Monday, September 15, 2008

They Live (the movie)

Greetings, Noble Savages.

The other day someone linked to this article on the Monkeysphere, which is funny and cute and still explains a lot about homo sapiens sapiens sapiens. The Monkeysphere happened to mention They Live, a film about learning to see the "real" reality and the subtle forces of control controlling us ignoramuses. (Ignorami?)

I had had a hectic day bucketing tropical depression water out of the sump and pouring it down the sewer drain in the basement, and then installing the new sump pump Sharqi got at the hardware store (taking a taxi there, as the buses don't run on Sundays). Then, I helped spread gravel that a friend brought over into the puddles out by the street--to make a less muddy parking/walking surface, and give our friend something to do with the gravel they didn't want. (Even better than freecycle, it's friendcycle!)

Late that afternoon, I had a couple hours to recharge, with the house to myself even! As I've been craving movies lately (I think my brain is tired), I took the opportunity to watch They Live. It was OK. Not a must-see, but still entertaining. It's too simple to be very intellectually engaging, but an interesting and fun portrayal of a Philip-K.-Dick style "learning to see the Matrix" kind of story. It owes a lot to PKD! A lot of the acting is that kind of pseudo-acting sometimes put on by soap opera actors & professional wrestlers. There was an absurdly long drawn out brutal fistfight between two of the main characters. I get the feeling the director meant it to be absurd, but a lot of troglodyte ignorami would just cheer and/or groan in sympathy as they beat the crap out of each other. All to get him to try on those sunglasses.

Wouldn't it be nice if it were so easy to "wake up" that we could just put on special sunglasses, and see that all the signs and ads everywhere really say things like "OBEY" or "NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT" or "CONSUME", or one of my favorites, "MARRY AND REPRODUCE"?

The movie does have some subversive content; pirate broadcasters who've learned to "see" hack the TV signals and try to spread the word about how there's no middle class any more, and we're all under the control of the secret power elites. In the 20 years since They Live came out, though, I see that not much has really changed in society. Except, the 80s are back in fashion.

The most fun stuff was seeing the difference between "normal" reality and the real reality, where the ads and products are all full of mind control messages, and the uptight rich people turn out to be ugly aliens. The second most fun stuff was the glorious, totally naive/not ironic, 80s-ness of all the fashion. Whew! Those were the days.

2 comments:

vivir vino veritas said...

i've seen that one! did you know, that fight scene was unscripted? director just said "beat on each other until we tell you to stop".

i was in the woods for that windstorm. almost got beamed by a hickory nut. i didn't know hurricane weather could hit us in the heartland. hmm.

sharqi said...

This was such a great movie & I don't normally like bad movies. But so grand. Rowdy Roddy Piper's mullet really hit me in a soft spot in my heart, that and the big hairsprayed hair. I think I saw reality through my mother's lenses with what is Cool. Or not!

The wind, the rain. Weather all the time! Today was warm and sunny, finally good clothes drying weather. It's been a while.