The Fly (1986)

Classic Frankenstein/Promethean morality tale of technologies relation to humanity; the erratic yet brilliant scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) rapturous about the teleportation machines ability to collapse space-time, I.e., the spatial logic of capital’s universalisation. Predictably this dominatory rationality reverses back on to the human subject (Adorno & Horkheimer would be proud), reducing him to a subhuman monster. Less predictably, Cronenberg proceeds to weave in a pro-abortion climactic conflict as Veronica (Geena Davis) wishes to rid herself of the bizarre fly-baby gestating within her, and Brundle retaliates by attempting to coerce her into a nightmarish rendition of the nuclear family: Brundle, Veronica, and foetal child to be melded together by the malfunctioning teleportation device (which is to say, DNA splicing device). Thus The Fly extends beyond the classic repudiation of instrumental rationality built into these stories by folding in a plausibly feminist critique of the domestic sphere as a (literally, in this case) warped ‘haven in a heartless world.’

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Trey Taylor

Trey Taylor

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22. BA Political Theory and Sociology, Cambridge University. Currently studying an MA in Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory at Kingston University.