AGENCY (1980) aka Mind Games Dir. George Kaczender Wr. Noel Hynd
SEEING THE MOVIES. Symbolism and Messaging in the Movies. Mind Control / Dirty Politics
A Creative Director (Lee Majors) at a big advertising agency uncovers the hush-hush projects masterminded by agency owner (Robert Michum) that use subliminal messaging to influence the outcome of political elections. “I retired the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” he brags.
Even to goody-goody Majors, inserting propaganda and hidden messaging into their commercials is just another day at the office, “Some of us put phallic images in perfume commercials and others hide lewd photographs in cigarette ads.” But he develops a conscience when it comes to politics and still can’t stomach the manipulation even when Michum tries to reason with him, “The public wants to be led, it needs to be led.” Sounds familiar.
When we finally see the subliminal tape that helped win an election, it is filled with sounds of screaming, babies crying, Hitler speeches and visuals of sex and depravity. It’s interesting how today, subliminal tapes are probably much dispensed with and instead detractors just make the same bold accusations without any proof. The brainwashing techniques of today rely on complicit media and repetition.
Agency would make a quaint, fun film for the propagandists of today, and though the techniques used in the film are known to work, it was a very little seen movie and did little to nothing at the box office on its original release.
In this series, Seeing The Movies, I will be looking at some of the symbolism and hidden messages in movies and television.
I wanted to start off with a movie that carries a powerful title and a provocative theme. We have to ask ourselves, is this just a monster movie or was the director trying to tell us something about what might actually be going on in the world today? Am I reading more into this than was ever intended? Were his ideas pulled from a collective unconscious that spoke a truth the public is not supposed to know about? We may never know for sure, but it’s fun to look at and I’ll leave it up to time and the reader to decide for themselves.
Q (1982) Dir. Larry Cohen Starring: David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, Richard Roundtre
Besides the amazing title, Q, there were a few things here that intrigued me enough to take another look at this film, one of which was the recent sale of the Chrysler Building. I’m a big fan of writer/director Larry Cohen and had seen this film before, but not since the arrival of our favorite Anon.
Q takes place in New York City and is a modern throwback to 50s-style monster movies. What we have is a giant winged serpent flying around Manhattan killing rooftop sunbathers and construction workers. But oddly, as enormous and plain as day as the creature is, the entire populatioin of Manhattan seems blind to what flies overhead, not seeing what by all accounts is right before their eyes.
We learn from a museum expert that Quetzalcoatl, is an Aztec deity that has been resurrected through ritual murders that are taking place around the city. One character says, “It was prayed back into existence.” and that “Blood must be given willingly for the God to appreciate it.” The creature is finally found to be roosting in the top of Chrysler Building and this is where the final confrontation takes place.
Seeing Q: Like the inhabitants of Cohen’s New York City, are we not seeing the world around us and what is happening before our very eyes? Are there actual blood sacrifices going on today in efforts to reincarnate an ancient deity or open a portal to allow it reentry? The concept conjures up images of Spirit Cooking, CERN and countless music videos that seem to encourage the idea. I would even go so far as to suggest that late term abortion and Democrat approved infanticide could easily fall under the category of ritual blood sacrifice when compared to this storyline. And if we parallel this with the film which has a character telling us that the blood must be given willingly, that is just what is happening with LTA. Is this really for the ‘health’ of the mother or does the sudden demand for infanticide serve other purposes as they do in Q?
Conspiracy theorists may note and remember that the star of Q, David Carradine, died under mysterious circumstances in a Bangkok hotel in 2009. Was it really auto erotic asphyxiation as the media claimed or was it something else?
As I mentioned above, just last week, The Chrysler Building was in the news because it sold for only $150 million, an insane loss of about $700 million, a loss suffered due to rising land rent and competition from newer luxury buildings–and in my opinion the decline of New York City.
I will leave you with this last thought. The above photo is a good example of what I consider to be messaging that goes beyond telling the story at hand. Why would an auteur like Larry Cohen or any other thoughtful director include something in a film that had no meaning? What is the purpose of having this large image of Dracula sucking the blood of a victim framed perfectly behind the main character? Is this the type of thing that is going on behind our backs? Are the equivalent of vampires, sucking our life force right out in the open while we, like this main character, flail around grasping for money and material things that we think will bring happiness? Are we so distracted by our greed that we’ve become blind and completely insensitive? It’s telling that early on in the film, this character can’t even take a rare compliment and says, “What do you know?!” instead of simply saying, “Thank you.”.