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Showing posts from November, 2017

Alien (1979), More of the Gothic Same with a Crucial Twist

I love Alien; it's one of my favorite films, and has been for as long as I can remember. But why? I've often remarked how many cite the film as original, or one-of-a-kind. In reality, it's really not working with anything new and the things it changes are much smaller than one might think, with spectacular and long-standing results which speak for themselves.
Alien seems original, but wasn’t, drawing largely from classical Gothic literature. I arrived at this conclusion after watching the 1975, French, erotic version of Beauty and the Beast, when, in that film, the heroine is chased by the sexually-perverse monster through a dense, wild thicket. Vulnerable women chased by large powerful manifestations of prurient, abject sexual desire is par for the course, in Gothic literature, the monsters often, if not always, being larger and more powerful than the women being chased, and also male: phallic aggressors, much like the penis-headed creature in Alien that symbolizes rape an…