Original Research

Time, technology, cinematic art and critique in The Terminator and Terminator II - Judgment Day; a philosophical interpretation

B. Olivier
Literator | Vol 13, No 3 | a762 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v13i3.762 | © 1992 B. Olivier | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1992 | Published: 06 May 1992

About the author(s)

B. Olivier, University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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This article is an interpretation of James Cameron’s films, The Terminator and Terminator II - Judgment Day. As instances of popular art, they are first situated in the context of Habermas's conviction that art has a specific function in the public sphere, viz. to provide an enlightening experience for people who are normally excluded from the specialized discourse of aesthetics and an criticism. The interpretation of the joint film narrative of Terminator I and II is then articulated in two stages. First, the paradoxical time -structure of the film-narrative is explored in terms of Heidegger’s analysis of temporarily, with its emphasis on the primacy of the future in relation to the past and the present. Secondly, the fact that these film s were made possible by a combination of film art and advanced film technology, is thematized along lines suggested by Heidegger's critique of technology. This leads to the insight, finally , that the Terminator film s exemplify Heidegger’s contention that the threat posed by technology is averted by a liberating force from within itself


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Crossref Citations

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