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Friday, October 31 • 9:15pm - 10:55pm
THEY LIVE (1988)

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Directed by John Carpenter / 93 min.

In his 2010 book on the film, novelist Jonathan Letham writes, “No offense, but THEY LIVE is probably the stupidest film to ever take ideology as its explicit subject. It’s also probably the most fun.” Director John Carptenter’s golden age ran aground on the rocks of THEY LIVE in 1988, but what a glorious crash. Wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper stars as Nada, a homeless construction worker drifting through the dark underside of the Reagan 80s. Soon after his arrival in Los Angeles, he gets a job as a day laborer at a construction site where he meets Frank Armitage (voiceover legend Keith David). After the shantytown where he is staying is destroyed by an army of riot-geared cops, Nada makes a startling discovery: a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see things as they really are. Earth is being controlled by alien invaders who have brainwashed the population using mind-controlling radio broadcasts and subliminal advertising. Even though the film was not commercially successful, it soon became infamous for Piper and David’s seemingly endless fight scene. But there is so much more to this sci-fi masterpiece than its slapstick middle passage. It is the perfect example of Jean-Luc Goddard’s dictum “It is a matter of making films politically; it is not a matter of making political films.”
~ C. Scott McCoy

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Friday October 31, 2014 9:15pm - 10:55pm CDT
Studio on the Square #4 2105 Court Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

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