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Cultural Post-Modernism and the Machine - Essay Example

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The essay gives a critique on Michael Bay’s "Transformers". The film Transformers, a 2007 action adventure film directed by Michael Bay with science fiction overtones, is about an alien race that has been created through the creation of robotic life forms…
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Cultural Post-Modernism and the Machine
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "Cultural Post-Modernism and the Machine" discovers Michael Bay’s "Transformers". The film ties its themes to heroism, the sub plots involving U.S. Marines as well as covert divisions of the government. The film Transformers is a post-modern study of culture as it explores the nature of good and evil as well as the consumer culture as it is oriented towards the encoded objects for the male gender. The film Transformers has within it the construction those things that are most often associated with the male cultural dream of perfection: oversized machines that are heroic, sentient, and vehicular. Cars are gender coded, the appeal of the car traditionally a high priority for men with women not having the same kind of relationship with their vehicles . Where cars are concerned, men have wished to personify them since they were invented, naming them after women, giving them personalities, and creating a sense of identity through the formulation of the body as combined with the ‘heart’ or engine. In a variety of film projects such as the Disney film The Love Bug, the television show Knight Rider, the film Christine, and even to an extent, the television film Duel directed by Stephen Spielberg, the idea of giving a vehicle sentience and a personality has been used to give life to the post-modern symbol of male virility. The film gives reverence to this concept through everything from the emotional musical score to the intensity and wisdom filled authority of the voice of Optimus Prime. The vehicle is a cultural symbol of virility for the male. The post-modern world is one of consumerism and is about the shift from the domestic world to the public world where displays of consumer power has replaced other forms of displays of virility. The power to control the machine, to own it and to have dominion over it has become the center of mating practices, conflicts for domination within the male gender, and for expressing male gendered control over the environment. Men no longer pick up a sword and go into combat style displays of strength. Post-modern expressions of male domination can involve the economic power to hold and control the strongest, most dangerous looking car on the block (Griffens & Carnes, 1990). While the explicit male domination of the automobile has ended as women now equally own cars, the idea of the car as the male extension of virility still exists. This can be seen as little boys play with cars and are more often attracted to play that involves trucks and cars. One of the more interesting scenes in the film involves a cultural connection to past films, all relating to a specific look as it is associated with heroism. The car is chastised by Megan Fox’s character for choosing to wear the exterior of a crappy old Chevy Camero, which appears to have insulted the ‘Autobot’ (the name for the transforming alien). The car then throws her and her co-star, Shia Lebouf out of the car so that it can drive a bit away to the rising sound of music that is reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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