Consumption

Whilst i agree with Michael that ‘I find this disgusting’, I’m also struck by how this clip could be seen as a commentary on some of the themes of digital culture. There’s a (very messy) blurring of Michael’s identity – is he human or is he a game character? If we see Michael as a metaphor for society could this be a symbol of the postmodern instability or Bauman’s liquid modernity? This scene takes place in what appears to be a normal, everyday restaurant – perhaps suggestive of the ubiquitousness of the society/tech mix of Greenfields ‘everyware’, which Hand (2008) uses in the title of his chapter. And Michael consumes – literally ! What is interesting for me here, is that the product that he consumes, he then transforms into something with an entirely different meaning. This could be a metaphor for the reshaping of digital artefacts, as Hand (2008) suggests ‘ they [cultural products] can be rewritten by consumers and indeed producers increasingly expect this to be so’ (p.27). Finally, there is indecision as to whether his gorging is good/bad/natural/inevitable – perhaps this could be read as a metaphor for the tensions between utopian and dystopian thinking.

2 Comments , ,

2 Responses to “Consumption”

  1. Giraf87 January 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    that’s a great review.

    Interesting too from the sound track perspective: the scene starts with ordinary sounds taken from a generic restaurant environment. Then a twist in the plot as he realises what he is about to start: the ordinary turns into the extra-ordinary and that very instant classical music is overlaid, developing into a dramatic build up, parallel to him building the gun.

    My impression is that he has no control over it. It affects him, he does not dislike it, but it takes him on a path of no return. As he blends parts of himself with the object, something is born. The organic is mixed with the inorganic, transformed.

    There are similar themes with the film ‘The Fly’, also by Cronenberg (a remake though).

    It offers a dystopian view on humanity, being transformed into a monstrous concoction; once we play with technology, things may go wrong and we are no longer sure of our destination.

  2. Steph Carr January 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Thanks for your comment.

    I hadn’t noticed the soundtrack but, absolutely, the music really makes a point. It’s really quite menacing. As if something unknown is looming.

    I think I’ve seen ‘The Fly’, but way back when. I may have to revisit.

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