The Terminator Essay Research Paper For the — страница 2

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evil future is very similar to methods employed by writer/director David Lynch in his film Blue Velvet, for as Norman Denzin notes: Postmodernist too, according to Denzin, is the way the film mixes the unrepresentable (rotting ears, sexual excess, brutality, insanity) and the commonplace [bright fire tucks, small-town America, white picket fences and rows of trees], thereby challenging the boundaries which separates the two realms. (Connor: 1994, 179) I would go on to say that just as this makes the apocalypse to come more believable, it also makes it more horrific; for unlike the other future apocalypse movies which filled the video shelves of the 1980s, such as the appalling Steel Dawn, The Terminator allows a basis of comparison to exist between today s present and the

possibility of tomorrow. Even George Miller s popular Mad Max trilogy only touch upon these possibilities briefly between the action, fighting and car chases. The aforementioned films, without this edge, exist purely as fantasy, whereas The Terminator possesses qualities of social prophecy, or as Penley refers to it – critical dystopia . This is similar indeed to David Harvey s summation of the aesthetic of the film Blade Runner; The images of decay everywhere in the landscape reinforce exactly that same structure of feeling. (Harvey: 1994, 311) One of the more in-depth analyses of The Terminator is that of the issues surrounding the differences between man and machine and how this divide, if one exists at all, may be bridged. According to Forest Pyle, the film is to an extent

a reworking of Frankenstein, in so far as it features something that is on the surface human (the terminator s endoskeleton is surrounded by living tissue), yet is without a doubt entirely artificial. What is of interest to Pyle is how the terminator is portrayed or subjected as possessor of this difference : The opposition between protagonist and antagonist is established early in the film by the depiction of their arrival to the present. Schwarzenegger s body and motion are a cluster of signs – sculpted Aryan invulnerability – which resonate historically as man-machine . (Pyle: 1993, 232) This physical difference is highlighted to the limit towards the end of the film, as the terminator looses more and more flesh until the moment when Reese s pipe-bomb destroys the truck he

is driving. A moment of rest passes as we believe him to be dead, before he rises phoenix like out of the flames, nothing more than an animated metal skeleton – in many ways resembling the Ray Harryhausen effects of skeletons in the 1960s fantasy Jason and the Argonauts; a similarity which I feel to be intentional on the part of James Cameron. The film cleverly highlights the terminator s artificial constructed form by allowing us to see through his eyes; a red tinted graphical display, punctuated by words and graphics which include anything from simple commands, phone numbers and a choice of verbal insults ranging from go away to fuck you asshole! ; to a complete schematic of the stick-shift on an articulated tanker truck. I find it personally significant that this display is

never seen by us until the triangle of characters – Sarah, Reese and Terminator – have met together for the first time – a failed assassination attempt on Sarah which is foiled by Reese. According to Pyle, it is this point-of-view shot that is crucial at this juncture of the film for it seals the distinction that the terminator does not see images but merely gathers information (Pyle: 1993, 232) Until this point though, the terminator passes perfectly as human to both his victims, the ammo store owner, and even the police. Reese explains to Sarah that this production series of terminator is perfect, right down to sweat and bad breath. In short, it is the perfect simulacrum. In this Baudrillarian depiction, it is interesting to study the Replicants in the film Blade Runner

(1982), especially in relation to the writings of David Harvey: The replicants are, it should be noted, not mere imitations but totally authentic reproductions, indistinguishable in almost all respects from human beings. They are simulacra rather than robots. (Harvey: 1994, 309) In the case of Blade Runner, the replicants are, by the end, perceived by the viewer as almost indistinguishable from human, rather through their actions and character than through the appearance factor which is pertinent at the start. Most significant of all is Rachel, a beautiful young female android who finds love with the Deckard, a human bladerunner (supposedly); a police executioner of trespassing replicants. If The Terminator is about difference between man and machine, as it has been argued, then