Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Company of Kittens and Monsters

Alien (1979)
directed by Ridley Scott
rating: 5 out of 5 cravats
seen on the screen at the Egyptian Theatre

The easiest thing to forget about Alien is that Sigourney Weaver was 29 when it was made. Aliens wasn't released for another seven years, and although James Cameron's gun-toting Ripley is a wonder, Weaver at 29 was a knock-out, plain and simple. Visually, Alien is as organic as Blade Runner, as if matte paintings were a kind of Ouija board into the future. Today, of course, a space crew would know exactly what to do upon discovery of a roomful of alien eggs, but - excepting Ash's destructive, hell-bent single-mindedness - there's something remarkable about the curiosity of the Nostromo's men and women. They do their best to make sense of it all, while we just sit in awe.