Film Studies 1022 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Apocalyptic And Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Rodney King, Software Bug

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“You’re beginning to see the possibilities?”:
Strange Days and the Spectator 2016-01-12
Neo Noir
Connections between it and ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
Like old school noirs, it features a main character whos haunted by
some old trauma
Violent
Populated with people who are self-obsessed
Double-crossing characters who are selfish and neurotic
No one is who they seem to be, ulterior motives
City is cluttered, lots of shadows, filled with people, glitters with
neon lights
Very subjective storytelling
oLots of POV shots
One particular characters subjective interpretation
Lenny isn’t a private investigator, but he acts like one
oLoner, wasn’t well integrated to the society, doesn’t belong to
a group, an outsider
Like Noir’s they tend to be particularly good at questioning the
American exceptionalism
Dystopian, almost apocalyptic science fiction set in a police state.
From our perspective, it’s in the past but when it was created it was
the near future
Talks about the mass apocalypse of the change into the new
millennial
Y2K – when people expected a mass computer bug to shut down all
the computers in the world and chaos would happen. Computers
wouldn’t recognize the switch from 1999 to 2000
Nightmare-ish vision of America’s collapse. There’s chaos in the
streets, lots of violence and fires, police and tanks and riot squad
everywhere.
Deals with racial oppression
References to real-life events that happened a few years before
oRodney King incident – African-American man stopped by
white cops and was almost beaten to death, and it was
caught on camera but the police were acquitted of the crimes
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Also refers to the LA riots that happened as a result of the Rodney
King incident
Los Angeles Riots happened in 1992.
The film mimicks and literally copies parts of the Rodney King
problem
Overt racism racist moments - when the cops are chasing Iris the
cop makes up some default description of a black man.
Jeriko One reference to Malcolm X
oJ.O isn’t just a musician, he’s a bit of a politician.
oGoes back all the way to the civil rights movement of the 60’s
as well as referencing the riots.
Voyeurism
All about perception and representation
The start of the movie is literally an eye
We really re-experience what Lenny is seeing.
Obsession
Obsession of other peoples experience and what others have
already gone through
Lived Experience as a Commodity (“porno for wireheads”)
No privacy, easy to find out what you’ve been up to
Can re-live the experience, and not just see them, but feel them as
well.
You get high on being someone else and from their experiences
The more extreme the experience, the more money it costs and the
better it feels
Lenny to Keith: “You’re beginning to see the possibilities?”
After he tests the device
It’s a tool of very specifically male agression
Men committing violence, but especially towards women
It’s what the opening sequence is about
Subjective Camera
MALE GAZE
Spectator Identification
Allows you to experience other people’s experiences but only
temporarily
You don’t have a choice of who’s eyes you get to see through
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