“He’s a Replicant, basically,” says Scott about Ash. Yes, we get it, Ridley. Decker is a Replicant. Ash is a Replicant. We’re all Replicants. You happy? He does point out Ash’s quick, little jog in place might be a clue to him being a robot, that maybe all robots get stiff and need to keep their joints active. Someone go see if Harrison Ford ever does that in Blade Runner.
[alien] A Profane Abomination … a list of designs H.R. Giger was hired to produce for the movie Alien … ‘THE ALIEN, THIRD (MATURE) PHASE. Having left its victim, the Alien promptly grows to man-size, whereupon it is terrifically dangerous. It is very mobile, strong, and capable of tearing a man to pieces. It feeds on human flesh. This creature should be a profane abomination. Our producers have suggested that something resembling an over-sized, deformed baby might be sufficiently loathsome…’
[movies] The Other Kane … the fascinating story of the other actor who (briefly) played Kane in Alien before John Hurt … ‘In the beginning, the actor portraying Kane was Shakespearean stage veteran, Jon Finch. The story of Finch’s departure is somewhat muddled. Most sources agree that Finch left the film due to a diabetic attack, which is denied by Finch himself. Some say that Finch’s illness revealed itself before the cameras, another says it took place in a plasterer’s chair. Some say he filmed for weeks, some say he filmed for days, and some say he filmed for merely one shot.’
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[movies] Dressing The Future … fascinating look at Moebius’ influence on the costume design of Alien … ‘The film reunited the Dune creative team, the other artists did not meet Moebius personally this time around – however, even though he was somewhat more removed from the project than Cobb, Foss, Giger, and O’Bannon (who all either worked on the project from its inception, or from the time it was greenlit) Moebius still turned in work that his co-artists found exemplary. “I was in contact with Moebius indirectly,” said Giger, “as he was designing the costumes for Alien. Those astronauts’ clothes and helmets were just like Ridley Scott wanted them. They looked like ancient divers. He did a fantastic job.” “Moebius did the designs for the astronauts,” Giger told Cinefantastique in ’79. “They wear a kind of Japanese armour and helmets which could belong to just about any period of time.”’
[movies] Dressing The Future … a fascinating look at the costume design process on the movie Alien … ‘When Sigourney Weaver turned up for dress rehearsal, she found something other than grimy space-wear. “When they first dressed me up as Ripley it was in one of those pink and blue uniforms,” she said. “Ridley Scott came in and said, ‘You look like fucking Jackie O’NASA.’” Luckily, Scott decided to improvise…’
[movies] Ridley Scott’s Storyboards … a look at the sketches Scott uses as storyboards for his movies. It’s interesting to see the Moebius-influenced Alien sketches – Moebius did concept-art for Alien and seems to have inspired Scott.
[movies] In Praise Of The Sci-Fi Corridor … On the corridors in Alien: ‘Ridley Scott knows that corridors matter in a horror (or ‘haunted house’) movie, but these marvellous sets are also being showcased to sell the gritty and grimy, commercial and industrial reality of the Nostromo as well. The upper sections related to the command deck were dirtied down with gold and black paint after a reshuffle of sections in order to convey the grittier world inhabited and Parker and Brett on the engineering level.’ [via Metafilter]
As the sequels (“Aliens,” “Alien 3,” “Alien Resurrection”) will make all too abundantly clear, the alien is capable of being just about any monster the story requires. Because it doesn’t play by any rules of appearance or behavior, it becomes an amorphous menace, haunting the ship with the specter of shape-shifting evil. Ash (Ian Holm), the science officer, calls it a “perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility,” and admits: “I admire its purity, its sense of survival; unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.”
‘It is a genuinely frightening movie which makes splatterfests like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre look juvenile. With style and intelligence, Scott absorbs the influences of Kubrick and Spielberg, together with movies like Westworld and The Stepford Wives, but makes a movie quite distinct from any of these. He puts together a white-knuckle intergalactic ride of tension and fear, which is also an essay on the hell of other people, the vulnerability of our bodies, and the idea of space as a limitless new extension of human paranoia. Alien also functions as a nightmare-parody of the Apollo 11 moon-landing, which had happened just 10 years previously, with all its earnest optimism about human endeavour. And perhaps most stunningly of all, this new version of the movie reveals how it works as a conspiracy satire about state-corporate complicity in manufacturing biological weapons of mass destruction.’