February 27, 2008
Pas de chat
* Ok, except a couple or three things having just watched most recent Terminator episode, "The Demon Hand".** First, this was perfect television. It could not have been more what it was supposed to be. Exactly right. Second, Summer Glau is the best casting imaginable and her character perfectly ambivalent, the scariest on television. Third, and I think the most interesting, this series has transcended the original film(s)*** in a particular way. A dear friend of mine and I have talked for some time about how "this is the time when Kyle hides in the department store" and so forth whenever we watch the first film. The time-bending narrative lends itself to watching with one eye on the future and one on whether the present will once again fail to unfold quite as it should. With the new series and its deliberate retcon play, It now seems obvious the stories transcend any particular articulation of what is properly a myth. These new players in the television series are doing an excellent job of bringing the story to life, of retelling it so that its truth is once again made relevant in times which have changed over the last twenty years; most notably following September 11, 2001. The new production has retroactively rendered the original players**** just another group interpreting the truth - albeit revealing it for the first time - rather than being the truth against which all others are imitation. The result is a peculiar simulation. A phenomenon where signifier and signified are decoupled and signifieds are determined in relation to other signifieds does not in this case terminate meaning, stranding us in a postmodern relativistic morass. Instead the new telling of the story creates an origin exterior to any particular articulation of the text, i.e. the simulation creates a transcendent essence.***** In this sense, signification is not reification but the expression of a Pauline dialectic****** where John Connor is fully cognate with Jesus Christ. The Terminator is now something like a Passion Play to be re-imagined with new actors in new times, the stories those of a revolutionary community struggling to believe in either the future or in the past, hoping against hope their saviour will be born. A familiar story and one which would see us through a new Dark Age. Assuming, of course, we survive the present.
** Presumably a tip of the hat to Demon with a Glass Hand.
*** Not counting the third film which was even more heretical than the Star Wars prequels.
**** Yes, even Arnold Schwarzenegger. It seems obvious Summer Glau is now more important to a faithful rendition.
***** Much as H.P. Lovecraft's consistent literary conceits inadvertently brought the Necronomicon into being.
****** If you meet the Terminator in the road, kill him!
Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 27, 2008 07:04 AM
I've been enjoying the Summer Glau Chronicles. It almost feels like all the air gets sucked out of the show whenever she's not on screen.
I like how they found some reason for her to dance. Can't blame them. If you had Danny Kaye as part of the cast you'd find a way to write a swordfight into the script.
Posted by: chaika at February 27, 2008 08:50 AM