Author Topic: Are we on the verge of an Alien renaissance?  (Read 2498 times)

System Apollo
Sep 29, 2015, 07:24:55 AM
Reply #15 on: Sep 29, 2015, 07:24:55 AM
The intelligence behind Alien comes from our fanaticism of the series. We have these debates because we take it further on our interpretation of the film. I agree with Xenomorphine, it's hard to claim that it is intelligent when you compare it to films that strictly try to follow that specific tone. Prometheus (although not the best example seeing as it is poorly received by a lot fans) is intellectual in its tone. Another Sci-Fi film would probably be Interstellar which tries to be intellectual in tone as well. In general; films that try to engage the audience to think and problem solve whilst presenting is something that indicates its intelligence. In Alien that element isn't there for a casual viewer, however; it is there for a fanatic because they are genuinely intrigued of the film and want to know more. But don't let this statement give you the impression that this is a golden rule for an intellectual film, just a personal opinion really.

Corporal Hicks
Sep 29, 2015, 08:13:18 AM
Reply #16 on: Sep 29, 2015, 08:13:18 AM
It depends what you mean by intelligent. Because Alien isn't an unintelligent film by any point of view. It's not a cerebral film (like Prometheus wanted to be) but it's certainly a smart film. And I would disagree that the characters were stupid.

System Apollo
Sep 29, 2015, 01:34:06 PM
Reply #17 on: Sep 29, 2015, 01:34:06 PM
but it's certainly a smart film.
Definitely! The dialogue, the tone, characters, design, etc. Were all done with critical thinking and a collective effort. What I admire most of Alien is the way I picture the set at the time it was being shot. The completely and total different era where things had to be done practically and attentively with very little to work with.

Sep 29, 2015, 03:57:16 PM
Reply #18 on: Sep 29, 2015, 03:57:16 PM
The sheer amount of connotation, symbolism and the allowance of scope make Alien an intellectual film. This is a film made in the 70's that directly subverted gender roles, something which is still rarely achieved today. The bare bones of Alien require little intelligence to understand, but to understand Alien requires intelligence.  Isn't that why we're all fans here? We can see past the shock and horror, and see what was really intended by Scott and O'Bannon.

« Last Edit: Sep 29, 2015, 03:58:48 PM by hfeldhaus »

Sep 29, 2015, 06:59:39 PM
Reply #19 on: Sep 29, 2015, 06:59:39 PM
If 'ALIEN' was lacking in intellectual content, then why has there been so much discussion about it for over 30 years?

For the same reasons as there has for 'Star Wars'. Something doesn't have to be intellectual to spark passionate inspiration.

Sep 29, 2015, 10:46:24 PM
Reply #20 on: Sep 29, 2015, 10:46:24 PM
While that's true, 'Star Wars' isn't bereft of intellectual debate, either. 

The difference between the 2 movies is 'ALIEN' wears all of it's content up front.  All the themes are presented to the viewer on screen.  They range from the dangers, difficulties and hardship of space travel; the influence and power of Super corporate entities; plunging into the unknown and it's repurcussions.  Along with other more mundane and prosaic issues like pay inequity and will the coffee be any good when we do start working in space. 

Much of 'Star Wars' intellectual discourse is different.  Good vs Evil is the obvious fundamental theme present on screen but the high end content is concealed beneath the surface.   You don't see it.   For example, much of the themes are based on Lucas' use of liberal use of material Joseph Campbell raises.  You have to look externally beyond those movies to research the ideas Lucas was using as inspiration or come into the cinema with them 'on your sleeve' so to speak, in order to understand the Heroic Mythology that is present under the Saturday Morning bubblegum content of the movies. 

As a result, 'ALIEN' has enjoyed it's intellectual discussions for different reasons.   Being a very different movie, it's discussion will be far removed because in many ways, 'ALIEN' is the antithesis of 'Star Wars'.  It's almost a polar opposite.  Space travel is difficult, aliens do not liberally populate the galaxy like so many anthropomorphised cartoon characters in a Warner bros cartoon; and the pay rate sucks.   Whereas 'Star Wars' is more concerned about playing 'cowboys and indians in space'. 

That's not a bad thing - and I'm happy for it - but the content of both movies is so different it's not even comparable.


Sep 30, 2015, 03:14:58 PM
Reply #21 on: Sep 30, 2015, 03:14:58 PM
All you're pointing out is that one represents hardship and the other skimps over that. It's not the same thing as one being an intellectual story. :)

'Alien' is a continuity which feels more relateable. The characters act more like real people. But that's presentation. That doesn't mean what is being presented to us somehow requires more intelligence to comprehend. If anything, it works better by the audience applying their common sense to the situations.

It's like 'Prometheus' always being held up as 'intelligent' science-fiction, when it's really not. Something can deal with profound issues in a relatively generic or straight forward way (especially if the resulting revelations are relatively nonsensical). The story and situations don't need to be on a different intellectual level to do that.

It takes a deep level of artistic understanding to fully appreciate some of the things Giger and Scott were trying to represent, but I don't think that necessarily qualifies as intellectual.

Sep 30, 2015, 07:49:01 PM
Reply #22 on: Sep 30, 2015, 07:49:01 PM
The forum section refers to films and TV shows, but several of the examples given are video games.

Sep 30, 2015, 09:58:16 PM
Reply #23 on: Sep 30, 2015, 09:58:16 PM
So, what exactly does an 'intellectual story' consist of?



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