In the first eight weeks of BCM325, we watch a film every week during class time. The main theme is about the relationship between people and technology，and process and change of technologies. In these films I found one overall theme can be called as “Postmodernism”. During these screenings, we were asked to broadcast our immediate thoughts and feelings about the movie we were watching, and to comment on what the film was trying to show to the audience. In this blog, I will summarize my reflections on the eight weeks movies I have seen.
Two of the movies I watched in the last eight weeks were particularly impressive. One is the Matrix, the other is the Blade Runner (1982). Both of them are reflecting the theme of postmodernism. Postmodernism is a period in cultural history, just as romanticism was. Modern culture, modernism in the early twentieth century this was a very powerful movement, before the first world war there was the idea that technology was bringing a better future after the first world war this idea collapsed technology made weapons for war especially during the holocaust the idea was that technology is not the best way to the perfect world. Postmodern culture is typically defined by characteristics.
The Matrix shows a future where the reality humans believe in is not actually real but is a simulated reality called the matrix, things are not as they seem. This simulated reality is created by sentient machines that are using the humans as an energy source. When the main character Neo (a computer programmer) comes to knowledge of the reality and “wakes up” he is guided by other people who have been freed from the “dream world” to rebel against the machines. Watching the Matrix for first time I did not notice much association with postmodernism or the philosophy behind as I was taken back by the visual effects and action in the film. After taking another looking at the film during the class and the theory I have learnt in lecture, I could see the philosophical part and it was clearer that the film Matrix contains a lot references to the cyberpunk, philosophical and religious ideas and imagery that attempt to express the ideology of Bandrillard’s postmodern theory. The film can be seen as postmodern not the entire film but the simulation part. Neo is fighting against a postmodern condition which is the simulation.
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) is often cited as ‘postmodern’, in which science, technology and progress are all questioned and shown in some way to have ‘failed’. The world in Blade Runner is polluted by industry and overcrowding: only the rich escape to the ‘off-worlds’. One of the key themes of the film is the ‘blurring’ of the differences between the real and the artificial, between the humans and the replicates. Increasingly it is no longer possible to be clear about what it means to be human. The questions the film asks is what is the meaning of humanity in the postmodern age, when the distinction between human and machine is unclear. Can emotions be programmed or humanity manufactured, these are the same questions postmodern philosophers ask; how we come to terms with the world when the image overrides the individual. Blade Runners Los Angeles has been compared to a postmodern city with its huge advertising promoting off world colony with the idea that the rich have fled to a better equivalent
In conclusion, through the eight weeks learning of the subject and the movie by using the method of real-time tweets comment to them is fun and helpful. The films is trying to tell us with each decade, the shift toward the political environment is enhanced by the fears and threats that could one day come true but are used to tell a story in the film. Our fears are played out on screen such as new technologies, robots. In today’s society, the popularity of technology is slowly becoming an important content in our daily life. In many ways, we have become the electronic people we see in these movies, and our phones, laptops and the Internet have become extensions of our bodies and bones. There are two sides to everything. On the one hand, it feels the convenience brought by technology, along with hidden dangers. The development of science and technology will continue to explore, and how to make rational use of it will be a topic worth pondering.