Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

They Live

Posted by Kimberlea Ferrell on February 3, 2017

When the movie first started out, I thought it would just be about the elite taking advantage of the poor, using media to shape their perceptions of success. I wasn’t wrong, but I did not expect the aliens.

I was tempted to google the movie after the class where we had watched the first few minutes, but I am glad I didn’t. I think it would have ruined the surprise of the aliens and taken away from the impact of the message.

The message that every advertisement we see and almost everything broadcast to us has a deeper meaning really resonated with me. Everyone wants something from you, and everyone wants to be successful. We can see ads as meaningless or fun but they all point at similar messages. They want your business, your money, your time, your attention.

This also raises the question that if everything we see just wants something from us, how much should we believe? People can point us towards other things of unimportance so we don’t see what they’re really doing. This is shown effectively with the alien things, even though it’s exaggerated.

In class Thursday, someone mentioned people using the term “woke.” I had actually thought something similar about that and was glad to hear I wasn’t the only one.

This movie can be applied to life today even though it was made in the 80s, because while media changes, the messages and goals of companies really don’t.



5 Responses to “They Live”

  1. Yes, I completely agree with you. I didn’t expect the aliens either and glad I didn’t look it up either. I also wrote in my blogpost how I thought about the “woke” thing as well when the other person mentioned it in class.

  2. I agree with you. You make several great points. We as individuals gove control to what we give our attention to, but it’s our subconscious that ultimately decides how we percieve ads and the media as a whole.

  3. emilychildress329 said

    I think that you make a lot of good points. I was really tempted to look up the movie after the first day of watching it as well. I had no idea that aliens would be in a movie like this and portray a specific purpose.

  4. adusheck said

    I agree that the goals and messages of media never truly change in general. While I agree that the goal is always to persuade you to do what they want I feel that the point of what they actually want definitely changes.

  5. tommistowers said

    Your messages make a lot of good points. I like how you mentioned everyone wants to be successful, no matter what the causes are. When someone mentioned “woke” in your class we also had someone bring up the title and how it was shown in the movie. This made me remember the painting on the wall in the church that said “They Live We Sleep”.

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