John Carpenter's They Live

John Carpenter's They Live
John Nada is a man without job who walks around a big American city trying to find something to do. He finally finds a job as a worker and a place to spend the nights, but one-day John discovers a pair of sunglasses through which he can see the true face of people. Many persons in this city are in fact aliens and most of them are important members of our society. They keep humans in ignorance and they rule our world as they like. In terms of media theory, I think these people represent the traditional Marxists in the fact that they directly manipulate people by bombarding them with media and government messages like "Stay Asleep?, ?No Imagination?, ?Submit to Authority?.
Through the glasses he can see normal looking people who are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued, I think representing the hegemonic Marxists as they are there to subconsciously manipulate the masses. The aim of the ruling aliens is to keep humans in a state of mindless consumerism with Billboards, store signs, magazine covers?all bearing subliminal messages to obey and consume. The twist of it is, that most of the population are unknowingly contributing to its downfall which suggests the effect of the hypodermic syringe model, whereby these messages are injected into a passive and weak audience with an immediate effect from the ?magic bullet?. However, some citizens are not part of this capitalist movement and have not submitted to it, unable to see the perpetrators without the sunglasses. This relates to the selective filter model, whereby the audience, in this case the citizens, have choice of what they view. These people who are not seen as aliens through the glasses have either not let it stick or are rejecting what they see, perhaps based on their identities as suggested by the structured interpretation model. For example, John Nada was new to the state and so may have structured his identity differently where he came from, he therefore chooses to reject what he sees. The cultural effects model may also play a part of these citizens who are not aliens as it recognises a diverse audience who will interpret what they see and hear in different ways. However, the vast number of aliens or ?consumers? could also be a cause of this model as although it does not have an immediate effect, it could have accumulated members over a long period of time, by the ?drip drip? effect. I think the main message of the film was very satirical of our own society in that it portrayed the power that the media have which has left us so drained of individuality that we have let ourselves become open for alien invasion!

John Carpenter's They Live 8 of 10 on the basis of 1435 Review.