Originally posted by WWu777
Someone recommended the movie "Dark City" to me long ago, as a movie about our illusory world, but I never got around to watching it, until tonight.
Wow that film is very deep and complex.
Does anyone know the meaning of the film? Was the filmmaker trying to tell us something? In the movie "V for Vendetta" there is a saying that
"artists use lies to tell the truth". So was this an attempt by an artist to tell us the truth about something?
Firstly, you will never know what story the filmakers are actually telling. In big movies, theres always at least some subtext, but it's not overt
and that makes your interpretation of anything past the obvious plot a personal subjective experience; which is a sign of good art, but will lead to
arguments with people who see something different because they see the subtext through their own lense.
I'll give you my basic points here:
We have the Dark City which is devoid of sunlight/illumination/enlightenment, a flat world metaphorically compared to the rat maze in Dr. Schreiber's
office. It's also lacking a significant amount of water, the spiritual element contrasted to the material earth (the old biblical idea that the sky
was watery. I have a bible with a drawing of earth and heaven and heaven is explicitly watery). Also, water in dreams represents the unconscious mind,
intuitive, maternal, etc., something thats also lacking.
The world, or micro-reality, is being shaped by unseen forces who are trying to find the human soul. (John Murdoch later points to his head and says
they can't find it there, in memories, so maybe they need to look at the heart.) These unseen forces happen to be alien, but they are also the
reanimated corpses of the dead, and suggest that the dead or bodiless entities are actually having some effect on the world and/or reality. (Think of
the aliens from They Live who are called "ghouls" and look like dead people.)
All people have the potential of "christhood" or ability to affect reality, but as usual its reserved for the first messianic person. The ability
came after many "lifetimes" (from having his mind reimprinted so much) so it might suggest a belief in reincarnation. John also realized his
potential while being imprinted as a murderer, which is interesting (Cain and Able?).
The world is contained, it is "material" in the sense of being a "matrix" and is like Philip K. Dick's "black iron prison" which is an idea of
the world/universe being a prison stuck in a time loop. I believe the hint at what the Dark City is, and by extension the world we live in is, comes
near the end when the characters reach the edge of the world with the "Welcome to Shell Beach" billboard painted on the brick wall. Val Kilmer walks
to his mark in that scene blocking the "S" in shell with his head revealing the true message, "Welcome to hell, b**ch."