The Director’s cut of Dark City (1998) has been released on DVD this week. A sci-fi noir from director Alex Proyas, it explores the nature of consciousness and memory in a classic stylised noir city, which is the closest a contemporay color movie has ever come to evoking the look of a 40’s film noir.
It is a visually stunning and enigmatic dream-scape where true identity doesn’t exist, but is the construct of a biochemist in the employ of dark soul-less aliens, who inhabit cadavers, collectively employed in attempting to stave off extinction by reconstructing physical reality and manipulating the brain’s chemistry. The noir motif of an amnesiac protagonist on the run after he is implicated in the serial killing of b-girls is the arc on which the story is woven. It is an amalgam of Al Hartley’s Amateur (1994), which preceded it, and The Matrix (1999), of the following year: a brave new world with a ghost in the machine…
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Ghost in the Machine – Arthur Koestler