Sci-Fi discussion follows PFS screening of "Alien"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In my last post, I included a favorite quote in regard to the joy of watching the unfolding of life piece by piece [click HERE to view post] Well, the next fun piece of the unfolding of my life, is being asked to blog for Philadelphia Film Society!

I've tried to stay neutral when it comes to th
e rift between Philadelphia Cinema Alliance (CineFest & QFest) and Philadelphia Film Society (Philadelphia Film Festival) attending events for either camp and then blogging about it. Tinsel & Tine is still a free agent; I'll just be doing double duty. When blogging for PFS, I will post on their site and link my readers to the post on the blog. And in reverse, when I blog about other film & food happenings on Tinsel & Tine (unless it is related to PCA) I will include a link on the blog back to T&T!

This post being the exception because of major website overhauling going on at PFS for the next few days.

But enough about me, let's talk about Alien (Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Ridley Scott) - For years I've heard that this movie is the ultimate sci-fi classic, that it's the standard to which many horror films wish to aspire, that its special effects have stood the test of time, that it's really scary! And Guess what? IT IS ALL THAT! I know it's weird I've never seen Alien in all these years, but last night I was glad to get my virgin viewing on the big screen. And particularly since it was followed by a discussion of the film, lead by Roc Robertson of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society.

Roc talked about the realism of the film, that it doesn't depict a hygienic, totally automatic space future, instead the crew has to manually fix things, the ship is wet and dark and in places kinda oozing even before the Alien arrives on board. The crew have relate-able conversations, such as griping about the corporation they work for and wanting a bigger share of the wealth.

of the after film discussion centered on the design of the film. Robertson brought up the fact that one of the great things about this movie is it also ushered in a whole new wave of design. A lot of the designers on Alien were the same ones from Star Wars. (Star Wars came out in 1977, Alien in 1979) He also talked about the influence from a magazine called Heavy Metal, this was an adult comic book, put out by the same people who published Penthouse, it featured a lot of European artists and had a radically different design then American comic books. It introduced American film people to a lot of European designers, such as Jean Giraud—known as Moebius, he designed the crew's space suits. And most importantly H.R. Giger who primarily came up with the design for all three of the Alien's in Alien. "Giger was very big on the use of organic forms in machines. His most favorite thing was to see if he could mix bones or organs with gears and pulleys. He also has a bit of a sex fetish, so he's not afraid to throw the occasional genitalia at you", said Roc.

My friend asked if Giger was inspired by the artwork of Francis Bacon for the design of the Alien, Roc didn't think so; but turns out even a Sci-Fi buff, can't know everything - because my friend found a quote from Giger saying just that: It was Francis Bacon’s work that gave me the inspiration,” Giger said, “Of how this thing would come tearing out of the man’s flesh with its gaping mouth, grasping and with an explosion of teeth … it’s pure Bacon.”

My friend (who likes to remain nameless on my blog) also sent me a link to a PDF of a magazine from 1979 called Starlog, that
has a great interview with Ridley Scott {Our "pet" names for the various stages of the alien were: egg, face-hugger, chest-burster and the big chap} and gives an in depth look at the making of Alien.

The audience participation was fun from talking about Sigourney Weaver in her underwear, to the unpredictability of the character of Dallas (Tom Skerritt) getting eaten before Parker (Yaphet Kotto) and the antiquated use of the term robot for the character of Ash (Ian Holm) rather than android or cyborg.

Don't miss Philadelphia Film Societies next screening Wed 5/19 - Prince Music Theater, 7:30pm
filmadelphiaINDEPENDENT- Winter's Bone - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Winter's Bone is an unflinching portrayal of an Ozark Mountain girl as she hacks through dangerous social terrain searching for her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. The screening is followed by a Q&A with award-winning director Debra Granik!

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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