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Trailer Watch: Michael Tolkin's The Rapture Posits the End of the World

by Anne Thompson
May 21, 2011 11:58 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Anyone who was raised as a Christian knows that deep in your consciousness are buried irrational childhood ideas, beliefs, and hopes. Your rational adult self may revise your views of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spigot (as Rowan Atkinson would say), but you never get rid of all that embedded Stuff.

The Player author Michael Tolkin wrote and directed the underappreciated The Rapture, starring Mimi Rogers and David Duchovny, which Fine Line Features released without much fanfare in 1991. The film clearly tapped into my parental separation issues, but it was more than that. No other screening has ever left me sobbing in the car afterwards, unable to drive. The movie posits that the end of the world, The Rapture, when earth and heaven finally come together, actually takes place. It taps into hopes that maybe there really is heaven and redemption, and that parents and children separated by death can be reunited in heaven. It's heady stuff.

The trailer is below.

Here's a Paste review.

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More: Genres, Video, Classics


  • Justin Seiver | November 27, 2011 5:22 PMReply

    Michael Tolkin is spelt Tolkin dumbass!

  • Christopher Carrie | July 30, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    When you have done that visit my website to learn more

  • Chistopher Carrie | July 30, 2011 3:51 AMReply

    Would you ever learn to spell TOLKIEN

  • Daniel R Colgan | May 22, 2011 10:06 AMReply

    The Rapture

    Just saw the news clip about the movie "The Rapture" which has nothing to do with what the rapture will actually be, no disappearing people!

    The Rapture will be where people have evolved to a point that all mental barriers fall away for all humanity at the same time, which is every thought, every desire, every memory and secret that you have or will have broadcast to every other person and they to you!
    This has already been happening in the world right back to the begining in random cases where people hear voices in their heads, or feel strong compulsions!
    Everyone in the world will think they or the world has gone mad, like a twightlight zone on steroids, when the actual fact will be that it is a natural evolutionary change of many consiousnesses in constant contact with each other, just like the cells in your body were in the begining of life, each as individual cells that came together for warmth, food, and through touch, each had the most primitive of awarenesses yet they evolved into the individual cells you now have in you body, a symbyotic relationship that creates the"individual" called you!
    In the same way will we start to communicate enmas via a telepathy, all those billions of consiousnesses touching each others mind, have ever felt like someone was looking at you an then you looked straight back at them, how did you know? it is this state magnified to the millionth degree I am talking about, it will actually be extreemly violating as you will be wide open mentally to others and others to you!

    Very few will know how to control it, It will drastically divide society those who wish to remain individualised and those who will be the "Collective!" (The God Mind)
    People deemed unworthy will be cast out and "Individuality" seen as the enemy!
    "Individuality" will be seen by the collective as the "Beast" and the jamming chip placed or worn is what we know in the Bible as "The Mark Of The Beast"

    That is what "The Rapture" is and the outcome!

    I Know Because I Experienced It Three Years Ago, Whats Left Of Me Is What Survived! That And Everthing Else That Was Happening!

  • Gossip | May 22, 2011 2:25 AMReply

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  • willie | May 21, 2011 12:41 PMReply

    I'd forgotten about this film, which I saw upon it's first release. A good, intriguing movie.

  • Doug Thompson | May 21, 2011 6:23 AMReply

    It’s sad that this astonishing movie is not more widely known. I think it’s one of the great writing/directing/acting achievements of the 20th century. Emotionally, it whipped me around like a rag doll, and left me in a puddle of tears. This is one of those near-perfect films that I can’t categorize because I’d have to invent a new category. I don’t make top-10 type lists, but I would probably put it in the 20 to 30 range. For what it’s worth, I’m a life-long atheist.

  • Les Nordman | May 21, 2011 6:19 AMReply

    Thank you, thank you for mentioning Mr. Tolkin's "The Rapture"! I, too, was deeply deeply affected by the film. I rememeber, for a day and a night, being unable to even think about much else besides the film. At the film's end when darkness slants across Mimi Rogers' face, it was unforgettable.

    In 1991, Mr. Tolkin was unacquainted with conservative Protestants ("Christians" as he called them). He made the film to initiate a dialogue with them. Do you know if any of them answered him? Was there a dialogue? Today, in 2011, there are plenty of Christians who could easily talk to Mr. Tolkin: Bill Motz, Jeffrey Overstreet, Mark Moring, and Pete Docter to name a few. But what about back in 1991? The only one I know of would have been Coleman Luck. Mr. Luck is still alive today, retired in California with his wife of many years, and, I think, would still love to talk to Mr. Tolkin.

    Thanks so much again,

    Les Nordman

  • Michael Dempsey | May 21, 2011 3:37 AMReply

    Among its other virtues, "The Rapture" has what is very likely the most devastatingly unusual ending in the history of film.

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