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The Day After Tomorrow in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Day After Tomorrow

Dennis Quaid • Jake Gyllenhaal • Emmy Rossum
DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich

Disaster looms THE CONCEPT:
Climatologist Jack Hall warns the White House that global warming is about to trigger the beginning of a new Ice Age, with abrupt and catastrophic shifts in the planet’s climate. Hall’s son, Sam finds himself trapped in New York City, facing severe flooding, and with his friends takes refuge inside the Manhattan Public Library, waiting for his father to come and save them.

U.S. RELEASE: May 28 2004, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“I am a fan of disaster movies. I’m a fan of all movies, but disaster movies in particular. When I was doing Independence Day I re-watched all the disaster movies and realized how relevant they are, because in disaster movies there’s always a common noble person who has to face a totally extreme overwhelming enemy and has to make decisions in this life.”

“The most challenging thing for me in the movie was making the scenes that I think have very little sub-text have some reality to them. You have to get so much information in, in such a short period of time, that making something feel like you’re actually saying it and it’s not some plot device was really hard for me. Sitting in a tank with 700 extras going to the bathroom in it, and then reusing that water to shoot another scene where you’re drowning in water, is disgusting, and it’s hard, but it’s not as hard as making, “He will come,’ work. That’s really hard.”

“This was definitely different than anything I had done before. Roland had built four blocks of New York City in a tank in a Montreal warehouse, with taxis and buses and it’s flooded. There’s a pounding rain coming from the ceiling and Roland was directing us over a microphone, his voice was coming out of speakers like God. It was the most bizarre experience I’d ever had. It was fantastic. But it was important for me, coming out of that small film tradition, to see if I could bring that commitment to honesty and intimacy within this love story with Jake’s character to this bigger film.”

GYLLENHAAL on how he viewed this movie as another independent film when he began shooting:
“You should have seen me. I was not hitting my mark and being ‘in the moment,’ and doing whatever I needed to do. They’re like, ‘There are 800 extras behind you, dude. You’ve got to hit your mark.’ And Roland is like, ‘There’s an enormous wave that I’m figuring out, so you need to be in the blue screen.’ But I think the spirit needs to be in these movie, because if it’s not, they suck. I want people to walk out of the movie going, ‘Oh, that wasn’t stupid, that was actually scary and fun.’”

EMMERICH on the problem of destroying New York after 9/11:
“We were very sensitive; if that much water would hit the Statue of Liberty it would crumble, but in our movie it still stands. For me it’s a symbol that a lot has changed. There’s not really much destruction in New York besides the weather, and it’s a natural force.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Day After Tomorrow site
Images above © 20th Century Fox
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #644, June 2004 cover

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