Alien is my favourite movie.
I don’t know if I could tell you my favourite novel, song, video game or play. But I have no trouble pointing to one movie and saying, “There. That one. That’s my favourite.” As I suspect is the case with most people who have a definite fave, how and when I saw the film play a significant role in shaping its importance for me. My father took me to see it on my 13th birthday. Once the face-hugger popped out of the egg, and especially once Kane had that bout of indigestion, I was curled into foetal position for the rest of the picture. It was an experience of terror that I have treasured ever since. My love for the film has never abated. Over thirty years on, I appreciate the film’s accomplishments in a new, but no less fond, light. Earlier this spring, for example, as I was teaching a course on remakes and sequels, Aliens was one of the films we looked at. And much as I love Cameron’s film, too, I was struck by how some of its special effects are showing their age, while those in Alien remain almost seamless. (more…)