Friday, July 30, 2004


Just a quick thought on Demme's new film, which I haven't seen yet, but plan to. I think audiences are instinctively, and correctly, suspicious of remakes of classics, but John Frankenheimer's "The Manchurian Candidate" is so evocative of a time and place in American political history that Demme's new version has quite a bit more to overcome than, say, "Planet of the Apes." Among other changes made to update the story for the 21st century, the remake trades Communist brainwashing for corporate mind-control.

Now, it strikes me as wholly optimistic to think that corporations would find it necessary to install "subcutaneous chips" in the brains of politicians in order to control their actions. Rather than spending billions of dollars developing such technology, wouldn't it be much easier, not to mention a lot cheaper, simply to find and fund some half-bright, uncurious, political scion who, having never had reason or inclination to question his own political beliefs, would do the corporate bidding of his own free will?

That seems scarier than computer chips in the brain to me.

1 comment:

Robert Farley said...

I'm in complete agreement re: context on the Manchurian Candidate. It's a Cold War film, evoking Cold War terrors in an interesting and surprising way. More to your point, giant corporations don't need to put people through brainwashing and microchip implantation; they can simply pay to get the policy they want.