A high tech thriller with plenty of tech and not enough thrills.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
The first in a monthly series of video essays about unloved films, Scout Tafoya's video essay is an appreciation of "Alien 3," the debut feature by David Fincher.
My friend and colleague Michael Mirasol, from the Philippines, now in Australia, is the very image of a Far-Flung Correspondent. We bonded at Ebertfest. Look at his magnificent video essay about Vincent Ward's film, which we honored at Ebertfest.
The visceral impact that Ridley Scott's "Alien" had in 1979 can never quite be recaptured, partly because so many movies have adapted elements of its premise, design and effects over the last three decades -- from John Carpenter's remake of "The Thing" (1982) to David Cronenberg's remake of "The Fly" (1986) to "Species" (1998) and "Splice" (2009). No movie had ever looked like this. And it still works tremendously -- but let me tell you, in 1979 a major studio science-fiction/horror film that hinted darkly of interspecies rape and impregnation was unspeakably disturbing. (It got under my skin and has stayed there. We have a symbiotic relationship, this burrowing movie parasite and I. We nourish each other. I don't think Ridley Scott has even come close to birthing as subversive and compelling a creation since.)
The thing is, the filmmakers actually took out the grisly details involving just what that H.R. Giger " xenomorph" did to and with human bodies (the sequels got more graphic), but in some ways that made the horror all the more unsettling. You knew, but you didn't know. It wasn't explicitly articulated. Dallas (Tom Skerrit) just disappears from the movie. The deleted "cocoon" scene (with the haunting moan, "Kill me...") appeared later on a LaserDisc version of the film, and then was incorporated into the 2003 theatrical re-release for the first time. The deleted footage:
CHAMPAIGN -- Roger Ebert's seventh annual Overlooked Film Festival unreeled here last week with appearances by auteurs and actors such as John Sayles, Guy Maddin, Mario Van Peebles, Jason Patric and Jason Scott Lee, among others.
CHAMPAIGN - URBANA -- Roger Ebert likes to remind filmgoers that this year's field of best picture Oscar nominees could have been called "the movies that no one wanted to make."
April 20 - 24, 2005
April 20 - 24, 2005