I was reading an article that opened with reviews from the original 79 Alien
movie. Interesting how harsh the press was for what is now regarded
as a classic.
I’m probably too close to the whole mythology of these Alien movies.
It’s sort of hard for me to stand back far enough to give it a fair review.
Anyway, I was reminded by the article that films are very much products of the
time and culture that they reflect. For me the original Alien is really not a sci-
fi picture, that’s just its atmosphere. Alien is more of a blue collar, screw over
the working class by the big corporation film. Pure 70’s paranoia, suspicion and
Does Prometheus work in this way? Does this film exhibit the sociological and
cultural leanings of the year 2012? The first thing that comes to mind is the great
wealth and power gap between members of the corporation and the working class.
This divide in America today has never seemed so obvious. It’s stated early on that this
trip was financed by the Weyland corporation. The scientists and crew are working
for the corporation and are clearly secondary and not trusted. The boss Peter
Weyland even comes along for the ride.
Second thing that comes to mind is broken families or relationships. Today
its not unusual for a plan or endeavor, even when following the established
laws of nature and aided with advanced technology, failing simply for lack
of communication. It appears that crew was recruited separately for their expertise.
There is no real account of loyalty or committed interest. They all seem to have their
own agenda. David and Vickers are the most obvious. David (robot) created
by Peter Weyland seems to act very human, even cutting his hair to look like
Peter O’ Toole in the Lawrence of Arabia movie he enjoys as the crew remains
in suspended sleep to its destination. In contrast we have Vikers,
Weyland’s real daughter who is simply a corporate robot, cold and
Third thing that comes to mind and I think may be the most telling of
current cultural reflection is how the film deals with exploration and visually
revealing the hidden truth. Today we are bombarded with media like no other
time in history. There are so many digital camera’s out there, it appears
that nothing is hidden or invisible to us. Prometheus is about revealing
the mystery of what the origins of man are about. The film bombards the viewer
with one cut to another reveal and on to the next cut. The pacing almost seems
a bit overwhelming at times, revealing one mystery after another, with no time
in between to contemplate the meaning or significance.
I wonder now if this is just a reflection on how we, in this culture and time frame,
deal with information via the Internet and countless other media outlets we interact
with every day. I often search the Internet and when I come to the proper answer or
reveal I find too much information. The volume, substance and formats it reveals itself
to me is often unsatisfying, frustrating and downright confounding. I beg to ask,
did I even really need to see that?