John Carpenter’s 1988 Film: They Live
I can write a lot about the film but, I will recommend you to read what Zizek wrote about it.!
I liked expecially these quotes in the film:
The Preacher: Outside the limit of our sight, feeding off us, perched on top of us, from birth to death, are our owners! Our owners! They have us. They control us! They are our masters! Wake up! They’re all about you! All around you!
Drifter: What’s wrong with having it good for a change? Now they’re gonna let us have it good if we just help ’em. They’re gonna leave us alone, let us make some money. You can have a little taste of that good life too. Now, I know you want it. Hell, everybody does.
Frank: You’d do it to your own kind.
Drifter: What’s the threat? We all sell out every day, might as well be on the winning team.
The Drifter, with his smokine and champaign glass in his hand, clearly symbolises the co-opted ones. His friendly attitude towards the two protoganists, and his desire to be friends with them reveals his background and his desire to talk with the one’s which can understand him. However, he is co-opted and became a part of the big machinery, or what Susan strange calls, the casino capitalism. The selling-outs represents the rules of the game in casino capitalism, to be ont he winning team, you are allowed to sink the potential adversaries.
Frank: The steel mills were laying people off left and right. They finally went under. We gave the steel companies a break when they needed it. You know what they gave themselves? Raises.
Frank summarises the logic of casino capitalism, very similar to what we have experienced during the 2008 world economic crisis and it’s aftermath. The banks, which were bailed-out by the tax-payers’ money, gave themselves raises! This is also a fundamental criticism towards the logic of the market.
Bearded Man: The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are non-existent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices.
Bearded Man: They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.
Similar to the Preacher’s vision. nothing to add fundamentally.
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