Although I have done a page about my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?” and I have done many posts (linked from that page) about disaster movies analysed for that article, as well as some additional disaster movies, in which I refer to the Conventions in Disaster Movies that I developed in that article, I have not yet done a post that provides a list of these conventions. This post does that.
|A||1. Pillars of Truth|
|2. Mood of dread/threat|
|3. Primarily impacts nationality of narrative makers|
|4. Image of disaster|
|5. Dominance of male characters|
|8. Suffering Protagonists|
|9. Cross section of society represented|
|10. Savagery but optimism|
|11. Death of main character|
|12. No distancing in time (may not apply to historical narratives)|
|B||13. Conflict between characters, but unite against disaster|
|C||16. Show dead bodies|
|17. Contemporary significance|
Conventions in Group A were found in at least 60% of both English-language and Japanese-language disaster movies; those in Group B were found in at least 60% of English-language movies, but less than 60% of Japanese-language ones; those in Group C were found in less than 60% of English-language movies but at least 60% of Japanese-language ones.
For a full discussion on and explanation of these conventions, see the article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?“
The research for the article has also helped me to develop two other publications, which I will post about in due course, and an online lecture ‘Japanese Disaster Narratives: Conservatism and Revisionism‘.