We return with a highly esoteric discussion on Blade Runner 2049, the 2017 sequel to Ridley Scott's cult-classic from 1982. Despite not doing well at the Box Office, this film succeeds in artfully suggesting a number of stories within one, and like the first film, leaves the audience feeling they have witnessed something profound.
Set in the titular year in dystopian Los Angeles, the film follows the replicant LAPD officer 'K' as he uncovers hidden evidence that replicants are capable of reproducing autonomously. After being ordered by his superiors to investigate and destroy the evidence, K is led to believe that he himself may be the offspring of a union between replicants, and so disobeys his orders in search of his origins.
We start by summarising the plot and the story, before diving into the multi-layered elements of the film, looking at the heavy use of biblical motifs and creation mythologies in both the script and the subtext. As humanity has fallen from grace in foolishly pursuing godhood, the next epoch of creation is born, and so the film is replete with wordplay and symbolic motifs which elucidate these ideas.
We discuss the film's focus on feminine imagery, especially following the many negative reviews given by feminist critics. We deconstruct the notion that the film is overtly sexist and gratuitous in its imagery, by pointing out the deeper symbolic significance in these motifs. The film is both critiquing the objectification of women whilst also celebrating the goddess archetype and venerating the full range of feminine principles.
We also spend time talking about the various characters, in terms of what they represent and how they develop throughout the story. The ultimate journey of K in particular is heavily suggestive of Gnostic principles and ideas, though we also touch on the characters of LUV and JOI, who at various points reveal a higher truth or meaning to his journey into selfhood.
We touch on a myriad of other topics in this extended podcast, from Silicon Valley execs and the transhumanist demiurge Niander Wallace, to questions of humanity, to the artful cinematography and soundtrack of the film, plus much more. Please excuse the low audio quality.
Topics discussed include: Blade Runner, Los Angeles, Dystopia, Environmentalism, Synthetic Foods, Synthetic Society, Replicants, Artificial Intelligence, Original Film, Sequels, Artful production, Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, JOI, LUV, Niander Wallace, Wallace Corporation, Tyrell Corporation, LAPD, DNA, Regeneration, Reproduction, Miracles, Biblical Themes, Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden, Genesis, Creation, Gnosticism, Pyramids, Pharaohs, Godhood, Demigod, Demiurge, Light, Symbolism, Geometry, Human Eye, Feminist Critiques, Goddess Archetypes, Sexuality, Objectification, Veneration, Slavery, Oppression, Self Awareness, Las Vegas, Holograms, Earth Mother Archetype, Masculine vs Feminism, Search for Truth, Materialism, Infertility, Revolution, Wordplay, Secret Societies, Sacrifice, Truth, Love vs Joy, Techniques of Cinema and Sound, Quality of film and music.
Intro & Outro music by Hans Zimmer.
The very first Bonus Podcast episode of Themes & Memes is a review of Captain America Civil War. The review strays from the movie as Adam and Aaron talk at length about media, current antagonist politics, and The Age of Transitions.
topics include: Captain America Civil War, bad movie year, shift in entertainment industry, Marvel, cinematic universe, TV and films converging, Disney, franchise films, Iron Man, Avengers, Spider Man, comics, DoD Entertainment Liaison Offices, conspiracy themes, Hydra, current political climate, symbolism of Captain America character, individualism, John Birch Society, International Law, bureaucracy, global culture, Western Philosophy, political market trends, World War 2, archetypes, Charlottesville, Unite the Right, Antifa, Red Ice, Gavin McInnes, Vice, leaders bounce from pole to pole, flip flopping, Russian interference in American politics, spectator events, media convergence, The Age of Transitions, ash mobs, SJWs, mass distraction, media, unplugging, infotainment, confusion, Newt Gingrich
While widely panned, The Circle is a film that does a good job at presenting some very important ideas. Adam and Aaron talk about its commentary on corporate life, cults, sousveillance, and real life Silicon Valley tech giants.
topics include: extra unpublished podcast episode, The Circle, Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, novel, popular fiction, Silicon Valley, work life balance, young urban professional, See Change, transparent, sousveillance, social ideals, corporate cults, total surveillance, privacy, secrets are lies, marketing, exploitation, critique of yuppie lifestyle, social climbing, networking, branding, lifestyle marketing, work campus, brand loyalty, technology as revolutionary change agent, Mercer, critics of technology, SJWs, no escape, Soul Search, car crash, press conferences, political aspirations of tech companies, simplified portrayals of politics, terrible casting, few bad apples motif, brainwashing, separation from family, self driving cars, terror attacks
After an extended hiatus, we return to give an update on the podcast; talking about what has been going on behind the scenes, and giving listeners a glimpse of what to expect from future shows.
We start out by discussing changes and distractions in our personal lives, before mentioning some of the films and TV shows that have caught our attention recently, including the 2006 B-Movie Southland Tales and the 2017 Tech-Thriller The Circle. We also touch on the apparent lack of worthwhile films coming out at the Box Office; looking at whether digital streaming services have now superseded the cinema, and whether on-demand serials are outperforming Hollywood films.
From there, we continue looking at random oddities from the world of entertainment and media, such as the enigmatic David Lynch, Transcendental Meditation, the recent Oscar Awards blunder, and the various methods that those in Hollywood will employ to create publicity. We touch on the viral success of certain TV shows, and how a changing industry is changing popular notions of entertainment.
We finish up by returning to the world of Alt-Media and conspiracy culture, once again noting the incredulous turn toward reactionary right-wing populism that has been taken as of late. We note how the founding narratives and principals of Alternative Media have been all but discarded, as it competes for attention at any cost through controversy and vacuous drama. We touch on a few examples and lament the failure of the Alt-Media to be alternative.
Topics discussed include: Update, Moving, Germany, California, Hiatus, Films, 'Southland Tales', MTV, Bush Administration, Neo-Cons, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Celebrity Culture, Extremism, Reality TV, Trump, Identity Politics, TV Series, Netflix, Amazon, Box Office, Black Mirror, American Gods, 'The Circle', Time Constraints, Marvel, Avengers, David Lynch, Profound Films, Transcendental Meditation, Cults, Mystical Ideas, Darkness, Mystique, Publicity Stunts, Lack of Good Films, 2017 Oscars, 'LA LA Land', 'Moonlight', Vapid Entertainment, Laurel Canyon, Youtube Celebrities, Joe Rogan, Alex Jones, High Ratings, Chobani Lawsuit, George Soros, Mainstream Profile, Alternative Narratives, Terrorism, Security State, James Comey, Russia, Scandal, Insanity of Media, Left-Right Politics, Future of Podcast, Taking the High Road.
On this episode, we return to the 'conspiracy classic' genre in looking at the 1989 Sci-Fi B-movie 'They Live' by John Carpenter.
The film introduces 'John Nada', a drifter working manual labour in LA, as he stumbles across a special pair of sunglasses which allow him to see a very different version of reality than the 'American Dream' he is accustomed to. As it is ultimately revealed that humanity's perceptions are being controlled by a camouflaged alien race; Nada tries to convince those around him of the truth, thus alerting the aliens to his existence.
Despite being pursued by the authorities on a vigilante rampage, Nada manages to recruit one of his co-workers, whereby the two work to expose the aliens and reveal their system of control to the world.
We talk about the film as it relates to both popular and conspiracy culture, looking at how the sentiments and motifs found in the film were used and referenced so frequently in the early days of the 'truth movement'. Despite being a deliberately silly film, many of the key quotes and memes are as relevant today as they were some 30 years ago.
We also discuss the wider metaphors of the film, in terms of how the struggles of 'Nada' represent that of the truth seeker; trying in vain to 'wake up' those around them to a vastly different interpretation of reality. We look at the symbolism of the prolonged fight scenes as representing the battle between the 'truther' and the 'sheeple', and the degree of resistance Nada faces in his quest to raise awareness.
We finish up by touching on the truth movement and wider conspiracy culture, and how the predominant ideas and attitudes have changed over the years, noting the sense of nostalgia that these films can elicit. We look at how films like 'They Live' can influence perceptions of reality, along with the pitfalls of extremist interpretations, where elements of fiction or fantasy are perceived on a literal basis.
Topics discussed include: John Carpenter, Roddy Piper, Podcasting, Truth Movement, Network, Conspiracy Culture, Science Fiction, Silliness, Social Commentary, Pro-Wrestling, Los Angeles, Labour, Construction, Tent Cities, Skid Row, Church, Soup Kitchen, Police Brutality, Sunglasses, Appropriation, Shepherd Fairey, Obey Meme, Hollywood Hills, Mind Control, Aliens, Propaganda, Symbolism, Metaphor, Waking Up, Global Warming, Environmentalism, Collaborators, Evangelism, Christianity, Humanitarianism, Preacher, Underdog, Disenfranchised, Victims, Elitism, Agendas, Population Control, Subliminal Messages, New Age, David Icke, Reptilians, Artificial Constructs, Popular Narratives, Reality vs Fiction, Literal Interpretations, Fantasy, Alt-Right, Trutherising, Conspiracy Town, Social Critiques, Changing Attitudes, Escapism, Motifs, Anger, Extremist Ideology, Exploitation, Will to Power, Alex Jones, Joe Rogan, Nostalgia, Hope, Sentimentality, Sadness, Continuity, Case Study, Simpler Times.