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Section A1 Marias transformation scene within Fritz Langs Metropolis is a very powerful one which emphasizes the continuing alienation of mankind through machine When the scene opens we see Maria lying on a table with her electrodes strapped to her head and body and encased within a glass coffin Standing over her is the scientist who will conduct the transfer however the viewers eyes are drawn beyond the scientist where the cyborg sits upon a throne with a inverted pentagram drawn above her head like some ancient god awaiting a sacrifice reminiscent of Freders hallucination in lower parts of the city of the engine becoming Moloch consuming the workers as sacrifices Seemingly uncoincidentally because of our point of view the orb which will draw energy from Maria to the cyborg hangs in front of the very centre of the pentagram This piece of German expressionism the battle between light and dark good and evil as the pentagram is associated with the devil further places Maria and the Cyborg as opposing forces However it is not simply Maria and the Cyborg at opposition but all of Nature against Technology Maria is a symbol of the purity of nature while the Cyborg Maria is a symbol of the citys decadence and our alienation from nature as the cyborg is a person devoid of anything natural However just like the Moloch the Cyborg must consume Marias energy to live Here Fritz seems to be saying that our technology is consuming our essence drawing us from nature2 This scene is very important to laying the groundwork for many of the most important themes within Videodrome like prosthesis autoamputation and the connection between reality perception and illusion As Professor Oblivion states the television screen is the retina of the minds eye Here he seems to be saying that the television is a means to physically view that which has been imagined to make the unreal real This seems to negate Maxs claim that what he displays on channel 83 is harmless and it isnt real but how can something we perceive in our minds as real be anything but The Professor for example through the use of a television can watch listen and even contribute to the conversation yet as we find out later on his body has been dead for quite some timeThis idea that what exist upon our television screens is infact real is taken to its furthest limits with the Professor to the point that he does not exist beyond it Furthermore our first glimpses of Max and Nicki are upon television screen and until the next frame they exist only upon our screens which again draws us back to the fact that the entire universe of Videodrome itself exists solely within our own television screens The technology of the television has removed the Professors need for a body and is simply a mind with the ability to communicate through the prosthesis of the television screen the new flesh The professor then unlike Nicki or Max who interrupt the debate to flirt with each other is not preoccupied with the failings of the old flesh the need for sex and violence which Videodrome feeds upon3 This passage from Unik is a culmination of both Joe Chips desire for a more natural world before the proliferation of technology and more importantly Dicks attempt to compare the natural world with the simulated one man has created When Joe looks at Wendy he may only see a woman but through Dicks lens of Simulation vs Nature Joe is not describing the comparison of himself with Wendy but nature as a whole and the failings of our simulation when we stand them together This is important for it is in this description that Dicks favourite of pastimesoccurs the decay and unravelling of manufactured worlds Joes body like the society he lives in is a garish mask over a lowclass wind up toy In this comparison Joe is entropy
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