STRANGE DAYS

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STRANGE DAYS. Kathryn Bigelow, dir. James Cameron, story, co-script, co-prod. Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, stars. USA: Lightstorm Entertainment (prod.) / Twentieth Century Fox, (dist), 1995.


Very stylish cyberpunk film noir, set in a Los Angeles moving into the 21st c.—the action is on 30 Dec. 1999 into the opening moments of 1 Jan. 2000—and toward the postmodern mise en scène of BLADE RUNNER. Significant here for the centrality of "clips" of people's lives captured for replay on "the wire": what W. Gibson calls "simstim," only recorded on CD-ROM. Cf. D. G. Compton's The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (citied under Friction), and the films DEATHWATCH and BRAINSTORM. The "trodes" worn to experience the clips resemble the face-hugger form of H. R. Giger's Alien, "grasping" the scalp: an image of the superimposition of the electronic upon a human head. (NOTE: SD is a very important film for students of what we'll call the problematics of the politics of cyberpunk. The film is politically serious but still has a mostly "Hollywood" ending, making the entire project very problematic on drug use and the politics of high-tech, the Gibsonian "dance of biz," racial relations, gender politics, police brutality, and the possibility and desirablility of revolution.)