Friday, November 28, 2003

Marshall McLuhan, Film Interpreter

McLuhan interprets The Exorcist from beyond the grave.

In his last taped lecture, “Man and Media,” (Spring, 1979), Marshall McLuhan suggests that “horror movies, vampire movies, and our general cult of horror” are collective responses to the grievances of electronic culture:  “This is a response to situations of the media which people feel are involving them, embedding them.  The Exorcist is an account of how it feels to live in the electric age, how it feels to be completely taken over by alien forces and hidden powers.  The viewer feels he has been obsessed or possessed.  And, of course, there is the one-liner, ‘If you don’t pay your exorcist, you will be repossessed.’”  Full transcript of the lecture, plus lots of other goodies, now available in print for the first time in, Understanding Me:  Lectures and Interviews.

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