They Live

V'16

They Live

John Carpenter
USA, 1988
Fiction, 93min, OF

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

They Live

John Carpenter
USA, 1988
Fiction, 93min, OF

Cast: 
Roddy Piper
John Nada
Keith David
Frank
Meg Foster
Holly
Peter Jason
Gilbert
Screenplay: 
John Carpenter (als Frank Armitage)
Camera: 
Gary B. Kibbe
Editor: 
Gib Jaffe
Frank E. Jimenez
Composer: 
John Carpenter
Alan Howarth
Decoration: 
Marvin March

Production: 
Alive Films
Larry Franco Productions
World Sales: 
Studiocanal
Format: 
35 mm
Color

A streetwise drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses which allow him to see subliminal messages hidden behind every billboard, newspaper, and TV commercial in America, as well as the true faces of the masked aliens walking among us, intent to dominate our world in secret.
Its anti-consumerist message is so apparent in the action on screen that it doesn’t even qualify as subtextual. But this sort of obvious explication functions, cleverly, as a deliberate ideological misdirect, as the ultimate goal of THEY LIVE as a work of satire isn’t for us to acknowledge that our world is being taken over by nefarious aliens from outer space, but rather that such a fantastic idea of hypnosis and control is credible only because commercial culture is designed to function in exactly that way. (Calum Marsh)
“You have to understand something: It’s a documentary. It’s not science fiction.” (John Carpenter).

From the collection of the Austrian Filmmuseum.

In presence of John Carpenter.

JOHN CARPENTER IN CONCERT
There is a live-concert «JOHN CARPENTER Lost Themes – A Live Retrospective» on November 3rd 2016 at the Stadthalle, Halle F.