Author Topic: Alien 3 (Caution: this thread contains heavy spoilers.)  (Read 7679 times)

pixote

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2008, 09:10:48 PM »
This is partially illustrated through the fact that Ripley is not shown as a literal mother, she is playing the role with Newt.

You traditionalist!

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

skjerva

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 09:13:39 PM »
This is partially illustrated through the fact that Ripley is not shown as a literal mother, she is playing the role with Newt.

You traditionalist!

pixote

Nah, I just picked up on the film-maker's traditional use of the trope ;)
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oneaprilday

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2008, 10:32:59 PM »
Between this and our thoughts on Into the Wild, I think we were separated at birth OAD!!!   :D

Hurrah!! I always thought I was supposed to have a sister - this confirms it. :)

I'd have to watch Aliens (and the rest of them) again, but I'm not sure I'd say she wanted to be a mother, I think it is more about caring.  This is partially illustrated through the fact that Ripley is not shown as a literal mother, she is playing the role with Newt.

Well, I guess we don't know for sure if she wanted to be a mother in the first place, but she was certainly originally written in Aliens to be stricken in losing her daughter. You may be right - perhaps she does begin, with Newt, just playing a role, but she seems to be the most literal mother that Newt has pretty quickly - she adopts her even, eventually, with the gift of the wrist-thingy-locater. And now that I think of it, she seems to act, emotionally, very much like a mother almost from the first. I think of the differing responses of Ripley and the male soldiers when Newt first appears - the men immediately think Newt's an alien threat, Ripley is the one that first sees a child, and scrambles into a vent after Newt, (I think leaving her gun behind?). That, is a very emotional, mothering kind of response - she doesn't fear for her own safety and for the aliens that might be lurking at the end of the vent - she rushes after Newt. To call that playing a role seems much too cold for the way Ripley seems to be responding. I think, that by the end of the movie, she is the actual mother of Newt, both emotionally and practically. And then there's the nice play-off between the two mothers - can't we call it that? - the alien mother and Ripley the mother - both protecting their young, to the death. If she's just playing a role, she's taking it pretty far.

skjerva

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2008, 10:52:48 PM »
Between this and our thoughts on Into the Wild, I think we were separated at birth OAD!!!   :D

Hurrah!! I always thought I was supposed to have a sister - this confirms it. :)

I'd have to watch Aliens (and the rest of them) again, but I'm not sure I'd say she wanted to be a mother, I think it is more about caring.  This is partially illustrated through the fact that Ripley is not shown as a literal mother, she is playing the role with Newt.

Well, I guess we don't know for sure if she wanted to be a mother in the first place, but she was certainly originally written in Aliens to be stricken in losing her daughter. You may be right - perhaps she does begin, with Newt, just playing a role, but she seems to be the most literal mother that Newt has pretty quickly - she adopts her even, eventually, with the gift of the wrist-thingy-locater. And now that I think of it, she seems to act, emotionally, very much like a mother almost from the first. I think of the differing responses of Ripley and the male soldiers when Newt first appears - the men immediately think Newt's an alien threat, Ripley is the one that first sees a child, and scrambles into a vent after Newt, (I think leaving her gun behind?). That, is a very emotional, mothering kind of response - she doesn't fear for her own safety and for the aliens that might be lurking at the end of the vent - she rushes after Newt. To call that playing a role seems much too cold for the way Ripley seems to be responding. I think, that by the end of the movie, she is the actual mother of Newt, both emotionally and practically. And then there's the nice play-off between the two mothers - can't we call it that? - the alien mother and Ripley the mother - both protecting their young, to the death. If she's just playing a role, she's taking it pretty far.

I get that.  But I wouldn't say I am I am belittling her protective "mothering" characteristics as merely role-playing, my point is that this type of act is ultimately how we should interact with everyone.  That by making this an easy equivalence of "mothering" = being a mother doesn't leave room for "non-mothers" to be mothers.  Does that make sense?

I just finished an essay with this line that resonated what I was previously writing (and I think I deleted):

Quote
In the end she would rather accept that the politics of radical change is often deeply unpleasureable, involving anger and pain.

While this quote is about something altogether different [audience reception of soap operas], I think it resonates with how I am wanting to understand Ripley, or the writers' and film-makers' intentions.  By having Ripley "lose her child" (Newt), her struggle must continue, her struggle is about the place of Woman in society.  The point is that this struggle, both for reproductive choice, as well as "being motherly" (for a man or woman, I suspect) is not a priority to the corporate and military interests that seem to shape social option.

So yes, Ripley is a mother to Newt, but there is a bigger battle, something more than a story of two people - one mother and one daughter - it is about the struggle for all "mothers" and all  "daughters".  For me, these mothering relationships are really about caring relationships.
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

oneaprilday

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2008, 11:34:15 PM »
Hmmm, yes, I see, I think, where you're coming from now, and I'd certainly agree that there ought to be room for "non-mothers to be mothers," for anyone to fulfill a nuturing, protecting kind of role that mothers are typically thought to fufill. I suppose I just felt that killing off Newt and Hicks felt cheap - felt more motivated by mercenary than political ("political" - is that the right word?) motives. I distrusted the franchise - I didn't really think it was that thoughtful.

If it wasn't mercenary and you're right, it does seem, I suppose, like they killed off what had become, by the end of Aliens, a traditional nuclear family - father (Hicks), mother (Ripley), child (Newt) - and left the individual, a woman. If so, I think I distrust what that sets up, too - seemingly, that what's been accepted as the traditional unit must always be overturned in order to evolve - in order "to accept the radical politics of change." I don't want to have to say that that traditional unit is always suspect - I get defensive, I suppose, because, well, that's my own life right now. Does that mean there's some battle now that I can't be a part of because I've embraced this life? I know you're not trying to get personal here, so I'm not really taking offense  :) , I'm just trying to understand the implications here of what you want to embrace, of what you see going on in the film(s). Why, really, does Ripley have to lose Hicks and Newt to continue her battle for the place of Woman? Can she not both have those relationships and fight on? Can I not be a feminist as well as having a husband and children? Do you see my dilemma?

roujin

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2008, 12:40:01 AM »
Between this and our thoughts on Into the Wild, I think we were separated at birth OAD!!!

Ideally, your paths will finally cross at a screening of The Double Life of Veronique.  Albeit momentarily.

pixote

This really made me smile.

As for the film, it's a pretty interesting start to David Fincher's filmography but otherwise uninteresting to me.

skjerva

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2008, 11:39:16 AM »
Hmmm, yes, I see, I think, where you're coming from now, and I'd certainly agree that there ought to be room for "non-mothers to be mothers," for anyone to fulfill a nuturing, protecting kind of role that mothers are typically thought to fufill. I suppose I just felt that killing off Newt and Hicks felt cheap - felt more motivated by mercenary than political ("political" - is that the right word?) motives. I distrusted the franchise - I didn't really think it was that thoughtful.

If it wasn't mercenary and you're right, it does seem, I suppose, like they killed off what had become, by the end of Aliens, a traditional nuclear family - father (Hicks), mother (Ripley), child (Newt) - and left the individual, a woman. If so, I think I distrust what that sets up, too - seemingly, that what's been accepted as the traditional unit must always be overturned in order to evolve - in order "to accept the radical politics of change." I don't want to have to say that that traditional unit is always suspect - I get defensive, I suppose, because, well, that's my own life right now. Does that mean there's some battle now that I can't be a part of because I've embraced this life? I know you're not trying to get personal here, so I'm not really taking offense  :) , I'm just trying to understand the implications here of what you want to embrace, of what you see going on in the film(s). Why, really, does Ripley have to lose Hicks and Newt to continue her battle for the place of Woman? Can she not both have those relationships and fight on? Can I not be a feminist as well as having a husband and children? Do you see my dilemma?

I for sure get that dilemma, but to answer your question "does that mean there's some battle now that I can't be a part of because I've embraced this life?" the answer has to be yes, right?  Because I/you have made the decision for this means I/you can't also make the decision for that.  Of course, not all decisions rule all things out, but something must be ruled out, if even in the moment.  For me, no Newt rules out an easy association of Ripley as mother, and that is a good thing.  Again, I'd prolly have to go back and rewatch the films thinking specifically about the issues of motherhood, reproduction, and gender.  Could the film have been made with Newt as daughter of Ripley?  Sure.  Could it have done the same things that it did do?  Who knows, we probably don't even agree with what it is doing, right? 

"The implications of what I want to embrace", hmmm :)  One thing that comes to mind is raising the question  what is a woman if she is not a mother?  Or, spun a bit, why do we want to see women as mothers?  I like having the question raised concerning what it means to care for others, to show that it is not a gendered act.  I like it when conceptions of family are challenged, when caring/intimate relations extend beyond easy relations of parent-child, husband-wife, sibling-sibling, etc.  And, I tend not to like child actors ;)  I'm trying to get over that last bit :)
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                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

edgar00

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2008, 08:36:14 PM »
As a fan of the Alien franchise, I believe that the third chapter was a disapointment because of the lack of characters that the audience could care at least a little bit about. Alien had John Hurt, Yaphet Koto (Kananga from Live and Let Die baby!) while Aliens had the nice little girl, Hicks, Paul Reiser (although I admit that his charcter was a jerk off). Alien 3 was about a bunch of dirty, nasty convicts. Although I thought the visual style was interesting, such as the POV of the alien during the tunnel chase sequence, I'd be lying if I said I wanted anybody to survive that movie.
In fact, the one remotely interesting character, the doctor of the facility and gets freaky with Ripley, gets chomped on halfway into the movie. HALFWAY! talk about not knowing what the heck you're doing as a screenwriter!

This wasn't a Fincher movie by the way. It was a trainwreck that was thrown into his lap. He made it visually interesting and that's all. Not his fault. Hey, I'm an admirer of Fincher's work, but Alien 3 is not a Fincher film.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2008, 09:02:09 PM »
I liked it. Didn't think it was fantastic but I thought it was a good end to the trilogy. I agree it probably gets a little more flack than it deserves but I don't think it's a good as the first 2 films.

DrKimble

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Re: Alien 3
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2009, 03:05:24 AM »
Mike Dawson from Left Field Cinema dedicated an episode in his podcast series Misunderstood Modern Cinema to Alien 3. I highly recommend listening to this only 10 minute insightful analysis.

You can stream it here:
http://www.leftfieldcinema.com/misunderstood-modern-cinema-alien-3-podcast

Or download it as an MP3 directly http://media.libsyn.com/media/leftfieldcinema/Episode_1_-_Alien_3.mp3.
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