Wednesday, October 7, 2009

26 days of nite - THEY LIVE (Carpenter, 1988)

This was great. Why did I wait 26 years to see this? My favorite scene is the extended fight sequence between Piper and Keith David, where Piper's trying to get him to put on the glasses and he refuses, violently. This push-pull situation, where the answer is so simple (put on the frames!) seems to refer to man's insistence on illusion over truth. We avoid the simple facts of reality, preferring to clothe ourselves with religion and govt., god and country, divisions which divert our attention from what is really going on. And what's really going on is, we're killing each other. We're not helping each other, we're hurting each other, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The solution is acceptance of reality as it truly is, but we don't want that. Humanity isn't ready for enlightenment; not yet, anyway, and so we keep killing each other. My major problem with the film is the idea that man's inhumanity to man is caused by an outside source; that, at a basic level, humans do want connection and love, and there's just an external factor which keeps us divided. I think that the truth of humanity (namely, that we create these divisions ourselves, and, at a certain point, we enjoy them) is much bleaker. Man's problem is man, not aliens, and this is the scariest aspect of humanity itself.

1 comment:

J.T. said...

I personally think that John Carpenter should've sued the hell out of the Warchoski's because just about every philosophical element covered in the first Matrix movie is covered in They Live.

You have humans that think they are kings when they are actually cattle, you have the concept of waking life as an invisible prison, and you even have the dilemma of what your responsibilities as a human being are once you are made aware of the conspiracy.

Do you fight against the odds, or do you sell out and become a co-conspirator?

An insightful film made even more entertaining by having the greatest fist fight in movie history in it.