kortina.nyc / oakland-film-club
23 Jun 2020 | by kortina

#036 // They Live

they live

I constantly find myself using iconic frames from They Live in essays and talks, juxtaposing with things like this:

demand generation

I never really understood the cult fascination with zombie movies, but this film kind of helps me ‘get it.’

It’s not really a great story, not particularly compelling characters, more just a really interesting premise. So what I don’t like about this is what I don’t like about a lot of sci-fi (Black Mirror comes to mind, also, Neal Stephenson): it attempts to ride on just premise.

But for some reason I’m able to tolerate in They Live vs Black Mirror or Stephenson. I guess the premise just resonates more with me.

John shared this essay when we watched: DENIAL: THE LIBERAL UTOPIA, SLAVOJ ZIZEK, I. Through the Glasses Darkly, which on a sort of different tangent carves out a place for B movies like this:

If you want to follow high taste consistently, you display your tastelessness, etc.

The Zizek essay is meandering and awesome, and I highly recommend checking it out (even if you don’t love or don’t watch They Live).

One more bit I particularly liked:

(It would have been interesting to reread Marcel Proust against the background of this topic of unwritten customs: the problem of his In Search For a Lost Time is “How is aristocracy possible in democratic times, once the external marks of hierarchy are abolished?”, and his reply is: the complex network of unwritten informal habits (gestures, tastes) by means of which those who are “in” recognize “their own” and identify those who just pretend to belong to the inner circle and are to be ostracized.)

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