The fossils & philosophy that inspired 'Alien'

#1
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressa...4813825d56

EXCERPT. . . however, over the years Alien had come to be regarded as one of the best horror and science-fiction films ever made."Alien" screenwriters Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett based parts of their script on various older science-fiction movies and tales, like "At the Mountains of Madness", a science-fiction/horror story published by American author H.P. Lovecraft in 1936. In the story, a team of scientists is hunted and killed by ancient creatures resembling fossil animals. [...] Hans Rudolf Giger, Swiss surrealist artist, architect and industrial designer, was hired to create all forms of the Alien featuring in the film, from the egg to the adult.

[...] The parasite bursts from the chest of its victim and soon the crew has to deal with the fast-growing life-form hiding in the air vents of the spaceship. The design of the "chestburster" and the full-grown xenomorph ("alien-shaped thing") is based on Giger's "Necronom IV", an artwork created in 1976. The surrealist drawing shows a female figure composed of different parts of insects, parts of vertebrates and even fossils. Giger used the fossils of 300 million-year-old crinoids [...] as a source of inspiration.

[...] The skin of echinoderms, including sea cucumbers, sea urchins, crinoids, brittle stars and starfish, is covered with tiny ossicles made of calcium carbonate forming a protective, yet flexible, outer shell. In a similar way, Giger's Alien is protected by a silicon-based external skeleton. This outer shell is also very useful to contain the acid blood of the creature. Concept artist John Cobb added the acid blood as a defense mechanism, making it impossible to kill the Alien without damage to the crew or the spaceship.... (MORE)

The philosophy behind Alien: [...] Unlike many of its galactic fellows, the Xenomorph doesn't fly around in a spotless ship of unfathomable technology. Giger's creature is a filthy, primal parasite whose very survival is contingent on it's continued rape and exploitation of other species. If this sounds like a familiar concept, it's because, at least according to Giger, it was an accurate, if a little pessimistic, reflection of humanity's most basic function. Throughout his career, Giger made a point of highlighting the dark side of the human life cycle so often worshipped as a source of hope and positivity. While we celebrated births and treasured our existence, Giger produced pieces like Erotomechanics VII, which sapped thought and feeling from the act of reproduction and reduced them to what he saw as the truth: the cold, mechanical struggle to survive. To Giger, sex and birth could be pain and even kill. Every life, he posited in his piece Birth Machine, carries the potential for suffering. In Necronom IV, we see the phallus and the monster depicted as one, a fusion of a symbol of life with its inherent potential for pain and trauma. Giger's message was very clear: That thing between your legs is also an instrument of evil.... (MORE)

RELATED: The Case For Not Being Born (antinatalism)

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Sigourney Weaver surprises the cast of a high school 'Alien' play
https://us.cnn.com/2019/04/27/entertainm...index.html

INTRO: The high school cast of a stage version of "Alien" got plenty attention when its elaborate play went viral last month. On Friday night, the young actors got another surprise when the star of the original movie, Sigourney Weaver, dropped by New Jersey's North Bergen High School to congratulate them. "I am representing all of the 'Alien' fans, all over the universe who think what you're doing is so cool," she told the teens in video shared on Twitter.... (MORE)
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#2
Great find CC. Hope you don't mind me posting a similar thread on that other science forum...lol

I'd love to see the high school stage version of Alien. Great to see Scott & Weaver get involved. What a great moment for the entire cast and crew. The teacher deserves so much credit, I hope someone recognizes this. I read where they were throwing out their props after the two March performances when news of their accomplishments went viral. It spurred a rush to the dumpster event to retrieve them? And now with all the celebs getting involved is it only a matter of time before Broadway takes a hard look at bringing it to the stage. I hope so.
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#3
(Apr 28, 2019 04:02 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Great find CC. Hope you don't mind me posting a similar thread on that other science forum...lol

Definitely no prob, the ongoing 40th anniversary celebration of "Alien" continues. Apparently they've released six new short films set in the Alien universe that can supposedly be viewed here: https://www.alienuniverse.com/

Quote:I'd love to see the high school stage version of Alien. Great to see Scott & Weaver get involved. What a great moment for the entire cast and crew. The teacher deserves so much credit, I hope someone recognizes this. I read where they were throwing out their props after the two March performances when news of their accomplishments went viral. It spurred a rush to the dumpster event to retrieve them? And now with all the celebs getting involved is it only a matter of time before Broadway takes a hard look at bringing it to the stage. I hope so.


Maybe even a musical version? Wink Difficult with respect to that, since so many potential titles for such have already been taken: Alien the Musical (old-time "aliens" apparently), Alien vs Musical, Alien: Covenant The Musical, etc. What an ancestral meme the Simpson's "Planet of the Apes" wrought so long ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOeUXEpxzcc

Back to the original movie, nice that the scene of an abandoned spaceship with oversized ET remains in Planet of the Vampires was finally acknowledged as part of the background inspiration. Ridley Scott and Dan O'Bannon kind of snaked around that for years, even suggesting they had never seen the film before.

#Writing: In writing the script, O'Bannon drew inspiration from many previous works of science fiction and horror. He later stated that "I didn't steal Alien from anybody. I stole it from everybody!" The Thing from Another World (1951) inspired the idea of professional men being pursued by a deadly alien creature through a claustrophobic environment. Forbidden Planet (1956) gave O'Bannon the idea of a ship being warned not to land, and then the crew being killed one by one by a mysterious creature when they defy the warning. Planet of the Vampires (1965) contains a scene in which the heroes discover a giant alien skeleton; this influenced the Nostromo crew's discovery of the alien creature in the derelict spacecraft. O'Bannon has also noted the influence of "Junkyard" (1953), a short story by Clifford D. Simak in which a crew lands on an asteroid and discovers a chamber full of eggs. He has also cited as influences "Strange Relations" by Philip José Farmer (1960), which covers alien reproduction, and various EC Comics horror titles carrying stories in which monsters eat their way out of people.
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#4
In ‘79 I wasn’t used to the thought of an alien being so downright frightening. Aliens looked like us or like other Earthlings, usually dressed in costumes that made it difficult to move about in. How many times have I wondered how the alien built its spaceship or did any type of intricate work without being equipped physically to perform tasks our hands do. Remembering the Gorn from Star Trek... the creature could barely hold a weapon, let alone have the ability to make one or use it.

All changed IMHO when Alien was released. That thing seemed indestructible and able to take out a world with only what they were born with. May not have looked like anything we’re familiar with but I get reminded of it when I see spider wasps carry off their egg’s paralyzed host or the cluster fly that lays its eggs on Earthworms. Terrifying stuff when you consider a creature that could do that to us.

I didn’t know what to expect when I watched in ‘79. Theatre was full, people yakking, laughing & eating popcorn only to later have it replaced with periods of stunned silence mixed in with audible gasps and screams. Some people even left, they were so scared. Only other movie I witnessed something similar was Schindler’s List.
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