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 The Dark City

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Invader Zim
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Invader Zim


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The Dark City Empty
PostSubject: The Dark City   The Dark City Icon_minitimeSun Apr 25, 2010 1:17 pm

(WARNING YOU MAY FEEL UNEASY AT CERTAIN PARTS)

John Murdoch awakens in a hotel bathtub, suffering from what seems to be amnesia. As he stumbles into his hotel room, he receives a telephone call from Dr. Daniel Schreber , who urges him to flee the hotel from a group of men who are after him. During the telephone conversation, John discovers the corpse of a brutalized, ritualistically murdered woman, along with a bloody knife. Murdoch flees the scene, just as the figures, known as the Strangers, arrive at the room. Eventually he learns his real name, and finds his wife Emma . He is also sought by police inspector Frank Bumstead for a series of murders, which he cannot remember. While being pursued by the Strangers, Murdoch discovers that he has psychokinetic powers like them and uses it to escape from them. Murdoch moves about the city, which experiences perpetual night. He sees people become comatose at midnight, with the cityscape being altered along with people's identities being changed at that time. Murdoch questions the dark urban environment and discovers through clues and interviews with his family that he was originally from a coastal town called Shell Beach. Attempts at finding a way out of the city to Shell Beach are hindered by lack of reliable information from everyone he meets. Meanwhile, the Strangers, disturbed by the presence of a human who also possesses psychokinetic powers, inject one of their men, Mr. Hand with Murdoch's memories in an attempt to find him.

Murdoch eventually finds Bumstead, who recognizes Murdoch's innocence and has his own questions about the nature of the dark city. They find and confront Dr. Schreber, who explains that the Strangers are endangered extraterrestrial parasites who use corpses as their hosts. Having a collective consciousness, the Strangers have been experimenting with humans to analyze the human soul in the hopes that some insight might be revealed that would help their race survive. Schreber reveals Murdoch as an anomaly who inadvertently awoke during the midnight process when Schreber was in the middle of fashioning his identity as a murderer. The three men embark to find Shell Beach, which ultimately exists only as a billboard at the edge of the city. Frustrated, Murdoch tears through the wall, revealing a hole into outer space. The men are confronted by the Strangers, including Mr. Hand, who holds Emma hostage. In the ensuing fight, Bumstead, along with one of the Strangers, falls through the hole into space, revealing the city as an enormous space habitat surrounded by a force field.

The Strangers bring Murdoch to their home beneath the city and force Dr. Schreber to imprint Murdoch with their collective memory, believing Murdoch to be the final answer to their experiments. Schreber betrays them by inserting false memories in Murdoch which artificially reestablish his childhood as years spent training and honing his psychokinetic abilities and learning about the Strangers and their machines. Murdoch awakens, fully realizing his abilities, frees himself and battles with the Strangers, defeating their leader Mr. Book in a battle high above the city. After learning that "Emma" is gone and cannot be restored, Murdoch utilizes his newfound powers through the Strangers' machine to create an actual Shell Beach by flooding the area within the force field with water and forming mountains and beaches. On his way to Shell Beach, Murdoch encounters Mr. Hand and informs him that the Strangers have been searching in the wrong place—the head—to understand humanity. Murdoch opens the door leading out of the city, and steps out to view a sunrise that he created. Beyond him is a dock, where he finds Emma, now with new memories and a new identity as Anna. Murdoch reintroduces himself as they walk to Shell Beach, beginning their relationship anew.

Themes in film

Allegory of the Cave
Dark City is a retelling of the Allegory of the Cave used by Greek philosopher Plato, who conveyed the allegory as a fictional dialogue between his teacher Socrates and Plato's brother Glaucon. In the film, the city inhabitants are prisoners who do not realize they are in a prison. John Murdoch's escape from the prison parallels the escape from the cave in the allegory. He is assisted by Dr. Schreber, who explains the city's mechanism as Socrates explains to Glaucon how the shadows in the cave are cast. Murdoch however becomes more than Glaucon; Loughlin writes, "He is a Glaucon who comes to realize that Socrates' tale of an upper, more real world, is itself a shadow, a forgery."

Murdoch defeats the Strangers who control the inhabitants and remakes the world based on childhood memories, which were themselves illusions arranged by the Strangers. Loughlin writes of the lack of background, "The original of the city is off–stage, unknown and unknowable." Murdoch now casts new shadows for the city inhabitants, who must trust his judgment. Unlike Plato, Murdoch "is disabused of any hope of an outside" and becomes the demiurge for the cave, the only environment he knows.

Design of the city
The city in Dark City is described by Higley as a "murky, nightmarish German expressionist film noir depiction of urban repression and mechanism". The city has a World War II dreariness reminiscent of Edward Hopper's works and has details from different eras and architectures that are changed by the Strangers; "buildings collapse as others emerge and battle with one another at the end". The round window in Dark City is concave like a fishbowl and is a frequently seen element throughout the city. The inhabitants do not live at the top of the city; the main characters' homes are dwarfed by the bricolage of buildings

In my opinion this film can be very scary at times and I would not suggest seeing the movie or the trailer
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