The Pestle


Ep 37: “Alien” (1979, Ridley Scott)

April 03, 2018

We dive into Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic “Alien” and discuss:

  • the symbolism in “Alien”;
  • cinematography, and editing;
  • design;
  • and much more!

‘Alien’ is a C film elevated to an A film, honestly, by it being well done and a great monster. If it hadn’t had that great monster, even with a wonderful cast, it wouldn’t have been as good, I don’t think. – Ridley Scott

Notes & References:
Ridley Scott on making “Alien”
Cinematographer describes filming & lighting “Alien” (and getting ill)
Necronomicon is originally the brainchild of HP Lovecraft
HR Giger’s Necronomicon

All the lights are certainly over the top, but on closer inspection we can see that they did try and give them some functionality. From a functional perspective though these all look indistinguishable at a glance and seem somewhat useless.

This Week’s Recommendations:


  1. Joe Howes says:

    I am SO far behind, but I’ve been dying to add this for weeks.

    The scene at the end of the film where Ripley is in the shuttle and the Alien announces its presence by quickly extending its arm out at her: I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently Scott brought Weaver on set, telling her they were doing some pickup shots, and didn’t tell her that Badejo was tucked away in the wall in costume. Weaver’s reaction to that moment is real.

    The shot doesn’t hang long enough to see whether Weaver stayed in character, but I like to imagine she did and saved a “Fuck you, Ridley” until after he called cut 🙂

    1. wes says:

      LOL! That’s awesome!! I can imagine getting deep into some kind of rhythm and then seeing that thing pop out would definitely get several “fuck you”s out of me.

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