Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

“They Live”…or do they?

Posted by laurenivey22 on February 1, 2017

The last two class sessions, we have been watching  a movie called “They Live.” The movie is based in the 1990’s when people were finally starting to gain their own opinions and go against mainstream media and society. This movie portrays the beginning of the so called ‘individual revolution’ through special sunglasses which show the billboards and signs around the city that are originally billboards for something like a magazine company, but when the glasses are put on, the individual sees signs that say things such as, “don’t question authority”, “eat, sleep, work, repeat”, and “marry and reproduce”. With these special glasses, the individuals can also see “them” which appear as normal people to the naked eye, but with the glasses, they appear as skeleton-like figures.

“They” represent the lack of free-will and individual thought. In the end of the movie, we find out that “the” are running the news program which brainwashes everyone into having to individual thought or free-will. “Its just business, so lets make some money.” Nada and Frank spend the entire movie trying to destroy all of “them”. Holly, who works for the news station, also helps them for a bit only to end up shooting Frank and telling Nada there is not point and that he isn’t going to win. This results in both of them dying but not before Nada shoots down a plane which destroys the news station, making people all over the world be able to see “them” for what they truly are. This results in the beginning of free-will and independent thought.


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