Saturday Editor’s Pick: Alien (1979)

by on February 26, 2012Posted in: Editor's Pick

Playing Fri March 2 and Sat March 3 at Midnight at IFC Center [Program & Tix]

 

As a break from rampant Francophilia in New York this weekend, why not take in Alt Screen favorite Alien? Fan the flames of anticipation for Ridley Scott’s prequel of sorts, Promethueus, due this summer…

 

Benjamin Strong for L Magazine:

Alien is, after all, just a genre film — albeit a perfectly executed B horror movie disguised with an A-picture budget that paid for, among other things, artist H.R. Giger’s set and monster designs, without which the movie is wholly unimaginable. To this day, the lion’s share of hosannas for Scott go to Blade Runner, but Alien is just as mysterious and immersive in its dystopian details. Every aspect of Scott’s filmmaking contributes to our foreboding sense that no two things (and thus, no two species) are entirely distinguishable. The Nostromo’s dank hulls provide easy camouflage for the parasitical intruder, but Scott doesn’t stop there. Through a suggestive use of lap dissolves, he continually lays one murky image over another. Meanwhile, machines emit animal noises, and vice versa, and both sets of sounds bleed into the strains of Jerry Goldsmith’s menacingly ethereal score. Finally, so precise is the timing of Brian Q. Kelley’s editing that this reviewer, to his complete embarrassment, twice leapt from his seat during a press screening, despite the fact that he had previously seen the film a dozen times and knew exactly when the shocks were coming.

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Monday Editor’s Pick: Alien (1979)

by on July 10, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick

Playing Mon July 11 at 6:50*, 9:30 at BAMcinématek [Program & Tix]

With BLOODBATH Dan O’Bannon | 1970 | US

*Intro/book-signing with Jason Zinoman & Diane O’Bannon

 

BAM kicks off an awesome  mini-retro celebrating “actor, writer (sometimes credited, sometimes not), and director Dan O’Bannon, a leading, if unheralded, figure in the creation of modern horror,” with an appearance by O’Bannon’s widow Diane and New York Times writer Jason Zioman, who will be signing copies of his new book Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror.

 

Benjamin Strong for L Magazine:

Alien is, after all, just a genre film — albeit a perfectly executed B horror movie disguised with an A-picture budget that paid for, among other things, artist H.R. Giger’s set and monster designs, without which the movie is wholly unimaginable. To this day, the lion’s share of hosannas for Scott go to Blade Runner, but Alien is just as mysterious and immersive in its dystopian details. Every aspect of Scott’s filmmaking contributes to our foreboding sense that no two things (and thus, no two species) are entirely distinguishable. The Nostromo’s dank hulls provide easy camouflage for the parasitical intruder, but Scott doesn’t stop there. Through a suggestive use of lap dissolves, he continually lays one murky image over another. Meanwhile, machines emit animal noises, and vice versa, and both sets of sounds bleed into the strains of Jerry Goldsmith’s menacingly ethereal score. Finally, so precise is the timing of Brian Q. Kelley’s editing that this reviewer, to his complete embarrassment, twice leapt from his seat during a press screening, despite the fact that he had previously seen the film a dozen times and knew exactly when the shocks were coming.

 

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