How is human identity represented in the science fiction films Alien and Blade Runner?
Our lives today rely on technology. In every sector of society, from education to medicine, work and leisure, people constantly resort to technology as a tool to get the job done. Whole infrastructures also rely on foundations of technology; running numbers of databases and delicate programmes, which if were to fail would result in drastic consequences. Therefore, we cannot ignore technology; our lives constantly revolve around it and we are infatuated with it. This dissertation paper aims to show how the human identity is represented in the science fiction films Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) and its relation to today’s world where we have become one with technology. In his book Theories of the information society, Schiller acknowledges the tremendous increased presence of information and ICTs (Information Computer Technology) in the modern developed world;
It is evident to anyone, even to those taking only a cursory look, that, for example, there are many more images than ever before and, of course, there is a large range of new media technologies transmitting them. It is also obvious that information networks now traverse the globe, operating in real time and handling volumes of information with an unprecedented velocity, which makes the telegram and telephony of the 1970s appear way out of date p. 79, Schiller, 2002

Science fiction cinema can be seen as an expression of the modern human’s impulse towards technology and repulsion away from it. Sci-fi film illustrates our love and fear anxiety of the mechanical and the electronic, and helps us build a vivid picture of who we are in relation to technology. In many ways the science fiction films we make, come to express explicitly our identity as individuals and our collective identity as a society. The films I have decided to focus on are Alien and Blade Runner, which are both directed by Ridley Scott. The first of these films was released just before a huge boom in


the android and robot orientated science fiction films of the 1980s through to the 1990s, namely: Android (1982), The Terminator films (1984, 1991), DARYL (1985), the Short Circuit films (1986, 1988), Making Mr. Right (1987) the Robocop films (1987, 1990, 1993), Cherry 2000 (1988), Cyborg (1989), Hardware (1990), Eve of Destruction (1991), The Guyver (1992), Universal Soldier (1992), to name a few (Telotte, pg 3., 1995).

2. The (post)modern identity, sci-fi cinema and society
Through their reference of the future, Alien and Blade Runner both seem to represent this era of film and the conflicting elements of the modern human identity. However, as early as 1958, Hanna Arendt had noted in her book The Human Condition the changing nature of the modern human identity. After the post-WWII nuclear ‘boom’ of the 1950s, it seems Arendt had prematurely prophesised the huge identity crisis that lay ahead throughout the war/peace conflicts of 1960-70s. The dismal 1980s was time to look to the future with the advent of Thatcherism, ‘Reaganomics’, gadgets, productplacement, the Stock Exchange and new trade industry. The grown-up offspring of the 1950s ‘baby boomers’ generation were becoming the iconic Generation X; faced with an identity clash and what seemed to be a dystopic future as seen in many of the prementioned films. Arendt could be referring to the 1980s cyber-punk movement when she discusses the destruction and decadence of nature over technology;
The human artifice of the world separates human existence from all mere animal environment, but life itself is outside this artificial world, and through life man remains related to all other living organisms. For some time now, a great many scientific endeavours have been directed toward making life also ‘artificial’, toward cutting the last tie through which even man belongs among the children of nature… There is no reason to doubt our abilities to accomplish such an exchange, just as there is no reason to doubt our present ability to destroy all organic life on Earth. (p. 46, 1958)

However through the induction of new technology the cyberpunk movement has now changed, digressing into a new wave ‘wireless’ movement1 integrating the philosophy of cyber-punk with the theory of post-modernism. This is emphasised in the Wachowski

further explained on page 4



Brother’s world of, The Matrix (1999), where humans live in a problem-free, sterile, computer-based, dream world. The main characters in the film- Neo, Morpheus and Trinity- have to rely on plenty of emulation, software and simulation to enter The Matrix world. This is exemplified when Morpheus shows Neo the ‘construct’, where programs, clothes and guns can simply be loaded on to an individual at the click of a button. The process is clean and simple; something not normally associated to the graphic and sometimes horrific nature of earlier cyber-punk films like Tetsuo (1988, Tsukamoto) and Brazil (1985, Gilliam) J.P. Telotte opens his book Replications (pg 1, 1995) with a discussion on the problematic nature of being human by referring to a line from the 1982 film, The Thing (Carpenter). In the film, MacReady, the film’s main character, becomes anxious and worried over the presence of the monster (The Thing) amongst his men. The monster can disguise itself as the men around it, so MacReady reassures himself- by pronouncing “I know I’m human”. This shows his uneasiness with his identity and humanity. According to Lacan, the mirror stage is when, at eighteen months or so, the child first sees his own reflection in the mirror. The child recognises that he or she is simultaneously part of and separate from the rest of the world (Lancan, 1977). In the sense of Lacan’s mirror stage, the line quoted from The Thing helps illustrate how we often evaluate our world through ourselves as a mirror. In many ways, robots and cyborgs are also a reflection of the human identity, attempting to mirror human feeling, emotion and thought. In I, Robot (Proyas, 2004) and Artificial Intelligence: A.I (Spielberg, 2001) robots are accepted in wider society as ‘virtually’ human and even trialled in court as legitimately human beings. They even have to contend with prejudice and forms of ‘robophobia’ 2 from the public. Human identity can be created through; gender, ethnicity, faith/religion, occupation and class, yet it seems that modern society has formed a post-modern complex for individuals. Literally, what you are has become more important than whom you are.


Fear of robots



Examples can be seen in Fight Club (Fincher, 1999) when the schizophrenic alter-ego of Tyler Durden states;
You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world

The modern world is an object-obsessed material world which has left humanity behind. In Consumer Society (1970), Baudrillard states “Today, we are everywhere surrounded by the remarkable conspicuousness of consumption and affluence, established by the multiplication of objects, services and material goods” (p. 131). Furthermore we have become human products ourselves, mere images and reflections of the demi-gods of the television and advertising campaigns. This is typified by the barcodes tattooed on the bodies of the characters in Alien

(Fincher, 1993) and The Matrix. The image of the

barcode recalls that of the numbered prisoner and concentration camp detainee, where one’s entire existence is determined by a number, over the pure culture of the name. Like the bodies grown in ‘farms’ in The Matrix, we appear to be closer to cold and calculated statistics than the warm blooded mammals we are told to associate our species with. And still, we are treating ourselves like products, allowing science and technology to master our bodies for us- genetic engineering and cloning ensuring us a ‘better life’. The modern human can now physically change their appearance, be bent and shaped, through cosmetic and plastic surgery. Psychologically, we also have abandoned our own personal development in the reassurance that we can rely on the extents of the medicine of psychotherapy and counselling. Modern religions like the Church of Scientology have become obsessed with ‘mutating’ the identity, attempting to change the individual under the conviction that they are already misguided. According to the “online stress test” at the official Scientology website;
Here are answers to your questions about yourself. There are ways to get definite results. Taking this test is the first step to gaining control of your life (Authors bold, http://www.scientology.org)



Playing off our obsession with the new, recent religious groups like Scientology, offer to create a new ‘you’, a new person. The faith is also sold like a product through its endorsement from various famous actors and celebrities. The Church also offers all its ‘religious’ literature for sale via the website, The Fundamentals of Thought, by L. Ron Hubbard, currently costing $33. The Company of the Church of Scientology appears to be very prolific for a movement which professes to be concerned with changing people from the inside out; and not the inverse as it appears to honestly be. Our modern emotionless, face-paced lives have confused us. We now place great importance on communication, creating multiple networks to please our desire of knowing that everyone is only seconds away, yet we seem to be more isolated than ever. Physical contact has been literally severed by the communication boom of the 1980s and 90s with the onslaught of the Internet and mobile telephones. Even in the home for example, computer games (virtual reality) have replaced some playing outside in “the fresh air” for children. With the occurrence of the Internet, we no hardly need to venture outside to the bookstore or supermarket, when everything we need is merely one click away from being done through the World Wide Web and e-commerce. If for Baudrillard the shopping mall was a hyper-reality, e-commerce must be a hyper-non-reality as the shopping mall now only exists virtually, through software. Yet, such theory can only apply to societies which rely heavily on technology, namely those which reside in the ‘first world’. It appears that in other less-developed counties, culture manages to replace the functions that technology fulfils for people in the West. ‘Online socialisation’ (Internet chat-rooms, instant messaging, e-mail) has begun to replace more old-fashioned forms of socialisation for people in technologically developed societies, whilst those who lack such technological advances still to rely on more tried and tested methods, yet aspire to becoming akin to those in the developed world. This super-network that most people in the world can now connect to, has united us all in to one seamless organism. Such a network is supported by wireless mini-networks like credit cards, ID cards and more obscure items like store loyalty-cards. Substance, represented by the physical hardware of the 1980s, has become replaced with the



worthless data of software. In The Cube (Natali, 1997) 7 characters, all from different walks of life, wake up to a mysterious cube maze and left to escape by combining their knowledge. The cube maze is a nonsensical task that requires a near impossible maths problem to be solved for the character to be released. The cube maze is similar to modern society, in that it is a worthless, futile puzzle. In the film, Worth (David Hewlett), a computer programmer, explains the purpose of the Cube to the rest of the group: Worth: There is no conspiracy. Nobody is in charge. It's a headless blunder operating under the illusion of a master plan. In many ways our society can be seen as a networked wireless amalgamation attached to television, personal computers, mobile telephones and the mass media. Like Orwell’s novel 1984 (1948), we suffer from the paranoia of constantly being watched through these technologies. Yet we create our own entertainment through “the watch” and “the look”, with Reality-based TV and entire television shows based on CCTV systems. Additionally, a brash image and treatment of violence and sex in the mass media has diluted a lot of meaning, whilst increasing our desire. We currently spend our lives becoming seduced in to being avid consumers. The human “soul” has become lost and all that remains is a ‘ready made’ shell which is filled with superficial and artificial content. Theorist Baudrillard in his essay Simulacra and Simulations (1981) commented on this process, labelling it as a form of self-consumption. In what he described as “the desert of the real”, Baudrillard noted that people have began, in effect, to consume themselves in the form of images and abstractions through which their desires, sense of identity, and memories are replicated and then sold back to them as products (be it a television show or a technological gadget). The overindulgence of science, demonstrated by cloning, stem-cell and cellular research and genetic engineering has even caused the psychical body to become looked upon as material, a textile. An individual now represents an object (as in Baudrillard’s System of Objects, 1968), a meat-like product that has lost its true value and has become a commodity. In the film Alien, the crew resolve to fire weaponry to get rid of the Alien



intruder; almost as if they regress to the tools and technology of the primitive human even though they inhabit a high-technology futuristic spacecraft. The modern humans in the film appear to have regressed back in to a primitive condition, away from the shallow, if technologically advanced state, they live in.

3. Blade Runner and the postmodern identity crisis
Baudrillard highlighted the phenomenon of the reproduced and “simulated” reality replacing the more “natural” and “substantial” forms of the “real” as the “precession of simulacra”. However, he explains that only his last order of simulacra- “the simulacra of simulation, founded on information, the model, the cybernetic game- total operationality, hyperreality, aim of total control” (1981, pg 121)- can truly interest us in modern science fiction (ibid, pg 127). What Baudrillard seems to be referring to is that although science fiction films can consist of a combination of other genres (comedy, romance, horror and action films), the strongest and most important theme in science fiction today is the obsession with simulation. Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (1982) is a film pursuing exactly this interest. Like The Thing, Blade Runner asks what it means to be a human, who we are and how we know it. In raising such questions, Blade Runner makes use of the ‘replicant’, or android, as a sense of the ‘Other’- the reflection in the mirror. The plot of the film is driven by the replicants’ desire to return to Earth to confront their makers in to prolonging their four-year lifespan. However, it appears that the root of the replicants’ identity problem does not lie in the length of their lives, but in their quality. They constantly try to create identities for themselves, anxiously hoping to become more human. This in turn creates the supposition for potential hyper-reality in their characters as they become constructs of pre-programmed fantasies. Deckard, a blade runner (bounty hunter) hired to ‘retire’ replicants, also faces a similar crisis with his own identity, whilst the film ambiguously hints at the possibility of Deckard being a replicant himself. If we cannot be sure about ourselves, if we are plagued with anxieties about what we are, how can we ever act human? p. 2, Telotte, 1995



In his early work, The System of Objects (1968), Jean Baudrillard discusses his theory of the consumer society from a neo-Marxist perspective, relying on both Lacanian psychoanalysis and Saussurean structuralism to develop his main theme; that consumption has become the chief basis of the social order. He suggests that consumer objects structure behaviour through a linguistic sign function. For example, in advertising, which has taken over "the moral responsibility for all of society and replace[d] a puritan morality with a hedonistic morality of pure satisfaction, like a new state of nature at the heart of hypercivilization," (pp. 12-13). This theory can be seen prolifically in the dystopian world of Blade Runner, a society which specifically revolves around image, the look and seeing (or the sign). It is a post-modern time which is “governed by a new technology of operational simulation, in which cybernetic systems of binary oppositions organise everyday life” (p. 31, Denzin, 1991). It is a place where the fake seems real and the real no longer seems to exist. Only a “romantic nostalgia remains” (p. 33, Ibid). The film’s main location, Los Angeles in the year 2019, is much like Baudrillard’s vision of modern society in that it is totally built on the “unarticulated, instantaneous form, without a past, without a future” (Baudrillard, reference pending) advertising. Huge signs tower above the streets promoting major corporations and brands- Coca-Cola, TDK, Atari, Jim-Bean, Trident, even a huge video screen features a Japanese geisha popping a pill. The overwhelming presence and importance of the image is also implied through the various gadgets (another of Baudrillard’s fascinations) of Blade Runner, like video phones, the photo-enhancing ESPER machine and the pupil scanning Voight-Kampff test. Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) is an exotic dancer in a downtown strip-club, dressed in sparkling make-up and skimpy clothing. She certainly looks real, she also looks human, but she is a replicant. Previously Deckard had found a small piece of scaly skin which he took to be examined and is told that it comes from a replicant snake bought by Zhora. As Deckard enters her dressing room the snake swans about Zhora’s neck in a loving way. Like Zhora, the snake also looks real- writhing with life about the architecture of Zhora’s body. In a way, Zhora uses the snake to enhance her realness, even if the animal is false,



looking at it in a caring way and caressing it with Motherness- a human condition. Similarly with modern humans, our possessions are a sign of who we are and what we stand for. Zhora’s snake also has its own symbolism, even if it is a mixed one. On one side the snake can represent life (like Zhora’s breasts, which are exposed in the scene and appear as a sign of nurture) as the snake sheds and grows its own skin. On the other hand, the snake can be seen as a form of evil (the Devil) as symbolised in the Bible. In this case it appears that the snake is signifying some kind of evil, as Zhora double-crosses Deckard by punching him in the face and trying to kill him by strangulation. Likewise, the main replicant character, Roy (Rutger Hauer) holds a white dove (also a Biblical animal representation), symbolising the character’s purity and innocence. According to Tyrell, Roy is also the “prodigal son”; Roy even figuratively inserts a nail in to his palm to prolong his life- connecting him with the pure, and the image of crucified Christ. At the end of the film, Roy saves Deckard’s life and launches the Dove upwards, the camera turning to the heavens as he slowly faces his death- giving further reference to the image of martyrs and saviours. Rachael (Sean Young) is Tyrell’s latest experiment and unlike the other Nexus-6 replicants, she has memories implanted in to her brain, which are based on the life of Tyrell’s niece. To quote her maker Tyrell, she is “more human than human”, especially as she also has the added feature of not being aware of her replicant status. Deckard administers the replicant-detecting Voight-Kampff test on Rachael, but it takes five times as long to recognise her as a replicant. Tyrell reveals that;
Rachael is an experiment, nothing more. We began to recognize in them a strange obsession. After all, they are emotionally inexperienced with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we give them the past, we create a cushion or pillow for their emotions and consequently we can control them better.

It is revealed that Rachael’s life is a cruel trick, a mere experimental pet-project of Tyrell’s, but in his words he reveals something important about memory. Like fellow replicant Leon, and (debatably human) Deckard, Rachael has a set of photographs which link to her memories. The replicants use the images to support the history that they have



not experienced. This can also be said of the modern human, who also has the tendency to place great importance on this type of image. Although they are just flat, twodimensional representations, we often trust photographs as a means of nailing things down- history, identity and reality. Roland Barthes has been quoted as saying “a sort of umbilical cord links the body of the photographed thing to my gaze” (p.5, 1981). Children, whose close members of the family may have passed away before they were born, can look back through photographs (and more recently home-videos) using the imagery to help construct and replace (replay) what is missing from their identity much like the replicants do in the film. Avant-garde home-movie artist Jonas Mekas picks up on this idea, having constantly filmed his everyday life for his film compilations; resulting in a feeling of Motherly nurture for the recorded image. Roland Barthes admits in Camera Lucida when looking at a photograph of Napoleon’s brother he realised; “I am looking at the eyes that looked at the emperor” (p. 3). The photograph exemplifies the formation of identity and the conformation of being alive. However, photographs alone are just signs, empty signifiers, easily destroyed or manipulated. The fact that Rachael does not need photographs to be content, unlike Leon who seems devastated when he realises “the police” have taken his “precious photos”, proves she is far more human-like. The indelible nature of the memory itself is what keeps Rachael alive. We notice that Deckard also relies strongly on the photograph, his collection positioned romantically around his piano. Music is often associated with human expression and the soul, for example with lonely Harry Caul’s saxophone in The Conversation (Coppola, 1974). Deckard’s photo collection appears as a reference that he is still a human being, however the statement becomes ironic since replicants also possess similar photo collections. Replicants aren't supposed to be emotional, but because Rachael is “more human than human”, tears can well up in her eyes, and literally flow down her cheeks. Her face melts after Deckard brutally and cruelly pounds in the truth that her memories are only



implants, and that she is just a robot with emotions. When Deckard leaves the room to get Rachael a drink, she flees the apartment devastated. As he picks up her discarded snapshot (of Tyrell's niece as a child with her mother), the shadows on the porch in the picture move as if real for a moment or two, and the faint sounds of laughing children are heard. The picture of Rachael with her mother seems to briefly flicker to life suggesting the image creates a simulation possibly more real than reality. According to Baudrillard, Rachael can be seen as being symbolic of the hyperreal human condition- her past is based on simulated images, signs and stories. Rachael has very little of her own free will and relies on other human beings to control it for her. When Deckard prompts Rachael “Do you love me? ... Do you trust me?” her monosyllabic replies seem just as static and programmed as when she is asked by Deckard to say “Kiss me”. It is in the nature of the human being to question and discover their personal limits. This is given as an example by Plato on Empiricism (The Allegory of the Cave, In The Republic) that our learning curve is created through experimenting with our senses and analysing things through our thoughts. Rachael’s limits have been pre-set and her boundaries of identity have already been defined. This constant questioning is what makes us human:
When the map covers the whole territory, something like the principle of reality disappears. (Author’s italics, p. 123, Baudrillard, 1981)

The ambiguity of Deckard’s replicant status is vital and central to Blade Runner as a successful work. For Slavoj Žižek (pp. 9-44, 1993), Deckard standing revealed as a replicant makes Blade Runner valuable in that it stages a confrontation with our own “replicant-status”. When we watch Deckard we query our own construction through Deckard as a mirror, whilst also becoming acutely reminded of the emptiness that we sense in the recognition of the void between “our” and “selves” after the initial mirror process. According to Francavilla (1991):


5/12/04 These replicants function as mirrors for people, by allowing examination and moral scrutiny of ourselves, our technology, and our treatment of other beings, and by defining in their tragic struggle what is truly human (p. 14)

What is truly human? The concept of humanity has become blurred throughout time due to our constant questioning and objectifying of human life and reality- through creating purpose for meaning. In the film, Pris recites the famous Descartes theorem of “I think, therefore I am” however it seems that Deckard (also homophone for Descartes, Žižek points out (1993)) is the true reflection of this saying, as he is the representation of the identity crisis. Rachael asks Deckard if he has ever ‘retired’ a human by mistake, and whether he has ever taken the Voight-Kampff test himself, prompting him to question his identity as a human or replicant. 1980’s solo artist Gary Numan also appears to echo many of the identity issues raised in Blade Runner, through his cyber-punk infused electro music3. Such song titles as “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Me! I Disconnect From You” (Replicas, 1979) demonstrate the crisis and alienated feelings of many people coming to terms with their identities during the time. Likewise in Blade Runner, even Rachael’s replicant hands can play the piano just as beautifully as Deckard’s, somewhat degrading the act of playing to a mechanical, rather than emotional, art; exactly what Numan appears to also portray with his assortment of modern electrical synthesisers. Deckard’s character is hard, distant, and that of a cold-blooded killer. Even his exwife refers to him as “sushi… cold fish”. He is nothing more than a sophisticated replicant. Deckard appears as an alienated, lost, white male in a sprawling futuristic city made up of outcast Orientals, replicants, punks and midgets. All the “superior” white people seem to have moved away to the Off-World, even J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson) is kept back on Earth as an outcast due to his “Methuselah syndrome”, a genetic disorder which accelerates ageing.

Interesting to note that Blade Runner has also often been categorised as a Cyber-punk film (see Kadrey & McCaffery, chapter “Cyberpunk 101” in Storming the Reality Studio)



In Blade Runner Deckard seems to go through a period of revelation and discovery over his identity. When Deckard shoots Zhora in the back we hear Deckard in a voiceover narration (another sign that he is constantly re-examining his surroundings and behaviour) “there it was again, feeling, in myself, for her, for Rachael”. The blade runner realises that he is falling in love with what he is told to destroy. Through her influence, Deckard develops emotionally and empathically, questioning his actions and priorities. He begins to observe the parallels between the replicants and himself, indicating the process of change: “Replicants weren’t supposed to have feelings. Neither were blade runners. What the hell was happening to me?” Deckard is demonstrating the human ability to have a rebirth in consciousness- or self-realisation. According to theorist Francavilla (1991), Deckard achieves further self discovery through Roy, who effectively is revealed as Deckard’s double or ‘doppelganger’. Francavilla begins by suggesting that the route of the double extends to when “early man saw the shadow or reflection as a defence against death, in the form of a guardian spirit or an immortal soul”. He examines the double: “the intimate, unbreakable bond between doubles indicates an empathetic, love-hate relationship whose development goes well beyond mere coincidence or chance” (p. 5, 1991). It seems that Deckard and Roy are two halves of a perfect being, each lacking half of what the other has. Deckard is a dry, dull character with a typical film noir hard-boiled exterior, a “killer”. Roy is also a killer but on the other hand is intelligent, humorous, flamboyant and most importantly empathetic. Roy tells Sebastian that he worries Pris (his girlfriend) will die (rather than himself). On the other hand, Deckard seems to simplify his bloody replicant murders as “part of the business”. Roy is also poetic and witty about life, whereas Deckard appears to be full of repressed emotions about his existence and identity. Perhaps Roy values life more as a hyper-real being because of his situation unlike Deckard who appears too drawn-up about being human. Only when Roy turns the tables and hunts down Deckard, is the blade runner forced to emphasise with the replicants and confront the ethics of his occupation. Roy becomes like an intuitive twin, somehow knowing Deckard’s name and managing to predict Deckard’s movements in the final chase scene. The rooftop ‘dance’ finally resolves with Roy facing the imminent death of his four year life-span, whilst also giving



Deckard the chance to live. Roy is the “harbinger of death”, of humans, the symbol of man’s inhumanity, whilst also paradoxically fulfilling the role as the “guardian saviour” (Francavilla, p. 11, 1991). In Blade Runner, there is a strong notion that Deckard is under the strict control of his superior, Bryant (Emmet Walsh). As Deckard is forced to re-evaluate his work and comes to realise that he is exterminating potentially intelligent and organic beings, he reaches something of a crisis stating “Replicants weren't supposed to have feelings. Neither were blade runners. What the hell was happening to me?” Detective Bryant comes to symbolise Capitalism, and Deckard as Capitalism’s dehumanised and lost worker, buried in the system of mechanisation and bureaucracy. After Bryant’s threat about ‘victims’ and ‘little people’ Deckard makes the choice to continue his work, even though he has a ‘bellyful of killing’. This is exactly what forces Deckard to make new life decisions and change in the face of the corporation, reforming his identity and transforming his outlook on the replicants that he is ordered to kill. This instance in the film illustrates the importance of occupation and how it can dictate and control identity. n Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), we see a similar case with Sam Lowry (Jonathan Price) who is a civil servant for a techno-bureaucratic company in the future. Sam Lowry is a low level office worker and is portrayed literally as one small cog in the system. Sam becomes frustrated in his work and life which results in him creating day-dreams and fantasies of another life outside of the controlled world he lives in. Sam dreams about being with his ideal perfect woman and of being a super-hero which comes to characterise his persona as a trapped, lonely and frustrated male like Deckard in Blade Runner. In many ways Ripley in Alien suffers from the same psychological complex; however the difference being that the film does not allow Ripley to show any of her faults for the fear that her male counterparts might see her as a stereotypical “weak” female. All three films display elements of the cyber-punk ethics of anti-corporatism and anticapitalism. Larry McCaffery explains in his book Storming the Reality Studio;
The cyberpunks presented themselves as “techno-urban-guerrilla” artists announcing that both the technological dreams and nightmares envisioned by 14

5/12/04 previous generation of SF artists were already in place … Cyberpunk … became a significant movement within post-modernism because of its ability to present an intense, vital, and often darkly humorous vision on the world space of multinational capitalism. (p. 16, 1991)

4. Age as part of the postmodern identity
Age is a factor of the human identity which many people are constantly trying to battle against. Our culture’s obsession with the image coincides accurately with its constant attempt to remain “forever young”. There appears to be a number of advances in modern technology and medicine which contribute to fighting the anti-aging process. Namely; - Skin creams and lotions that aim to remove wrinkles and increase the skin’s elasticity -Surgical processes which add shape and form back into aging features e.g. liposuction, plastic surgery, collagen and acid peels. Alternatively, chemicals which paralyse muscle movement to reduce wrinkling e.g. Botox (a pleasant trade name for botulinum toxin A). - Dietary supplements (pro-vitamins, minerals, oils etc) Are the above processes helping to build a more android-looking human race? Through enhanced surgical processes people start to look more similar, more robot-like, we begin notice a loss in our individual identities and “look”. Such processes challenge what it means to be “old” and redefine the boundaries of who we accept as “old”. As the elderly begin to emulate the youth of society and the youth attempt to stay forever young, it seems that we are almost witnessing a dying breed of elderly humans whilst simultaneously further reinforcing age as taboo subject. It appears that rather than sort out our inner and societal conflicts with age we are instead treating it as an illness. The postmodern identity has blown our natural fear of death out of proportion causing us to constantly bombard it with surgical procedures and miracle cures. Possibly one day we will be able to avoid aging, but how will this contribute to the future construction of our


identities? Who will replace the role of the elderly in society; the wise, the experienced, if the old cease to physically exist? For now, the battle continues as we witness a series of test subject, scores of future androids, equipped with out-of-proportion facial features and arrays of odd-looking implants. The elderly are slowly beginning to change their appearance in to a new breed, one of an androgynous and simulated-youth appearance. Science is slowly creating the android from within our own race by developing this super-human, hyper-human. Yet it still appears that everything that has a beginning must have an end, and that ultimately death will always remain the inevitable. This is exemplified in Blade Runner where replicants have had their lives restricted down to four years, since otherwise they could possibly live forever. Another science fiction film which comments directly on society’s reaction to age is Anderson’s Logan’s Run (1976). The film is set in year 2274 when a nuclear holocaust has decimated the earth and the survivors have sealed themselves into a domed city. To maintain the population balance, the computers that run the city have decreed that all people must die at age 30. This system is enforced by "sandmen”: police operatives who terminate "runners" or those who attempt to live beyond 30. Logan (Michael York), a sandman, is sent on a mission to find "sanctuary", a place to which runners have been escaping. Logan begins to question the system he serves and after seeing for himself that there is life beyond the dome, he returns to enlighten others. It appears that this film has a discourse which comments on how we treat aging as a concept in a modern society. In the film, people aged 30 are placed into the “Carousel”, a type of auditorium which draws members closely in and executes them with lasers. During this ceremony spectators can be heard shouting “Renewal, renewal!”. This scene in particular appears to parody modern science by using the laser as a purposely futuristic looking device, to which scores of people almost worship during the “renewal” (death) ritual. In today’s society we often see famous doctors or therapists hailed as god-like figures and who accumulate groups of devoted followers. They are often worshipped, like the Carousel, for the “miracles” they create and the cures they administer.



5. Alien: the corporation, the mother and the other
Ridley Scott’s pre-Blade Runner science fiction film Alien (1979) also has a strong sense of the corporation and the company. Yet this time round the film’s protagonist is a female character, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), a woman cast as the lead hero- conventionally a role played by and written for a male character. Ripley is third officer of the commercial space craft Nostromo, a claustrophobic, intergalactic space cargo/scavenger ship that is bringing twenty million tons of mineral ore back to Earth. However, unknown to the crew, the Company have a secret agenda to recover a potentially deadly Alien to aid their ‘weapons program’, also indicating that the crew are somewhat expendable in the process. The film comes to represent the late Capitalist society, where the worker is encouraged to be a company man/woman yet not have any control or understanding of the work they commit to. The Alien and the mechanisation and technology of the space craft, affectionately named Mother, become contrasted with the humanity of the workers. In Alien the Other is fatal, inhuman and destructive, in contrast to Blade Runner, where the humans assume this role. Ash, the films’ only android, proclaims the Alien as a perfect organism “unclouded by conscious, remorse, or delusions of morality”. Ash on the other hand is like the rest of the company’s machinery, with imperfections and faults, eventually exploding after a malfunction. Unlike Blade Runner, Alien appears to have a vision of the future where the humans still rule over the Other; the film climaxes with Ripley blasting the Alien out in to space. Initially the mothership represents protection from the Other, but slowly it becomes the Other, working with the android Ash (Ian Holm). Both entities equally do not portray emotion, instead creating a void between them and the humans on board. As established from the beginning by a tour through the apparently lifeless Nostromo, floating through a vast and empty space, the crew emerge as if from a womb, of Mother, the ship's computer. Like children totally dependant on Mother, the scene indicates the characters’ fragility and utter dependence on technology. It is no coincidence that this computer system they rely on to control missions, also manages their hyper-sleep. Mother literally puts the crew to bed like her children. However, the computer system is simply a



tool in the hands of a corporate entity, the Company, which dictates that the crew is expendable in the pursuit of profit. Yet interestingly, it is the Company’s technology and equipment used, to stalk the profit, the Alien intruder, that fails. The gadgets either misinterpret movements by other crew or the ship’s cat, often malfunctioning altogether at critical times. The technology on the ship comes to represent the failure and letdown of modern technological inventions and devices that often prove to be useless, hardly making any improvement in life. In the case of Alien, the technology fails the Company and eventually destroys all hopes of its business incentive. Recently, businesses have increasingly relied on technology- like the Internet for example- and consequently suffered when the ‘bubble’ burst and technologies collapsed under their feet. The android Ash is a servant, the modern version of a Victorian slave. He also functions as an appliance, an object. Ash can represent our fetishist desire to possess the latest object, purely for the reason of having it. On the ambiguity of advertising, Baudrillard writes in The System of Objects (1968)
…it provokes us to compete; yet, through this imaginary competition, it already invokes a profound monotony, a uniformula (postulation uniforme), a devolution in the bliss of consuming masses. (Authors italics, p. 11)

And in many ways, this system of consumption and objects creates an idea of freedom, although a simulated one. Indeed man can buy back childhood memories, buy the latest car etc. and project his real desires onto produced goods. Consumers can certainly make themselves happy by surrounding themselves with goods and using them as a mask for their true needs and feelings. In the words of Baudrillard “[Man can] accept being only a complex of intermediate drives and be satisfied with their satisfaction” (Ibid. p. 13). Figuratively, Ash is also the modern male dehumanised by his work in the face of the corporation, similar to the character of Deckard seen in Blade Runner. Such characters must be strong, motionless and competent, without fear or human response in the face of the Company. Deckard, who works in service of the Tyrell Corporation, must



have the qualities of a replicant in order to do his job well. Metaphorically Ash in Alien is made of a white blood substance, which it could be said stands for a pure species that is untainted by emotion. The white blood is the petroleum fuel of the android, the grease in the cogs and wheels of the mechanised body or the machine that is the Company. The white blood, like the android, is a perfected simulation of all which is human. The human blood of the crew, emphasised by Kane’s exploding chest scene, is red; representing love, spontaneous reaction and passion. The human figure is also vulnerable to intrusion and the human blood, unlike the deadly green acidic Alien blood; is psychically harmless, symbolic of the life-force and of the real. The Alien’s green blood, more like the green of Nature, represents natural defence mechanisms and organic weapons of highly evolved species like the venom of the scorpion or cobra. Like Ash, the Alien does not suffer from emotion. This makes the Alien the most advanced species in the film, the envy of both human and android. The Alien still has the edge of Mother Nature, possessing more advanced characteristics in evolution and adaptation. According to Barbra Creed, the Alien stands as “the archaic mother, that is, the image of the mother in her generative function- the mother as the origin of all life” (p. 129, 1986). In today’s society the male is the dominant, as the Alien symbolises this oddly through a female perspective; as the powerful insect queen of the hive. The Alien shows how archaic society functioned through the Mother by exemplifying insect worlds, where males function as workers to serve and protect the queen. This opposes today’s society, pure Capitalism, where the Father is strong and powerful. In archaic society Mother was strong, representing birth, care, nurture and life and through Capitalism, Mother has been downgraded to the home, where she remains underpaid in society and underappreciated. For this reason the Alien’s threatening phallic and penetrative imagery can also represent the female fear and rejection of the male. In Capitalism Mother is only promoted to excel in sexuality, which Father still tries to steal away from her, through the feminisation of the male; the proliferation of androgynous fashion and hybridisation of the sexes through cosmetic alteration. Alien tries to challenge this notion by allowing Ripley to steal the stereotypically male role, making her strong, charismatic and dominating over the more traditional passive female character. Mother has literally



become defunct in a society that can easily recreate, synthesise, simulate and generate beings that duplicate her primary functions. Father has begun to take on board Mother’s characteristics as well as his own, which can be seen to result in today’s post-modern male complex with identity. Today’s Father, like Doctor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, feels the urge to create monsters, or androids to fulfil his desire and lack of Mother. Only time can tell whether the monster will reject his Father to seek his own Mother, to be loved, to feel care and to experience other qualities that only Mother can truly offer, as demonstrated by Frankenstein’s Monster. Or, as in Blade Runner, the sexless androids that man creates could eventually turn on their maker in search of answers about their post-human identity. After the Alien has cocooned him, Dallas repeatedly begs Ripley to kill him, which she does with her flame-thrower, burning the entire Alien lair. From the scene it appears that the Alien kidnaps its victims and entombs them so that they will become host for more of their Alien kind. If Ripley and her flamethrower had not interrupted the process, Brett and Dallas would have become Alien wombs. The Alien is a superior being and engulfs the human into becoming a simulated Alien womb. The Alien attempts to make Others more like itself. Parallels can be seen during the Imperialist period, where the British attempted to colonise allegedly ‘inferior’ nations and make them more British and ‘civilised’, or ‘human’. It is human nature to alienate oneself through species and ethnicity, creating Others which comprise of characteristics differing from what is considered the human norm. In Alien, the closed white male body, first penetrated, infected, and exploded in the case of crewman Kane, now develops a more profound transformation, the transmutation in to the Other. Like the replicants in Blade Runner, the Aliens work as a unit or group. Similar to insect species, they willingly sacrifice themselves to ensure the survival of their kind. This is contrasted with the humans, who possess a Darwinian ethic of ‘survival of the fittest’. Human individuals fight against each other in a primitive and unorganised way in reaction to their hyper-emotional fears of death. The human also lives segregated and alienated (an odd word, since the Alien is so un-alienated from itself), constantly fighting



against its own race. Similar to our creation of the Other through science fiction movies as the Alien, images of refugees and asylum seekers in the mass media build tension between the human race, creating the Other, as if to provide some grounds of difference and thus some purpose to the ‘self’. Since this Other only seems to exist, in most cases, through the propagation of the image, it could be said that it is a Hyper-Other. However, the hate in which the modern individual generates for the Hyper-Other is indefinitely real as it causes war, discrimination and destruction amongst the species. The black male, Parker (Yaphet Kotto), comes to represent a further Other, that of inequality. Like Ripley, Parker is singled out noticeably as the other physically ‘different’ crewmember. It is interesting in Alien that the black male is still ridden with cliché and not a particularly high status member of the clan. He truly represents the early 1980s interpretation of the urban, working class black male. Parker’s character plays the jokeridden, laid back, gum chewing ‘cool guy’ routine, in this case coupled with accordingly lower-class dress; an open shirt and blue headband. Solely for the reason that Parker is the only black person in the film, causes him to become a parody of the industry at the time. The parody film GayNiggers From Outer Space (Lindberg, 1992) puts emphasis not only on black peoples’ mistreatment in the media by darkly referring to them as ‘niggers’- but further stresses their alienation by branding them as gay and from outer space. In general between 1980 and 2000 most films, especially the science fiction and horror film genres, featured ‘token’ black actors. Before that period black people hardly featured as central characters at all. Like many Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, the lowbudget GayNiggers comes to symbolise the clear ethnic identity crisis of the 1980-90s and the awfully low presence of non-whites figures in the media. In Alien, Parker becomes endorsed as the new face of science fiction- the black male. Even though Parker’s character traits are slightly jaded, Ridley Scott seems to be making a point with Parker’s presence by choosing him to last almost until the end of the film alongside heroine Ripley. Alien stands up in comparison with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (Meyer) from the same year and the later I, Robot (Proyas, 2004). Star Trek II attempts to ignore



inequality and instead suggest a vision of the future where only equal opportunity canallegedly- exist. Black character Terrell becomes successfully assimilated in to the adeptly named ‘Enterprise’ ship, where he and Sulu (Asian) and Chekhov (Russian) all work loyally under Captain Kirk’s command- notably the white male-superior (Byers, 1987, p. 46). Likewise, I, Robot can also regress away from new ideas in filmmaking and of the future. The plot, which offers nothing new (and a lot less) since Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), casts known black actor (Will Smith) as the male lead yet denies his character to have so much as a slither of a romance with the white female lead (Bridget Moynahan) - as if to suggest an inter-racial romance would deny I, Robot boxoffice success. Proyas attempts to redeem Smith’s character by issuing him with a gun and badge, but that same old ‘funny black guy’ cliché still rings true; sad, in a film which could potentially deal with a lot of material regarding discrimination, androids and the future. Parker in Alien works on Nostromo typically as a mechanic and his class status is further promoted by fellow mechanic Brett (Harry Dean Stanton), a typical white working-class male; his appearance being grotty and dirty, his voice accented with a slurring mid-western American tone. His stereotypical working-class misogynist views also help construct his character, playing off the slightly more classy female character Lambert. Like Ash, Parker and Brett also represent the mentality of the labourer, who repeat (like a parrot) the commands of the boss and do not have much say in the work they carry out; Ripley: Whenever he says anything you say "right," Brett, you know that? Brett: Right. Ripley: Parker, what do you think? Your staff just follows you around and says "right", like a regular parrot. Parker: [laughs] Yeah, shape up. What are you some kind of parrot? Brett: Right. In Alien, Ripley becomes aware of the fragility and dependence of the crew on Mother, the spacecraft. She begins to take the mission into her own hands, in somewhat a revolutionary nature, shunning the Company’s plans to obtain the Alien and blasting it in



to outer space. In a threatening male world, Ripley comes to possess the identity characteristics that modern women could aspire to: strong and independent. She is expected to check her femininity along with her emotion at the door. Ripley is surrounded by men in the film, the only woman being Lambert (Veronica Cartwright). Ripley’s persona is more male than Lambert’s. In fact Ripley is almost an androgynous character, her gender identity becoming blurred further as the film progresses. Lambert lets her femininity ooze through the cracks in her façade. She’s nervous and impatient, and not so comfortable being one of the guys. She is a stereotypical high-maintenance female. It’s clear that she lacks the fortitude to function reliably in her position, and she comes across as whiny and annoying. As the story develops, she falls to pieces quickly, the typical and obviously fragile female. Ripley is signalled early in the film as more stable than Lambert and more intelligent than her male counter-part, Dallas (Tom Skerritt). Ripley rightly opposes Dallas’ decision to let impregnated Kane through contamination and on to the ship. Yet Ash, who is secretly working on behalf of the Company, overrides Ripley’s opinion. Ash is under Mother’s direct instruction, and begins to act like an obedient son, doing as he is told by Mother to protect the Alien. Ash, the image of the Company, appears to symbolise the discriminating boss that tries to stop women from succeeding. When Ash tries to kill Ripley, he throws her into a cabin bed, the background of which is pasted full of pornographic images. Ash then attempts to choke Ripley by ramming a phallic-rolled-up pornographic magazine down her throat; the pornography referencing an industry where women are devalued to the image, and act powerless under male control. Suggesting further that Ripley (as a female minority) is trying to claim her rightful place in the ship’s male hierarchy, Parker, the film’s only black character comes to her rescue- eventually decapitating Ash (or symbolically, the Company). Ripley is now free from her oppressor, the Company, and goes on to try to kill the Alien, which is now threatening her life. Ripley as a woman has become a major threat to many establishments; the Company’s financial interest, the male world, the Father and Capitalism.



In order to further reinforce her femininity, Ripley goes in search of the ship’s cat, Jones, for no other reason but that she likes him and doesn’t want him to die. She finds and secures him in the nick of time, but we quickly learn that her compassionate efforts have allowed the Alien time to enter the escape pod. After the pod is jettisoned from the Nostromo, Ripley does another classically female thing: she becomes vulnerable. Thinking she has finally escaped, she undresses and prepares to sleep; her semi-naked female body put on show to reaffirm her femininity; curvaceous and erotic. Ripley then notices that the Alien has come along for the ride and her concern for Jones and the letting down of her guard have put her in grave danger. Her survival depends on her ability to be cool and calculating despite her terror. In the end, Ripley saves herself by overcoming any vestige of femininity and devoting her entire being to killing her enemy. She may look like a woman on the outside, but inside she’s all man. This in effect creates a tangent between the traditional problem of gender and the modern aspect of the problem-complex of human identity prevalent in the science fiction film.

6. Conclusion
What is at stake in Alien, with respect to the questions it poses philosophically, is not the question of whether alien life forms exist or whether androids could be made to seem as intelligent as Ash - that is all part of the 'taken for granted' metaphysics implied by the genre of the film - but rather whether we find ourselves troubled by the issues that trouble Ripley and her fellow crewmates. What is frightening in the film is the precariousness of their lives in the isolation of space and in the face of the monster; but what horrifies us, through the film, is the recognition of our own affinity with this apparently alien situation. It is the fear of penetration, and at the same time the recognition of masculine sexuality in the alien's mode of penetration; it is the impassive and yet unrelenting drive of the alien that frightens, and at the same time the recognition that this unrelenting drive that treats individual organisms as essentially passive vessels for its own continuation is a natural drive, not dissimilar to our own nature.



Replicants are the perfect creations we hope for, replications of ourselves. We envy their perfections; strength, diligence and flawlessness. Furthermore they satisfy our wishes for immortality, one day we are hopeful that we can transfer our memories into a new body, just like Tyrell implants his niece’s memories into Rachael. However, androids are also projections of our fears concerning science and scientific creativity gone out of control. Through images we see on television, films and the like, we generate fears of modern technology; the nuclear bomb, cloning, genetic engineering, automation and mechanisation. Not to mention, that many see it as a sin to imitate God, as Tyrell does by creating life for profit and self-gratification. The replicant as a ‘double’ also seems to accurately express our repressed guilt about the atrocities we have already caused, like the near total extinction of many animal species, as demonstrated in Blade Runner by the proliferation of replicant animals. The ‘double’ also highlights our guilt of the future. We can imagine (Blade Runner demonstrates also) how we may use these new artificial lifeforms as virtual slaves and in colonies, doing to them what we have done to previous generations of ‘Others’ in the past: the native Africans, North and South Americans, Indians and more. Where as before the hierarchy of society was based on class and ethnicity, a new future hierarchy could be constructed around those who own the most virtual life forms and can produce most efficiently. Perhaps the most frightening fact about Alien and Blade Runner is how they make us feel as individuals. Both films not only question our identities but question our awareness of the real and the simulation. Audience members who manage to understand the explicit and implicit discourses in both films may leave the cinema enlightened, but at the same time worried for the future and suffering from a sense of guilt about the future. However, since the majority of viewers do not draw such major conclusions from texts like Blade Runner and Alien, we can rest assured that society will not experience any moral panic concerning future dystopia before it is too late. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) shares the discourse with Alien and Blade Runner in that technology has made man and now it can destroy him. 2001 opens with man in his primitive state in the Pleistocene era, four million years ago, where the viewer is



introduced to the Monolith, a sleek and tall monument which comes to be the man-apes’ obsession. As if it is some higher force or being, the Otherness of the Monolith is huge. It is constantly an ominous object that emanates instruction and guidance. The film then develops into a story surrounding further Monoliths; first one that is accidentally found on the Moon and one that is later discovered by Jupiter. As if in some kind of delirium, man is seen to constantly search for the next Monolith as if it could possible help explain the meaning of the self and the other. Kubrick made the Monolith’s meaning purposely ambiguous so that it could become a metaphor for technology, extra-terrestrials, or God, all vehicles for us to question our own existence and analyse that of who we are. 2001 creates a canvas for discussion about the changing role of technology in our society. The film literally takes the subject from the root, showing early-man learning to use a bone to kill tapirs for meat and his own kind. 2001 eventually manages to reflect on modern mans’ heavy reliance on technology through referring to its connections with the corporation and capitalism. In 2001, the main computer on board HAL 9000 has the same purpose as Mother and Ash in Alien; to monitor the workers on their mission into space. HAL is also like the replicants in Blade Runner in that he is “more real than real”, designed to be fool-proof and totally free of error. However, HAL and all forms of artificial intelligence from all three films eventually malfunction and end up as enemy of the humans. It is exactly at this point that the human identity is exposed and left stranded and the films manage to demonstrate how we construct our identities and modern culture too often around forms of artificial-intelligence and machinery, especially through those that are not yet fully reliable. In 2001 the stranded humans in space are like fish out of water. The irony gradually emerges that computers and other forms of artificial intelligence do not need to breathe to live- computers can be built that can outlive man and eventually that will outwit man as well. Even thought 2001 concludes on a happier note, that man might be able to evolve to a higher being above conscious machines like HAL 9000, the film still resides alongside Blade Runner and Alien as a heavy reminder of the future of the human and the artificial identity coexisting together.



In How we became posthuman (1999) Hayles puts forward the idea of the posthuman, a human state altered by the huge presence of technology in modern society, as a possible answer, remarking that “The posthuman view configures human being so that it can be articulated with intelligent machine” (ibid, p. 3). She goes on to explain that “in the posthuman, there are no essential differences between bodily existence and computer simulation, cybernetic mechanism and biological organism, robot technology and human goals” (ibid, p. 3). It appears that Hayles has provided an accurate conclusion to the perplexed postmodern identity by actively linking it to a new state of mind and being. Hayles suggests that humans must learn to live along side the intelligent machine, literally remarking that she dreams of such a partnership (ibid, p. 5), so that cybernetics can extend liberal humanism rather than subvert it. Possibly there is a future for the human race other than that demonstrated in Alien and Blade Runner. A future where we can exist alongside machine in a positive way with room for freedom, error, birth, death, aging and all the other things that make us human. The posthuman does not really mean the end of humanity. It signals instead the end of a certain conception of the human, a conception that may have applied, at best, to that fraction of humanity who had wealth, power, and leisure to conceptualize themselves as autonomous beings exercising their will through individual agency and choice (ibid, p. 286)

Word count: 10, 126



7. Sources
BIBLIOGRAPHY Arendt, H., The Human Condition, 1958, Uni. Of Chicago Press, USA ed., 1988, Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Stanford, USA Consumer Society (Paris, Gallimard, 1970); pp. 29-56, in Mark Poster, ed., 1988, Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Stanford, USA Simulacra and Simulation, 1981, translated by Glaser, 1994, University of Michigan Press, USA. Barthes, R., Byers, T. Creed, B., Denzin, N., Camera Lucida, translated by R. Howard, 1981, Hill and Wang, USA Commodity Futures, 1987 in: Alien Zone, Annette Kuhn (ed.), Verso, 1990, UK Alien and the Monstrous- Feminine, (1986) in: Alien Zone, Kuhn, A., Verso, 1990, UK Images of Postmodern Society, 1991, Sage Publications, UK Kerman, J., (Ed), Bowling Green State University Popular Press, USA Hayles, N., Kerman, J., Lancan, J., How We Became Posthuman. Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, 1999, The University of Chicago Press, USA Retrofitting Blade Runner, 1991, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, USA Ecrites: a selection, 1977, Routledge, UK Fiction, 1991, Duke University Press, USA Schelde, Per Androids, humanoids, and other science fiction monsters: science and soul in science fiction films, 1993, New York University Press, USA McCaffery, L.,Storming the Reality Studio. A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Francavilla, J., The Android as Doppelganger, In: Retrofitting Blade Runner, 1991, Bukatman, S., Blade Runner, 1997, British Film Institute, UK

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Information and advance capitalism, Chapter 5 in: Webster, F., Theories of the information society, second edition, 2002, Routledge, UK Replications, 1995, University of Illinois Press, USA Tarrying with the negative: Kant, Hegel and the critique of ideology, 1993, Duke University Press, USA

FILMOGRAPHY Anderson, M., Coppola, F., Fincher, D., Gillian, T., Kubrick, S., Lindberg, M., Natali, V., Proyas, A., Schaffner, F., Scott, R., Logan’s Run, 1976, USA The Conversation, 1974, USA Alien3, 1992, USA Fight club, 1999, USA Brazil, 1985, UK A Space Odyssey, 1968, USA GayNiggers From Outer Space, 1992, Denmark The Cube, 1997, USA I, Robot, 2004, USA Planet of the Apes, 1968, USA Alien, 1979, USA Blade Runner, 1982, USA Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut, 1992, USA Tsukamoto S., Tetsuo, 1988, Japan Wachowski A., & L The Matrix, 1999, USA

INTERNET The Internet Movie Database (used solely as a reference point for film data) http://www.imdb.com Scientology, Official Church of scientology site


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