Saturday, September 6, 2014

They Live

I had heard about They Live years ago then forgot about it, and rarely heard it mentioned, until I recently watched Slavoj Žižek's Perverts Guide to Ideology. They Live is described is described by Slavoj as: "one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left. ... The sunglasses function like a critique of ideology. They allow you to see the real message beneath all the propaganda, glitz, posters and so on. ... When you put the sunglasses on you see the dictatorship in democracy, the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom." 
  Just your everyday police brutality.
  They Live's visual style of it's propaganda, echos Barbara Kruger—and inspired a younger Shepard Fairey to use "OBEY". The aliens were deliberately made to look like ghouls according to Carpenter, who said: "The creatures are corrupting us, so they, themselves, are corruptions of human beings." [Wikipedia]
  Police mainly function as a controlling force for the aliens.
  The country's elite are either enriching themselves by co-operating with the aliens (selling out) or are actually aliens themselves. Also, I love when you hear a sample you've heard a hundred times, unexpectedly from the source, as I did with the opening of Binary Star's "Indy 500". The sample feature's a bit of They Live dialogue with a character saying at one point "what's the threat? We all sell out every day, mine as well be on the winning team" According to the director John Carpenter, when pitching the film and explaining "They want to own all our businesses" A Universal executive asked him "Where's the threat in that? We all sell out every day."—"I ended up using that line in the film." said Carpenter [Wikipedia] 
    In the end, the jig is up.

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