Ripley Image from Salon

Salon’s Tom Shone asks

Prometheus: Why are academics so obsessed with Ridley Scott’s Alien and its sequels?

I cram The Alien quadrilogy into my Animation Studies class for a number of reasons.

1) Ridley Scott got double the budget because his storyboards were so good.

2) “It’s in the cut” – Ridley Scott achieved unachievable effects through smart planning and editing.

3) Aliens is mostly a masterpiece of combining effects: miniatures, rear projection, reverse photography, gigantic marionettes. Mostly.

4) Alien 3: from production clusterfuck to the dawning of David Fincher. Unfairly panned, brilliant if you look at representations of religion, gender, and sex. Bald Ripley.

5) Alien Resurrection: Joss Whedon doing the dead girl thing with Ripley, proto-Firefly if you pay attention to the smugglers, and pre-Amelie Jeunet with a robo waif. In my mind an apt parody, in everyone else’s a steaming pile with a cool grenade sequence. And yes, the “baby” could have been better designed.

As a group there’s just so many ideas: class, gender, the alien other, body horror / invasion, family, genre studies, film technology, design, corporatism, performance, and way, way more.

I’ve been doing a pee dance since they announced Prometheus and I can’t wait to see what Ridley will do now with 3D and CGI. Seriously, pee dance.

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