You know, our chemistry
Is off the chain
Is perfect now
But will it change
This ain’t a yes
This ain’t a no
Just do your thang
We’ll see how it goes…ohhh
AALIYAH + The xx
30 favourite movies - 2. Alien3
You’ve been in my life so long, I can’t remember anything else.Although often called nihilistic, I don’t quite share that view in regards to Alien3. I think the movie is extremly bleak, disturbing and depressing, but it is not nihilistic. This is first and foremost the story of Ripley, a woman who has been lost in a nightmare for decades now. Some might crave for an upbeat ending with her self-made family, but that is not her journey. Instead Ripley is left to pick up the pieces and grieve for the fallen. Along the way she also gives a cast of wretched souls the chance for redemption as they join in her quest to kill the alien. But the most powerful message is her sacrifise, which saves mankind in the end.
It is a well known fact that the production of Alien3 was troubled. Sets were being built without a finished script, no one knew which way to take the story next, the studio denied David Fincher the final cut, Sigourney Weaver wanted to end the franchise… It’s a miracle that the movie emerging from this even had a coherrent story (plot holes are present even in the first minutes). Yet the movie looks amazing. Despite everything, Fincher manages to bring in his eye for detail. The movie has a unique bleak atmosphere and mood that frightens and disturbs me years later.
The score by Elliot Goldenthal is the best in the series: creepy, touching, uplifting and horrifying. And Sigourney gives her best performance as Ripley. She is just enigmatic on screen with her pain, determination, toughness and fear. I love the supporting cast who shine as characters that aren’t written as easily likable: Charles Dance as the doctor Clemens, Charles S.Dutton as conflicted Dillon, Paul McGann as the disturbed Golic, Danny Webb as the spirited Morse and Lance Henriksen in a strange dual role that remains ambigious to this day (who or what was Bishop II?). I also love the dialogue in this one; Dillon, Golic, Ripley, Clemens… they all have such great lines. Dillon’s funeral speech is just amazing.
Alien3 remains a favourite of mine, because it offers no easy solutions for the viewer. It’s a flawed product that has a strange charm. I suppose the movie makes the saga into something else by going against our expectations and mutilating its predecessor’s uplifting ending (and then making us sit through the autopsy). The final scenes are just compelling to watch, almost like a saturnine spell that stays with me for a long time after I’m done watching.
I think I’d really like to use this platform to showcase some of my parents’ photographic relics from years/experiences long since past. Since tumblr is little more than a convenient way of internationally messaging my partner these days, there’s not much point in the ‘fame’ that I’ve seemingly racked up over the past four years. While it’s been a simultaneously wonderful and awful time in my life, it’s time to move on and I couldn’t be happier about that :)
My dad was an exchange student in Japan for a full year during his high school tenure, one of the more formative and lasting influences on him both culturally and as a person. His love and fascination was always exposed to me as I grew up, which now leads me back to his extensive photography during that time (being able to develop slides as we can today is an absolute miracle!).
This is Chūō-sen (中央線), the eastern section of the Chuo Main Line between Takao and Tokyo, during peak hour in the early 70’s.
Marilyn was a big supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. Ella Fitzgerald was one of Marilyn’s idols and a major inspiration. However, the Mocambo nightclub in West Hollywood, the most popular dance spot at the time, refused to let Ella perform there because she was black. Outraged, Marilyn told the owners that if they would let Ella perform, she would be there in the front row every time Ella was onstage. She did, and the two became friends.
According to the great Ella Fitzgerald:
“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him - and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”