows to Celluloid:
The Image of the Child in "Atomic Bomb Cinema"
Jerome F. Shapiro, Ph.D.
Friday, April 4th, 2003
What do stained glass windows and cinema have in common? And, why are the Japanese unperturbed by Hollywood's influence, while so many Americans hold it responsible for every conceivable problem, including pandemic "psychic numbing"? This presentation will explore a Jungian approach to understanding the bomb, cinema, culture, and imagery. Primarily we will focus on the image of the child as a harbinger of potential change, and the presence of that image in films about the atomic bomb. Additionally, we will consider the Jewish apocalyptic narrative tradition and Japan's vision of the restoration of balance and harmony through playfulness. Though the bomb is a frightening and complex problem, with no simple answer on the horizon, it is hoped that participants will leave refreshed with a sense of hope and commitment to the task of restoring the fractured psyche that is expressed in "Atomic Bomb Cinema".
Jerome F. Shapiro, Ph.D., earned a BA in Philosophy and Comparative Literature and a doctorate in Comparative Culture. He was a Foreign Visiting Lecturer at Kyoto University and a tenured associate professor of Film and Comparative Culture at Hiroshima University. His book, Atomic Bomb Cinema: The Apocalyptic Imagination on Film was published this year. He lives in rural Ohio.