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They Live

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  19 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Born from the cultural flamboyance and anxiety of the 1980s, They Live is a hallmark of John Carpenter’s singular canon, combining the aesthetics of multiple genres and leveling an attack against the politics of Reaganism and the Cold War. The decision to cast professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as his protagonist gave Carpenter the additional means to comment on the ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by Columbia University Press
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Michael
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great study of a great film -- it not only provides an array of historical contexts for understanding the film, but succeeds as an introduction to essential film theory as it relates to cult cinema and kitsch. Very different than DHW's bizarro fiction, yet reading this book can help to understand the author's thinking about text and reveals his deep affinity for -- and critical facility with -- the power of counter cultural narratives. Recommended to anyone familiar with the film.
Brian Tasler
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent addition to the Cultographies library. Wilson's critique of They Live is both academic and entertaining. Drawing on the obvious connections of the consumer-era Reagan 80's along with Carpenter's love of Pro wrestling Wilson makes a strong case for taking another look at this overlooked 80's cult classic. While I doubt most people that remember or love this movie will put as much thought as the author does into critiquing Carpenter's true intentions of making the film the book does a ...more
Eric Matthews
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
These in depth analyses of cult movies really make me happy.
Michael O.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't really understand who this book is for. It's a piece of film criticism that oscillates between the boneheadedly surface-level (did you know Reagan was an actor turned president? or Arnold used steroids?) and arcane critical theory, though often even that is usually barely above the level of name-dropping. It literally explains that Rottentomatoes is a review aggregator on which 90% is a rare score and then only a paragraph later casually drops "jouissance" on the reader (in italics, natu ...more
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