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Roland Emmerich

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Roland Emmerich is a German writer, director, and film producer, known for making popular, big-budget movies, especially a few that could be best described as "disaster porn."[1] Like many other Hollywood products, they exhibit cheerful disregard for scientific and historical accuracy, which wouldn't be much of a problem if a few of them didn't influence popular perceptions with blatant bullshit.[2]

Stargate (1994)[edit]

Director, co-writer (with Dean Devlin)

The sci-fi action movie that established the franchise. As you probably already know, Stargate used the idea of paleocontact and Ancient Egyptian exoticism as a background. Unlike a certain TV series though, it never pretended to be more than fiction, and didn't choose to linger on AA lore, focusing instead on shoot-outs with aliens masquerading as Egyptian deities, mind controlling parasites, a cute female "romantic interest," heroic sacrifice and, of course, the requisite Victory for the Earthlings.

Independence Day (1996)[edit]

Director, writer (with Dean Devlin)

Alien invasion action/disaster movie with the requisite spectacular destruction of landmarks, including the White House. Uses Area 51 and a government recovery/cover-up of an alien crash at Roswell as parts of the setting.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: The Day After Tomorrow
Producer, director, story writer, screenplay writer (with Jeffrey Nachmanoff)

A disaster movie that committed gross crimes against physics, climatology and meteorology, misleading some people about the effects of global warming. In the movie, it somehow resulted in the almost-instantaneous glaciation of the United States.

10,000 B.C. (2008)[edit]

Producer, director, writer (with Harald Kloser)

An epic adventure movie that played fast and loose with "prehistoric" tropes (read: about as accurate a portrayal of the time period in the title as The Flintstones was). Notable for having the Giza pyramids (or some other pyramids) built with woolly mammoths, apparently some 7500 years early.

2012 (2009)[edit]

Director, executive producer, writer (with Harald Kloser)

Based on the 2012 apocalypse claims, but invented its own fictional disaster mechanism (neutrinos don't work that way[3]). Among other things, it featured a tsunami that reached higher than the peaks of the Himalayas. It would be just another science-challenged Hollywood disaster flick, if the promotional campaign for the movie didn't have the bright idea to capitalize on the existing 2012 craze, urging people to "Google 2012" (a bad idea, as a search returned mostly fringe sites) and creating a website for the fictional "Institute for Human Continuity" that achieved viral status and repeated Planet X and crustal displacement claims.

Anonymous (2011)[edit]

Producer, director (written by John Orloff)

Roland Emmerich is a Shakespeare truther. He also apparently believes that Tudor Rose was a real flower; that special effects were omnipresent in Shakespearean plays; and that no other playwright knew how to write entirely in iambic pentameter despite the form existing for centuries by the Elizabethan era.

Emmerich can cite his right to meddle with history as much as he wants.[4] But when the fundamental premise of your film is a fringe conspiracy theory you admit you actually support, further admittance to making shit up just demonstrates how stupid your premise is to begin with.

To anyone who gives credence to anti-Stratfordianism, just know there's significantly more evidence Roland Emmerich's a hologram created by Michael Bay than of Edward de Vere being the true author of Shakespeare.

Aside from cinema[edit]

In stopped clock mode, Emmerich is a strong supporter of LGBT rights (he's gay himself), and went to bat casting Will Smith in the lead for Independence Day when the other producers didn't want a black main character.[5]

He's far from a studio shill, and it really seems he does what he does out of a love for filmmaking.[6] But does that absolve him of his sensationalistic crap? Fuck no.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Seriously, his IMDB page lists four movies under "known for": Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Guess what's the common theme...
  2. Shakespeare – a fraud? Anonymous is ridiculous, The Guardian
  3. NASA's silly sci-fi film list -- 2012 the most flawed, Phys.org
  4. Roland Emmerich: Appetite for deconstruction, The Guardian
  5. Personal life and advocacyWikipedia's W.svg on Wikipedia
  6. Roland Emmerich, the accidental director, CNN