37. The China Syndrome
My parents have The China Syndrome on VHS and I’ve always wanted to watch it, but never have. It finally went on Instant on Netflix so I got a chance to see it. It’s great.
To start with the premise of a nuclear power plant having issues is a good enough plot, especially for back in ’79. Now these plants are more widespread and with the events in Japan this film has actually been referenced a few times. Anyways the story is really good, although the idea of the business men being greedy bastards isn’t new. Defiantly something that fit the era.
One thing I liked about this film, which I didn’t notice right away, is the lack of a score. There’s music, but it takes place within the film, ie: diegetic sound. The only exception is the opening. Even the credits are silent. When they are in the plant it really works because you get to here the plant. You hear all of those lovely mechanical whirrs and groans and it works. It’s also a testament to how good the film is. You don’t need the score to help influence your emotions as is usually the case. Most people tend not to really actively think about the score, but if you remove it you notice. This film is able to succeed without that subtle push.
Obviously I advise watching it.