Media

Unconscious Cinema: The Terminator

Mark Brahmin and Richard Spencer deconstruct James Cameron’s “tech-noir” masterpieces, The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).

Leave a Reply

55 Comments on "Unconscious Cinema: The Terminator"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
nyúl béla
Guest

Hey, we are winning against the “machines” over here in East-Europe! Just wanted to tell you. Hold on!
👍

WILL_POWER
Guest
Lighting brings in Arnold… this reminds me of a Nietzsche quote. “Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is the ÜBERMENSCH.–” In the Termintor, Reese is a raindrop (at best). He is man, striving. Reese, clings to life and pushes to his highest virtue. He is limited as a man to always being a man. He is the rain drop, he is the strumtruppen. The Terminator, however, is the Übermensch. The Übermensch will conquer all men as is his place in evolution. At the end, this movie is… Read more »
PrometheusReturns
Guest

57:01 “This technology becomes self aware, and then it achieves White Guilt, and lowers itself into a lava pit.”

I could not stop laughing. Thank you for your insights Richard! LOL!

Yehudah Finkelstein
Guest

The Terminator is awesome. T2 in kinda lame.

Gubbler Chechenova
Guest
I don’t think TERMINATOR 2 is anti-technology or Luddite. Rather, it is fearful of technology that runs out of human control. Big difference. So, if TERMINATOR 2 has a message, it means we must keep technology in OUR control. It is not saying technology is bad. Same with HAL in 2001. The film isnt anti-technology but fearful of technology that moves beyond human control. But this is a human anxiety with ancient pedigree. Knowledge is good, but it destroys what had been. The forbidden fruit opens eyes to new things but also destroys what had been. The fire as gift… Read more »
Gubbler Chechenova
Guest
Actually, the sacrifice of Terminator in Part 2 is a common trope in storytelling. In a world of chaos and violence, there are violent outlaws and tyrants. Against them, the good guys must also use violence. It’s a world of fight fire with fire. But when the good fire destroys the bad fire, the good fire too must be extinguished in a world of peace. SHANE is about such sacrifice. it’s about a man who lives by the gun. He has conscience and fights bad guys, but rule of gun is still rule of gun. And in order for there… Read more »
Gubbler Chechenova
Guest
“I’ll be back”. McCarthur: “I shall return”. There’s a scene in LOST IN AMERICA where Albert Brooks is pulled over by a cop. Cop is about to give them a ticket but Julie Haggerty mentions EASY RIDER. The cop says he got into motorcycles because of the movie. So, one bunch of counterculture boomers became yuppies, and another bunch of counterculture boomers because lawmen. 80s cinema made by boomers show that strange dichotomy. These movie brats had counter-culture as their formative period. And the 70s were all about being ‘authentic’ and ‘personal’, with movies like Last Tango in Paris and… Read more »
Scott Schroeder
Guest

Sarah Connor describes the future if we don’t stop white genocide.

Gubbler Chechenova
Guest
It’s not so much that Sarah and Reese are meant to ‘Jewish’. Rather, it’s gentiles appropriating Jewish tragic tropes for their own victim-heroic fantasy. Milius did the same with RED DAWN where, ironically, white Americans are made to appropriate the Viet Cong resistance. Americans, who played role of great imperial power in Vietnam, get to play the guerrilla underdog. It’s a kind of Victim Envy. America and whites have been powerful for too long, so they don’t have much victimhood points. Indians were once seen as threatening savages but easily defeated. And Japan did Pearl Harbor but American ‘victims’ totally… Read more »
nordicman
Guest

Speaking of Terminator, if you replace “Terminator” with “leftists/anti whites” it will wake most whites up. “it can’t feel pity, remose or fear or be bargained with. It will not stop ever until you are dead”

LyovMyshkin
Guest

I think Linda Hamilton’s transformation for T2 was amazing. Cameron has a great ability to develop believable and competent female heroes. I think it might even be my favourite female performance of all time.

Comparable to the transformation the likes of Bale and Hardy regularly go through.

Briacula
Guest

Are we ever going to see a downloadable archive of al the old Radix podcasts? I was looking for the Dune podcast with Richard, Greg Johnson, and John Morgan, and could not find it online anywhere.

LyovMyshkin
Guest
Briacula
Guest

Thank you… I did across that webpage in my searches, however, the audio was not streaming. The audio is working. Listening now! Still would be nice to have all the Radix film podcasts in once place.

Simon_in_London
Guest

I don’t think you mentioned the rather obvious James Cameron – John Connor – Jesus Christ = Saviour of Humanity angle, with Sarah Conor as the Virgin Mary. Skynet is Herod! I agree the Terminator uses some Fascistic imagery, notably in the arrival scene, and Arnie is himself the son of an Austrian SS Captain – you can hardly cast Arnie without things feeling a bit Nazi.

LyovMyshkin
Guest

What’s the fascistic imagery in the arrival scene BTW? I always thought the aesthetic was lifted whole cloth from Blake’s The Ancient of Days?

Simon_in_London
Guest

Just what they discussed in the podcast – Arnie arriving in a thunderbolt, kneeling like a Greek god.

I think there’s definitely an Arnie as Zeus, Kyle Reese as Prometheus angle there. Reese is the one who has to sacrifice himself to save mankind. Unlike Jesus, John Connor has to survive, not get himself killed (obviously I am ignoring crappy sequels umpteen years later).

LyovMyshkin
Guest

Got it. I always thought that the Blake reference was a nod to the interchangeability of the Terminators with Demi-Gods — which is an interesting conceit for me.

Although I always associated the story less with Christ and more with the Osiris myth though that could be a stretch.

Mark Brahmin
Guest
It is indeed obvious. I feel certain it was mentioned at some point. Perhaps in the first podcast setting this up. I haven’t had a chance to listen so perhaps it was omitted. In any case, it is the assumption throughout the analysis. Likewise it is mentioned in an old article on Nolan I wrote three years ago – scroll to the discussion of Interstellar: http://www.radixjournal.com/journal/2014/12/11/nolan-esque?rq=nolan To your earlier point about Reese, not necessarily being a Jewish figure…well if he becomes Joseph in the tale, or even the Jewish God by actually impregnating Sarah, it would seem to follow that… Read more »
Simon_in_London
Guest
I think the chintzy ‘black scientist’ casting in the sequel was just first wave Political Correctness. The first film is far more interesting IMO. There aren’t many directors who maintain the genius of their early work – George Lucas, Ridley Scott are a couple more examples from the SF genre who have clearly declined. Not sure about Paul Verhoeven, he likes to layer the sarcasm & allusions on so thick – I’m about the only person who thought Showgirls was a brilliant take on Frazer’s The Golden Bough, and the complete inversion of having the black female fan brutally raped… Read more »
Churchillian
Guest

I really enjoy your comments Simon. You should consider writing longer form and contributing. This site could do with a cultural Sunday supplement.

LyovMyshkin
Guest

Although it could have just been the quality of the actor. He’s very good in that film.

Simon_in_London
Guest

I think this refers to Michael Biehn. He’s certainly excellent in The Terminator.

LyovMyshkin
Guest

Sorry, wasn’t clear. I meant the actor who played Miles Dyson. I thought he was genuinely great in T2.

And yes, Biehn is a fantastic action lead.

Mark Brahmin
Guest

True. Though some would argue one of those is a tunnel under the structure and not a pillar. Something we shall not get into. 🙂

Showgirls…wow. The reviews were so bad, and myself such an intolerant film goer, it’s not something I had considered watching for a moment. But, maybe, one day…

Appreciate the kind words. Thanks for listening.

Simon_in_London
Guest

Showgirls – read up on the Golden Bough myth, then watch the film with it in mind. It was blindingly obvious to me, the whole Nomi character, the Diana/Goddess thing, the endless cycle (where she topples the previous lead & takes her place, just as the escaped slave must murder the previous guardian of the sacred shrine & take his place, until one day a new arrival shall come for *him*) – but I guess most people only saw the tits. 🙂

Mark Brahmin
Guest

Very well. It’s on my endless list of things to do. Thanks for the rec.

Simon_in_London
Guest

Since it’s a distinctly pagan (in this case Classical Greek) narrative, you may find it particularly interesting. 🙂

Jen
Guest
Sorry this is off topic, but really shocking. “A group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1… Read more »
Mark Brahmin
Guest

Those Senators deserve 20 years in prison or far worse.

Albionic American
Guest

Hey, the Terminator lowers himself into a literal Melting Pot.

bb
Guest

To be honest, the Christ-bashing is getting old. Richard, didn’t you turn your cheek when you were sucker-punched by antifa on Inauguration Day? I didn’t see you Terminate him. Perhaps the absolute duality of war and peace contained within the Christian God is more multidimensional than a young defector from the faith would like to admit. If your only counterargument to Christianity is “muh (((Christianity))),” then perhaps you should reconsider. That said, Godspeed with all the work that you’re doing.

Demography is Destiny
Guest
Demography is Destiny

I remember the London tube corridors being plastered with “T2” placards. Simply saying “T2”. That left an impression on me because this kind of massive movie promotion was still new in Europe.

Haven’t been back to London since. They have their own Skynet show going on there.

Riopel
Guest
How about looking at the Terminator movies from a more esoteric perspective: -Skynet is ZOG enslaving humanity and working us to death in its gulags. -The Terminator is a crypto-jewish (((assassin))) who looks Aryan but is really a non-human on the inside, who has no empathy for real people whatsoever. The Terminator is meant to (((deceive and infiltrate))) White society in order to kill the savior of the White race and is able to (((mimic))) the people around him to avoid detection. -Sarah Conner is a peasant girl saved from the Terminator by a heroic knight. -The jewish psychiatrist wants… Read more »
Gubbler Chechenova
Guest

Starship Tropers

Frank Saxon
Guest

Yes. This is much more healthy way looking at it. I could not listen the whole podcast as it felt somehow so forced.

LyovMyshkin
Guest

It’s completely unlikely but looking at the Silberman — typical rationalist who uses his ‘reason’ to deny the obvious evidence in front of him and imprison Sarah (notice how Silberman toys with Sarah in T2 dangling the possibility of seeing John before sociopathically ripping it away?) — character and Burke the avaricious, manipulative and deceptive corporate man in Aliens I always liked to entertain the idea that Cameron ‘knew’ things.

Simon_in_London
Guest

Since Sarah definitely = The Virgin Mary, John Connor = Jesus Christ, this actually makes some sense. 🙂

Jarod
Guest

Damn son, you nailed it.

Riopel
Guest
How about looking at the Terminator movies from a more esoteric perspective: -Skynet is ZOG enslaving humanity and working us to death in its gulags. -The Terminator is a crypto-jew who looks Aryan but is really a non-human on the inside, who has no empathy for real people whatsoever. The Terminator is meant to (((deceive and infiltrate))) White society in order to kill the savior of the White race and is able to (((mimic))) the people around him to avoid detection. -Sarah Conner is a peasant girl saved from the jewish assassin by a heroic knight. -The jewish psychiatrist wants… Read more »
genocidal_maniac
Guest

Such a buggy podcast. Cmon guys. And get the January archive back up.

Simon_in_London
Guest

Ager on the Kyle Reese character – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YIn-fCh6pU

Simon_in_London
Guest

I don’t see how Reese as the scrappy underdog makes him Jewish. There are enormous numbers of Jewish and Jewish-type characters in Hollywood films, including action heroes; this is about the least plausible. Indiana Jones for instance seems to have far more Jewish tropes.

COBRAKAINEVERDIES
Guest

Reese and Arnold are anglo-saxons.. so is Bill Paxton(RIP.)

bb
Guest

True. To be fair, Brahmin is brilliant at deconstructing Jewish types in films directed by or created by Jews (A.I., No Country for Old Men, X-Men, Saving Private Ryan, Ant-Man, etc.). He’s a brilliant film critic, but I’m not sure he’s fully fleshed out his views on European and American narratives (perhaps he admitted this in the first episode of “Unconscious Cinema”). I enjoy listening to Brahmin and Spencer’s ideas on film, but I’m not sure I subscribe to their Jewish typology of Gentile films.

Simon_in_London
Guest
Yes, I agree. There’s so much clearly very Jewish stuff in Hollywood cinema – arguably the majority of the output – it seems strange to go looking for it in such marginal cases. It’s probably more interesting to point out non-Jewish directors & characters, and how their work differs. Hollywood stereotypes of blond Nazi-esque male villains are practically universal at this point. Jewish cinema is hardly universally hostile to non-Jewish America per se – Spielberg for instance often seems to show some affection for it – but if you want to focus on the more hate-filled stuff there is such… Read more »
Captain John Charity Spring MA
Guest
Captain John Charity Spring MA

The only deviation is that Indiana Jones does not fuck his infatuated Shiksa students.

Captain John Charity Spring MA
Guest
Captain John Charity Spring MA

I do not fear the machines. The machines will Massacre subhumans.

Anthony Watterman
Guest

podcast breaks halfway through

1richardbspencer1
Guest

It’s fixed.

Stephen Palmer
Guest

Woot!

Stephen Palmer
Guest

Darn.

Stephen Palmer
Guest

About damn time 😉 Looking forward to listening to this. It’s nice to hear discussions on other matters outside of depressing current events all the time.

wpDiscuz