The following is a rewrite of two 1995 films I discussed in the middle of March 2020 as my hometown was one of the first areas in the country to get hit with Covid-19. Both reviews were brief as I was fatigued by the necessary amount of time required to stay up on the virus. After hours of listening to podcasts on the subject I had little desire to think about it even more. Now that the dust has settled it puts me in a better frame of mind to revisit these stories. When it comes to movies about living in a pandemic there are ones that focus on how the condition affects a small group of people and some others about the widespread toll it takes on the masses. “Outbreak” is one of the later examples which had been a part of my science class. My high school teacher informed us that the film was fictional but the science was legit. I would be intrigued to hear a modern breakdown of the movie from scientists in the way Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the scientific validity of fictional movies on Twitter. He has expressed that movies can be entertaining and contain legitimate science at the same time so why not make them that way?
While I think “The Cure” is decent film I don’t feel it is as closely related to 2020 to the degree that an older movie like “Death in Venice” are. The way that film dealt with the population denying that a pandemic is happening at all recall what was going on this year. I suppose the fact that I watched The Cure around the same time as I watched Outbreak those two films are more tightly connected as coming of age films. I would bet the popularity of movies like "Philadelphia", which did a good job of capturing societies' attitudes and confusion about AIDS at the time, opened the doors for a smaller film like "The Cure" to get the green light to go into production.
Philadelphia is about a lawyer who got fired over concealing his infection. To me the movie culminates when the lead character and his lawyer are in his apartment and his favorite opera comes on over the speaker system. The dramatic lighting of the scene coupled with the opera protagonist's story show the parallel lines between Andy Beckett making sense of his life situation through art.
The Cure also got a major visual update in 2022 with a Blu-ray release from Mill Creek Entertainment. This version is significant for two reasons; it is in high definition and this is the first home-video edition when you can view it in widescreen. The fact that it came out at the very end of the VHS era and wasn’t a major hit meant that no one bothered making the investment to let the aspect ratio match the different sizes of screens that we would see in the 2000s. It was probably only reviews like this one, written in 2020, constantly talking about it that got it pushed into a proper release.
So many people have talked about the devastation 2020 has caused. I think opening up people’s schedules allows for a great use of time though. Of course there are financial hardships that impact certain industries, some being harder hit than others, but that is a political problem not a failing of having more time. One could even argue that the amount of work one spends doing a lesser pursuit is an even bigger tragedy. Money doesn’t always align with what is of highest importance of course.