Journal Article

‘I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE, BROTHER: IT IS MURDER’: APOCALYPSE <i>NOIR</i> IN <i>NATURAL BORN KILLERS</i> AND LEONARD COHEN'S ‘THE FUTURE’

Daniel C. Noel

in Literature and Theology

Volume 12, issue 1, pages 39-49
Published in print March 1998 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 1998 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/12.1.39
‘I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE, BROTHER: IT IS MURDER’: APOCALYPSE NOIR IN NATURAL BORN KILLERS AND LEONARD COHEN'S ‘THE FUTURE’

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This article interrogates issues of violence and apocalypse in the 1994 film Natural Born Killers by Oliver Stone and in accompanying songs by composer-singer Leonard Cohen from his 1992 album ‘The Future’. This conjunction of cinematic and musical texts prompts an intertextual investigation, with a scene of a Navajo elder's murder by one of the film's protagonists serving as a major site for critical assessment and conjecture. Another such site is the lyrics of Cohen's songs played over the film's opening scenes and closing credits. These Juxtapositions are shown to raise questions about the role of the contemporary mass media in fomenting violence that has biblicalapocalyptic reverberations as well as provoking concern over whether the biblical medium itself can yet be a positive moral resource for our millennially-maddened culture.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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