Alien (1979) Review

Synopsis

In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.

Release date: May 25, 1979

Director: Ridley Scott

Screenplay: Dan O’Bannon

Budget: 11 million USD

My Review

Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) will have you sitting in suspense throughout the entire film. The pacing of this movie plays with the audience’s mind and mental state in a way that you won’t want to look away from the screen for a single moment. The beginning of the film takes its sweet time establishing the characters and setting before introducing conflict.

Why I love ... Alien | BFI


Unlike many modern-day horror and sci-fi movies, this film has a strong buildup that leads to an intense climax and resolution. In well-established suspense films, it is the waiting and the build up that excited the viewer and draws them into the movie. While this film isn’t full of intense jump scares in every scene, it’s the anticipation and the build-up that will have you sitting in anticipation. This film is far from predictable, and by creating an alien that changes and adapts the audience never knows what to expect.


Alien was masterly cast, and the actors did an incredible job of stepping into their roles and feeding off of each other’s energy. Sigourney Weaver’s performance is both memorable and captivating. She completely steps into her role and brings her character to life. Because of the established set-up of the film, each character is well developed and the audience is made well-aware of their character traits.

Ridley Scott's Alien Created Its Own Genre 40 Years Ago | Consequence of  Sound

Overall, this film has aged well through time and I highly recommend giving it a watch!

My Rating

4.5/5

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Lucas Hagar: The Influence of NArrative Storytelling on Documentaries

In a podcast with Film Riot, Lucas Harger talked in-depth about his filmmaking process as well as the creative cross between narrative film and documentary filmmaking. As a filmmaker, Lucas has been successful in crossing between editing both documentary and narrative stories to produce unique and creative content.

According to Lucas, being able to create documentary films has significantly improved his narrative work, but it does not go the other way around. In both of these forms of film, you have to uncover a specific story from the heart, and they demand a fluid ability of storytelling. However, in a documentary film, the director almost always functions as the writer and editor as well. All in all, this strengthens the directors’ creative voice and gut instincts.


Everything about documentary filmmaking is reactive, and having such power over a more broad area of the film allows for the fine-tuning of one’s storytelling ability.


Listen to Lucas Harger’s full podcast with Film Riot Here


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Alien (1979) Review

Synopsis In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and …

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In a recent podcast with the Director’s Guild, Mimi Leder, an American director and producer, gave her best advice for keeping a healthy and productive film set. Mimi’s key piece of advice was to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve, and to always show them your appreciation. She pointed out that the cast and crew of a film were handpicked because of their talent and qualifications and to show them the respect that both them and their art deserves.

Mimi stated that before COVID-19 life, she would arrive on film set and before doing anything else go around and hug everybody. To showcase gratitude and spread good vibes to everyone on set. She also advised taken the time to get to know your cast and crew on both a personal and professional level. Everybody has a story to tell, and in getting to know somebody on a deeper level, it’s easier to understand them and how they function.

Another key piece of advice that Mimi gave is to find the perfect balance between listening to an actor’s instinct and your initial director instinct. She stated that when working with experienced and talented actors, they almost always want to listen to their gut instincts as an actor. Most of the time their gut instinct will never steer them wrong, however it’s okay to correct them and steer them more towards the directors instinct.


Read Mimi Leder’s full podcast with The Directors Cut Here


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Lucas Hagar: The Influence of NArrative Storytelling on Documentaries

In a podcast with Film Riot, Lucas Harger talked in-depth about his filmmaking process as well as the creative cross between narrative film and documentary filmmaking. As a filmmaker, Lucas has been successful in crossing between editing both documentary and narrative stories to produce unique and creative content. According to Lucas, being able to create …

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Schneider’s main advice is to come up with a detailed and set plan when working with extensive green screens and technology on set to try to minimize everything that could go wrong during filming. It’s always a good idea to do test runs of everything before the camera even begins rolling. Once you have all the structure completed for a scene, then you know you are ready to roll the camera.

According to Schneider, the idea for the film came from a book Tom Hanks read and then wrote a script from. In terms of creating a movie that’s been inspired from a book, Aaron stated that everything that you need story wise comes from the narrative. For Greyhound he said the complete structure for the film came from Tom Hanks script, which was inspired straight from the novel. His final piece of advice about the story is to make your main goal as a filmmaker to bring the story to life not to change it.


Listen to Arron Schneider’s full podcast with Film Riot Here


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In a recent podcast with the Director’s Guild, Mimi Leder, an American director and producer, gave her best advice for keeping a healthy and productive film set. Mimi’s key piece of advice was to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve, and to always show them your appreciation. She pointed out that the cast …

John Badham’s advice on seducing the actor

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, John Badham gave constructive and well-thought out advice on how he as a director has learned to improve his work relationship with his actors. The key piece of advice that John gave is not to persuade the actor but to seduce them.

He explained that all actors have these innate instinct and gut reactions for a scene, and that its best to allow your actors to play out these ideas and experiment within a scene. Instead of persuading an actor out of a bad idea, he suggests tricking them into talking themselves out of the bad idea. For example, if an actor’s instincts for a physical movement or reaction in a scene differs from the director’s vision. Instead of saying, “Can you do it this way?” He suggests talking with the actor, seeing why their innate instinct is what it is, and if possible convince them to try it the director’s way by using descriptive verbs to describe the change you want to see.

The best way to accomplish this is by taking the time to get to know your actors. Spend some one-on-one time with them and watch them in the beginning to establish what kind of acting method they use and how they best communicate. John Badham summed this up by stating: “You can’t program an actor. You need to work with them.”


Listen to John Badham’s full podcast with Film Riot Here


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working with what you got: Advice from the creators of Faith Based

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, the creators of the film Faith Based (Vincent Masciale, Luke Barnett, and Tanner Thomason), gave constructive advice to filmmakers who think they need to wait till they make it into Hollywood to make their film. The filmmakers discussed how their original plan for the film was to shoot …

Aaron Schneider’s Directing advice from film Greyhound

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“One of the great things about being a director as a life choice is that it can never be mastered. Every story is its own expedition, with its own set of challenges.”

-Ron Howard


Listen to the Directors Guild Podcast The Craft of The Director with Ron Howard Part 1 (Ep. 258) here.