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Episode 23 – James Bridges’ The China Syndrome (1979)

Emeritus Professor Neil Sinyard, University of Hull

Joined by Cassandra Kane, this month we’ve got our hard hats ready and we’re profiling James Bridges’ 1979 thriller The China Syndrome.

This podcast is non-profit and has been broadcast for educational purposes. Excerpts from the following material has been included to enhance the listener experience:

The Towering Inferno (1974) dir. John Guillermin, USA
The China Syndrome
 (1979) dir. James Bridges, USA

“Somewhere In Between (Theme From The China Syndrome)” (1979), w & p: Stephen Bishop


This month we are joined by British author Neil Sinyard, an Emeritus Professor in Film Studies at the University of Hull who has devoted much of his career to writing about film and filmmakers. He has written an exhaustive number of books, including on Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Nicolas Roeg, Jack Clayton, Fred Zinnemann and many others. He has also written essays for releases from both the Criterion Collection and Indicator, who released The China Syndrome on Blu-ray in the UK.

You can find more from Neil at Neil Sinyard on Film, and it’s well worth the read.

Finis Dunaway’s recent book Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of American Environment Images looks in-depth at The China Syndrome – including its production and enduring legacy – from an iconographic perspective. It goes in-depth on nuclear industry and anti-nuke perceptions of the film, and the erroneous use of the cooling towers photos from Three Mile Island in future marketing campaigns.

If you want to know more about Three Mile Island, check out this comparison of the accident against Chernobyl and Fukushima.

If you want to follow us on Letterboxd, we’re always logging and rating films we’ve been watching and occasionally Luke will do some pretty in-depth reviews, too.

Luke Kane: http://www.letterboxd.com/kanemutiny/
Damien Heath: http://www.letterboxd.com/jedikaos/

You can find Celluloid Junkies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. Luke is also on Twitter, as is Damien.

Thanks again for checking out Celluloid Junkies. We’ll see you next month down in the trenches as we dissect Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 anti-war film Paths of Glory. Until then, don’t forget to check out the archives, or hit up our website.

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