Directed and written by Steve De Jarnatt, Miracle Mile is a disaster film like none other. Filmed on 35mm film and set in the late 80's Los Angeles, it holds a gritty aesthetic with most of its narrative unfolding in the night and early morning. The atmospheric tones make this film beautiful, the neon found in the glowing lights of the diner, the streets covered in green from the lights that sit overhead.
As is the case with disaster films, our protagonist is introduced in a day of peace. Arranging a date with a women that works in the diner on the Mircale Mile street. Missing their arranged date, he zooms over to the diner in hope that she's still waiting for him. She isn't. Instead, he converses with the strange inhabitants of the diner and its workers, of which are there at 4 in the morning.
He decides to attempt to contact her with the payphone next to the diner but fails. The phone then begins to ring, and he answers. He's greeted with a frantic voice claiming to be in the military and that nuclear war is breaking out; they have 50 minutes until they fire.
What ensues is a marvellous piece of storytelling in which we see how one man, with no evidence, causes utter chaos that only worsens as time passes and word of it spreads. Our protagonist, however, is fixated on finding his love before evacuating himself. The majority of the film takes place on this one street.Watching as chaos begins to unfold, we see the protagonist taking drastic measures, and the empty streets alongside constant ambience contributes in giving off a comfortable, content feeling, but also a feeling that something really isn't right.
This film really flourishes with its use of colour. Its art direction combined with the beauty of 35mm film, which shows Los Angeles at night as some hellish wasteland, this is only amplified when the chaos really does begin to ensue, and the colours begin to shift alongside the rising of the sun. The darkness disappears and the street becomes filled with orange, the tensions are raised as the flames and explosions from cars and buildings begin. The reality sets in, and panic takes reign.
The film takes into consideration the constant fear of modern life alongside the growing tensions of nations with large nuclear arsenals. The very real threat that nuclear war could occur at any moment and threaten to wipe out millions with such little time to prepare and escape from its blast. Miracle Mile takes this and shows the fragility of such news of an event in such a peaceful, lonesome location. For our protagonist, it shows how we overlook the simple parts of our lives, only to realise what's most important when it might just be too late. How utterly destructive such weapons are and how they cut short the lives of so many innocents.