The fresh release of Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, Prometheus, presented itself to me as the perfect excuse to explain how and why I even started designing. More of that in my next post. For now, a little review. As a hard-hard-hardcore fan of Alien, I didn't hesitate to snap up my ticket the weekend of the film's release in London.
Prometheus harks back to the Greek myth, putting a twist on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein about forbidden knowledge and man playing God. I went into this film trying my absolute hardest to remove myself from expectations rooted in the original franchise.
I did. But while Scott's new conceptual offerings were interesting, and his sci-fi direction expectedly stunning, I hate to admit that it seems even the master of suspense has buckled under the pressures of Hollywood to deliver a profit-splurging blockbuster.
It lacked the tension which came to immortalise Alien as one of the most original horror films ever. Even the action sequences weren't exceptionally thrilling, and some scenes were so implausible - nonsensical even - that I actually found myself chuckling at certain moments - not good.
Fortunately, I was impressed by the visuals and new designs and, let's be honest: if they're good, we can forgive Ridley's narrative flaws. It was intriguing to see prototypes of the iconic xenomorph we know so well - although they weren't so much terrifying as purely disgusting, and I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a squid in the same way again.
The ending. I was torn about its somewhat shoehornedness. You can just imagine the studio execs during production insisting that Ridley make a scene which explicitly illustrates the bridge between this film and the Alien evolution, just in case the audience had thus far been stupid to make the connection for themselves. Nonetheless, we clearly have an exciting new instalment in the works.
The tag-line. I'm tempted to look really clever and perceptive and inevitably pretentious here by using it for my own means to lead on how I started as an artist. So I will.
The search for our beginning could lead to our end
In hindsight this is a bit dramatic and unnecessary, so I'll settle for the "beginning" bit...