An Alien Franchise Tribute, Part One: The Genre-Defining Original

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Ripley and Jones the Cat in Alien

Amidst rapt excitement about the incredibly unique albeit troubling film Alien Covenant, I neglected all of the film’s predecessors – which was fine, for awhile.  But now that I’ve rambled incessantly about why I think the recently released Alien Covenant is such an excellent movie, perhaps it’s time to return to the film’s roots and take a look at the original Alien, and the one after that, and the one after that, and so on, and so forth.  Frankly, I’ve been meaning to write about the original Alien for a long time, but every time I’m faced with a highly-respected genre classic that’s stood (at least some) test of time, I get a wee bit intimidated, and this is especially true when we move into Science Fiction territory, which is far from my area of expertise.  But a couple of days ago, Michael and I hunkered down to watch Alien and Aliens, and I was mesmerized all over again (since I’ve seen them both before).  One wonderful thing about being me is that I have a horrible memory, especially for a lot of film.  While this could be detrimental to my performance on the imminent PhD candidacy test I keep writing about (for which I have to read and recall over 100 books) it really comes in handy when I re-watch a film.  More often than not, I’m surprised by certain plot twists and character actions all over again!  It’s fantastic!  With that in mind, I think it’s time to pay homage to Ridley Scott’s classic Alien and discuss why the film is so freakin’ fantastic.  Continue reading “An Alien Franchise Tribute, Part One: The Genre-Defining Original”

An Alien Franchise Tribute, Part One: The Genre-Defining Original

It Takes a Village (to Lambast a Filmmaker)

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Photo Credit The Village

While much of the world sits in judgement, furrowing its eyebrows at M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, it’s a film that’s near and dear to my heart.  Significantly, I didn’t even realize that was the case until I embarked on a Shyamal-a-thon this week and revisited many of his films after years of separation.  The Village, released in 2004, came out when I was a wayward sophomore in college.  In stark contrast to popular opinion, I liked the film so much I bought a copy of the DVD (which I didn’t watch much after that).  Despite my love of film and literature, my memory can be shoddy and I don’t always remember movies after I’ve seen them.  The Village, however, lingered in my mind long after the initial viewing.  As Michael and I watched it yesterday, I found myself able to predict almost every plot turn despite the time that’s lapsed since I last saw it.  A film has to be good, at least in my eyes, for me to remember it that well.  So I guess this piece is an attempt to defend the film – or to share why I like it – by pointing out the questions it raises, the tensions it explores, and why I think it’s so damn clever.  As per usual with M. Night, his tricky surprise ending will be revealed to give me full range of discussion and analysis, so brace yourself for spoilers. Continue reading “It Takes a Village (to Lambast a Filmmaker)”

It Takes a Village (to Lambast a Filmmaker)