US, 1998, 116 minutes, Colour.
Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perleman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Dan Hedaya, Brad Dourif.
Directed by Jean- Pierre Jeunet.
On television, ads kept telling us to 'witness the resurrection'. Not a religious message, rather the promotion of the fourth of the Alien series. You know what to expect. Sigourney Weaver does battle with alien monsters aboard a space craft where the crew is gradually destroyed. But, resurrection? It is by cloning - and the film makes a grim prophesy about cloning: it creates many mutant mistakes and almost eliminates what is truly human.
In fact, this kind of science fantasy probably helps more people understand the scientific and moral implications of genetic experiments than textbooks or lectures. What a pity then that the acting is so mediocre and the screenplay is so aggro crass, pseudo-macho and would-be ironic. Mercifully there is very little of it. Visually and thematically the film is quite arresting and impressive. But that dialogue!
1. The impact of the Alien series? The breakthrough with the original Alien? Aliens and the domination of Ripley? The darkness of Aliens 3? This film in the series? An episode in the series?
2. The Alien films within the tradition of the monster films, monster myths, devouring monsters? The battles against the monsters? The threats to humans? The themes of nightmares?
3. The introduction of the themes of cloning, the cloning of Ripley, the cloning of the queen alien? The nature of mutants? The importance of robots and humans? The development of technology? The interchange between humans and robots? The film’s stances for and against cloning, robots, exploitation?
4. The humans, their limitations, the poor image – yet their triumphing at the end? The superiority of humans and human nature over technology?
5. The use of Panavision, the colour photography, the re-creation of space? The space stations themselves, the intricacies of the tunnels, the laboratories, the details of technology?
6. The aliens, the special effects? The gore, the fights, fear?
7. Alien and its use of the themes of The Lost Patrol, suspense, the patrol being pursued, the individuals disappearing from the patrol?
8. The quality or lack of quality of the dialogue? The language? The macho style? The feminist style?
9. The theme of Ripley, her sense of motherhood, with Annalee Call? The queen alien and the child? Maternal themes, the aliens?
10. The portrait of the doctors, as individuals, characters, the interacting personalities? Their experiments? In the laboratories? The ability to clone, the various failures, the use of cryogenics, Ripley and the passing of two hundred years? The operations, her womb?
11. Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the various Ripleys? Teaching the others? The strength, the reliance on the doctors? Annalee? The baseball and the Betty crew? The ambiguities? Her sense of the aliens, her leadership? Confronting dangers, the swimming, the attacks? Falling into the nest, the birth, the mother? Her escape? The puzzles? Suffering but surviving?
12. Annalee Call, being tough, on the Betty, killing a Ripley clone or Ripley? The confrontations, the team? Deaths? The swimming sequence? Being shot? The truth? Intercontrol, the Sign of the Cross, the compass? The monster and the end?
13. The Betty crew, as pirates, crass, macho, their weapons, playing baseball, the reality of their mission? Leader? Sexuality? Brutality? Jonah and his role? Christy, Frank Elgyn, Vriess? The heroics? Stealing? Saved? The doctor?
14. The doctors and their arrogance, teaching, taunting – and cocooned?
15. The alien, the confrontations, the escape? The captain and the decisions? His death?
16. The visualising of the clone room, the killing of the clones, the nest and the theme?
17. In the tradition of the Alien films? Ellen Ripley as a powerful human/alien clone, hybrid? The war against the aliens? A contribution to the themes? Exploitation of the themes?
Created by: malonelast modification: Friday 01 of May, 2015 [10:17:44 UTC] by