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 Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact

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PostSubject: Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact   Fri 11 Jan 2013, 6:11 pm

"The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena: the Videodrome. The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality, and reality is less than television."

~ Brian O'Blivion, Videodrome



Watch it with Subtitles On, so you don't miss any of the important dialog

An Amazon Reviewer

Videodrome is not only one of the top three horror/sci-fi movies made in the last 25 years it also has the distinguishing trait of having been given one of the best royal treatments from Criterion. If you need basic plot and such look elsewhere. This review is more about why this is one of the greatest films of all time.

First, the film: A must-have for any film collector, not just a horror or sci-fi buff. James Woods plays a Cable-TV station owner who broadcasts soft-porn and adult entertainment. His favorite technician shows him a pirated TV show called Videodrome in which people are tortured and killed. Woods pursues this show, watching more and more of it until his investigations lead him to two sources: The Videodrome show producers itself and the show's arch-enemy, The Cathode Ray Mission. Woods discovers that the show transmits a signal that creates a tumor in the brain that leads to S+M hallucinations. Woods begins to hallucinate incredible sexual/violent nightmares ( the fleshy TV set)and finds himself as a pawn between the two entities. Videodrome plans on using Woods' station to transmit the violent Videodrome show in order to kill the audience of porn. Videodrome owner Barry Convex "programs" Woods to kill his partners at the station and the Cathode Ray Mission Leader, Bianca O'Blivion. Bianca "counter programs" Woods into killing the Videodrome people. Bianca declares that Woods has "evolved" (Darwinism on its ear) into The New Flesh, an allegory of an information-age human with a body that mutates via hallucination. In the end, Woods, alone and his head filled with tumors, is prompted by his now dead girlfriend (Deborah Harry in the flesh TV set) to "evolve" into the next stage by shooting himself. Woods kills himself exactly as the fleshy TV set instructs him to do, declaring: "Long live the New Flesh."

Cronenberg gathered many parts of a script and ideas together to create a near avant-garde film that uses TV and fanatical programmers as villains. This movie sets the thriller basis for which The Matrix and The Ring would so heavily borrow from. Cronenberg's approach is different from his previous film SCANNERS in that the protaganist's perspective (a tremendous James Woods) becomes the actual subject of the movie. Since Videodrome has probably been seen my almost everone who reads this I need not bother to summarize the plot any further. Suffice to say that what starts out as an already interesting and challenging portrait of a soft-porn Cable-TV station owner looking for the next big thing in the adult entertainment world evolves into a nightmare that relentlessly never eases until the very last frame. This psychotic world and body (called The New Flesh)that Woods now finds himself becomes an allegory for our dependance and adhearance to Media and TV in particular. The concepts of "downloading" and "programming people" was, back in 1981, revolutionary. Kafka meets Tom Edison. The villains are evangelical and are either using the cancer-tumor inducing "videodrome" signal to kill sinners (Barry Convex looks like Jimmy Baker) or, in a twist of Darwin, the Cathode Ray Mission using the signal to "evolve" people to the next state of our existance: a personified information society of hallucinating, mutated people. This film was ahead of its time by decades and is still a significant movie using TV/Media as the vehicle for great evil, as prompted by an already receptive audience. Cronenberg suggests that we have created a TV Pornographic Frankenstien that is out of control.

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PostSubject: Re: Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact   Sat 12 Jan 2013, 3:07 pm

Sheesh --scary! Yikes!
Shocked

Think I'll just make do with the summary, C1.

LOL,,




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PostSubject: Re: Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact   Tue 15 Jan 2013, 10:30 am

C1 wrote:
"The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena: the Videodrome. The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality, and reality is less than television."

~ Brian O'Blivion, Videodrome



Watch it with Subtitles On, so you don't miss any of the important dialog

An Amazon Reviewer

Videodrome is not only one of the top three horror/sci-fi movies made in the last 25 years it also has the distinguishing trait of having been given one of the best royal treatments from Criterion. If you need basic plot and such look elsewhere. This review is more about why this is one of the greatest films of all time.

First, the film: A must-have for any film collector, not just a horror or sci-fi buff. James Woods plays a Cable-TV station owner who broadcasts soft-porn and adult entertainment. His favorite technician shows him a pirated TV show called Videodrome in which people are tortured and killed. Woods pursues this show, watching more and more of it until his investigations lead him to two sources: The Videodrome show producers itself and the show's arch-enemy, The Cathode Ray Mission. Woods discovers that the show transmits a signal that creates a tumor in the brain that leads to S+M hallucinations. Woods begins to hallucinate incredible sexual/violent nightmares ( the fleshy TV set)and finds himself as a pawn between the two entities. Videodrome plans on using Woods' station to transmit the violent Videodrome show in order to kill the audience of porn. Videodrome owner Barry Convex "programs" Woods to kill his partners at the station and the Cathode Ray Mission Leader, Bianca O'Blivion. Bianca "counter programs" Woods into killing the Videodrome people. Bianca declares that Woods has "evolved" (Darwinism on its ear) into The New Flesh, an allegory of an information-age human with a body that mutates via hallucination. In the end, Woods, alone and his head filled with tumors, is prompted by his now dead girlfriend (Deborah Harry in the flesh TV set) to "evolve" into the next stage by shooting himself. Woods kills himself exactly as the fleshy TV set instructs him to do, declaring: "Long live the New Flesh."

Cronenberg gathered many parts of a script and ideas together to create a near avant-garde film that uses TV and fanatical programmers as villains. This movie sets the thriller basis for which The Matrix and The Ring would so heavily borrow from. Cronenberg's approach is different from his previous film SCANNERS in that the protaganist's perspective (a tremendous James Woods) becomes the actual subject of the movie. Since Videodrome has probably been seen my almost everone who reads this I need not bother to summarize the plot any further. Suffice to say that what starts out as an already interesting and challenging portrait of a soft-porn Cable-TV station owner looking for the next big thing in the adult entertainment world evolves into a nightmare that relentlessly never eases until the very last frame. This psychotic world and body (called The New Flesh)that Woods now finds himself becomes an allegory for our dependance and adhearance to Media and TV in particular. The concepts of "downloading" and "programming people" was, back in 1981, revolutionary. Kafka meets Tom Edison. The villains are evangelical and are either using the cancer-tumor inducing "videodrome" signal to kill sinners (Barry Convex looks like Jimmy Baker) or, in a twist of Darwin, the Cathode Ray Mission using the signal to "evolve" people to the next state of our existance: a personified information society of hallucinating, mutated people. This film was ahead of its time by decades and is still a significant movie using TV/Media as the vehicle for great evil, as prompted by an already receptive audience. Cronenberg suggests that we have created a TV Pornographic Frankenstien that is out of control.


Wondering, could one substitute "Internet computer- connected" for (James Woods') "TV watcher," and arrive at a similar power to control/hypnotize?

IOW, does a computer monitor also emit electromagnetic waves that might have the same (or maybe even stronger?) power to
hypnotize?
HMMMNN.....

Suspect


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PostSubject: Re: Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact   Tue 15 Jan 2013, 9:25 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:
Wondering, could one substitute "Internet computer- connected" for (James Woods') "TV watcher," and arrive at a similar power to control/hypnotize?

IOW, does a computer monitor also emit electromagnetic waves that might have the same (or maybe even stronger?) power to
hypnotize?
HMMMNN.....

Suspect
I recall researching a long time ago the claims that the wave frequencies of TV signals worked in harmonic synchronicity with brain waves, changing the brains state and making it more susceptible to programming. But it has been so long ago that I do not recall the details of the technical info.

However, it would not surprise me that this is the case in both TV & Computer screens. However, I believe that to focus on this part of the technical is to focus on the lesser, while the greater is almost never discussed, with that being the content of the programming and how that alters individuals and society on the whole.

With TV, the programming was almost all 1-way, with feedback mechanisms limited to focus group or market research. Now, with a continual feedback loop where everything is connected in all directions, the feedback is continuous and immediate, and drives the programming that the system produces. It is this aspect of the system design that is never discussed, but has by far the most significant implications. For systems like this can be designed to find whatever "norm" the architects seek. (this is the crux of the Marx to a Networked Society blog post that I've published in draft form)

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PostSubject: Re: Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact   Wed 16 Jan 2013, 11:14 pm

C1 wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:
Wondering, could one substitute "Internet computer- connected" for (James Woods') "TV watcher," and arrive at a similar power to control/hypnotize?

IOW, does a computer monitor also emit electromagnetic waves that might have the same (or maybe even stronger?) power to
hypnotize?
HMMMNN.....

Suspect
I recall researching a long time ago the claims that the wave frequencies of TV signals worked in harmonic synchronicity with brain waves, changing the brains state and making it more susceptible to programming. But it has been so long ago that I do not recall the details of the technical info.

However, it would not surprise me that this is the case in both TV & Computer screens. However, I believe that to focus on this part of the technical is to focus on the lesser, while the greater is almost never discussed, with that being the content of the programming and how that alters individuals and society on the whole.

With TV, the programming was almost all 1-way, with feedback mechanisms limited to focus group or market research. Now, with a continual feedback loop where everything is connected in all directions, the feedback is continuous and immediate, and drives the programming that the system produces. It is this aspect of the system design that is never discussed, but has by far the most significant implications. For systems like this can be designed to find whatever "norm" the architects seek. (this is the crux of the Marx to a Networked Society blog post that I've published in draft form)

Hell, I cannot fathom what this means, though I've been trying to. Can't wait until you really spell it out.... !!!!!!!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Videodrome (1983) Accurately Portrays TV Media's Impact   Thu 17 Jan 2013, 3:05 pm

I'm simply saying that the system design is built to be inherentnly controllable, while highly deceptive of this control. This is the beauty of a networked systems, and a networked society - it's architects can create whatever "normal" they want, and achieve it, irrespective of any individual and group's inputs.

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