TRON (1982)

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TRON. Steven Lisberger, dir. USA: Disney 1982.

MCP, the Master Control Program of the computer used by a high-tech corporation, rules as a god the microscopic world of the computer "he" is in and has large ambitions in the macroscopic world: our world in the very near future. He is opposed by TRON (a personified security program) and TRON's few allies among the programs run by MCP. Flynn, a human user of the computer, helps TRON destroy MCP after Flynn is "digitalized" by MCP and taken into the microscopic world to die in gladiatorial video games. Note the implied theme of computer takeover and the more explicit theme of the computer as god. Cf. and contrast S. Lem, "The Experiment," and J. Sladek, The Müller-Fokker Effect (both cited under Fiction). Note very well a concept crucial for W. Gibson's cyberpunk works: cyberSPACE (our emphasis) as a realm of adventure and, by implication, the computer screen as a new form of the portal to the realm of adventure. The use of computers in the prod. of TRON is discussed under both "Entertainment" and "Technology" in NEWSWEEK 5 July 1982: 58 f. Discussed by V. Sobchack in Screening Space[1], Chapter 4. Novelization by Brian Daley, Tron (New York: Del Rey-Ballantine, 1982). See also this Category, TRON: Legacy.

Discussed and contextualized by O. B. Hardison, Disappearing Through the Skylight: Culture and Technology in the Twentieth Century, § 4.24, pp. 224-25. See also Martin Fisher's "Digital Debut: TRON bridged the analog and cyber worlds, changing filmmaking forever" (allowing for how short a time "forever" can be in popular culture), Cinefantastique 35.2 (April/May 2003): 54-63.

RDE, initial; finishing, 15Mar22, 8AUG22