Alien Movie Final

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Alien Movie Final

  1. 1. By Chris Prozora<br />
  2. 2. Alien<br />(1979)<br />Directed by Ridley Scott. Scott also directed Blade Runner and Hannibal<br />Executive Producer: Ronald Shusett<br />Music Composed by Jerry Goldsmith. <br />History: Scott and Goldsmith have no previous collaborations. Tension developed between Scott and Goldsmith because Scott replaced the score for the end credits with the temporary track, inciting Goldsmith. Also, for the title screen, Goldsmith deemed a more romantic score would have contributed to the score’s unique timbre, but Scott believed that a typical, eerie tune, would have been more appropriate.<br />[0:15 – 1:58] The main melody is predominantly conjunct.<br />Music Editor: Robert Hathaway<br />Orchestrators/Arrangers: Arthur Morton is the uncredited orchestrator. There were no arrangers employed. <br />
  3. 3. Working in music department since 1954 and died in 2004. Attended MiklosRozsa’s music classes in California Asked by Alfred Newman to score his first major film (Planet of the Apes).<br />Rozsa: The music is not meant to illustrate [the actions], but music should complete the psychological effect.<br />Goldsmith: “If you are scoring a scene for a man on a horse galloping away - you don&apos;t score the gallop but you score the fear of the rider.“<br />Nominated for 17 Oscars for best score, won 1 (The Omen, 1976 ),for 14 Saturn Awards, won 1 (Gremlins), and Nominated for Golden Globe for Alien. <br />28 wins and 58 nominations. He composed a multitude of films and TV shows that were typically Sci-fi, fantasy or action based: Twilight Zone episodes, Mummy, Mulan, Congo, Star Trek: Generations,Super Girl, Rambo, Air Force One, etc.<br />Composed the acclaimed score for Chinatown in 10 days, which is considered a legendary feat of stamina, speed and quality among the composer community.<br />
  4. 4. Plot<br />The deep-space mining crew of the Nostromo discovers an encrypted message emitting from an unknown planet. Corporate procedure mandates them to investigate the signal, and a few members of the crew go on an expedition. One of them discovers a hive containing eggs, and he accidently disturbs one. The creature incapacitates him, but the crew is not cognizant that the creature, a facehugger, impregnated the man with a malevolent beast. <br />After an obscene dream, Shusett said, &quot;I have an idea: the monster screws one of them.” &quot;This is a movie about alien interspecies rape,&quot; O&apos;Bannon commented in the documentary Alien Evolution, &quot;That&apos;s scary because it hits all of our buttons.”<br />An example of rhythm underscoring the plot: [38:56 – 40:55 ].The rhythm not only illustrates the sizzling of the acid and the descent of the crew, but it also suggests the dripping effect and how the acid slowly stops.<br />
  5. 5. Characters<br />Ellen Ripley is the paradigm feminine hero. She was the first memorable woman hero in action/horror/Sci-Fi films, ranking #1 in Wizard Magazine’s “Hollywood’s 25 Toughest Women.” <br />Ripley does not have a leitmotif. No human character has a leitmotif because designating a leitmotif for each character would imply that they are special and that the focus is on the individual. <br />Considering that the crew’s age averages between nearly 30 and 40 years old and how they behave like average people further asserts that the focus is one humanity as a whole; this makes the movie more frightening. <br />The alien, the main antagonist, does have a motif [1:32:12 – 1:33:52], magnifying the terror of its appearance. <br />Interestingly, the ship possesses a leitmotif [14:26 – 14:46]. By scoring a theme for the ship, Goldsmith not only provides filler for the landing scenes, but it also more importantly illuminates the venture of mankind into the unknown. <br />
  6. 6. Design<br />H.R. Giger designed the alien for the film as well as the facehugger and space jockey. Giger is a surrealist who often combines man and machine elements (called biomechanics). The Necronom IV design (background) was chosen. <br />Alien won Academy Award for visual effects. <br />Giger’s surrealism is reflected in Goldsmith’s score. [12:48 -13:18]. The emphasis of strings contributes to the romantic, transcendent and human facets of the film. The music has an overall homophonic texture .[57:18 – 58:23] .<br />“A good string section and an orchestra are the first things I think of when I start a project. The strings are particularly important to me. With them I can do any kind of picture. After the human voice, they are the most expressive instrument I know.&quot;<br />
  7. 7. Themes<br />Superficial themes: Beware of the Unknown and Man v Nature<br />Deeper theme: Men are the cause of their own peril. <br />Profound theme: The worst in human nature becomes prominent when there is another, averting evil; however, the good can also be evoked from men during ominous circumstances.<br />Speculative theme: Evils and nature of sex [anatomy of creature (androgyny, description of the second mouth, etc), impregnated man, and its lifecycle. Also, the transition between Mother’s pristine hyper-sleep to alien ravishment parallels the theme. <br />
  8. 8. Other Significant Functions of the Film Score<br />Atmosphere[4:41 - 6:40]<br />Silence (in space, no one can hear you scream)[1:05:30 - 1:08:07]<br />Unspoken Thoughts and Emotion [1:44:52 – 1:52:34]<br />The score compliments the film because it complies with the surrealistic inspiration. It does not dwell on the horror of the massacre as most horror movie scores do, but it appeals to man’s sense of curiosity and slowly reels viewers in through the abundance of string pieces. It builds the suspense slowly, and in non-action scenes, which consist of most of the movie, it emphasizes the setting and mesmerizes the viewer. There is an aura of romance, but also a premonition. The score provides for the foreboding mystery. Human emotion and the unknown are blended into an ineffable harmony.<br />I loved the movie (two thumbs way up). It was the predecessor to modern horror, and the combination of a brilliant plot, beautiful music, innovative lighting, modern special effects and defiant concepts distinguish the film as a prodigious accomplishment. <br />

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