Monday, 11 March 2013

In Memphis, no one can hear you scream

I was a huge sci-fi fan as a child and a young man, but nothing could have prepared me for the release of "Alien." It's one of those films which has been so influential that those who can't remember a time before "Alien" couldn't possibly appreciate just how shockingly different it was at the time. (It even inspired The Clash to appropriate the film's tag line, etching "In space... no one can hear you Clash!" on the inner groove of the "Sandinista!" album.) I saw it with my parents, at either the Paramount or Park Theaters (both of which are long gone) in Memphis, on its first release. My dad was so shocked and scared by the "chest-burster" scene that he hit the floor of the cinema and stayed there until he was convinced the coast was clear. We still laugh about it today. This is an interesting documentary on how the film came into being, though, as with so many great works, it sounds as though there was also every chance that it either wouldn't have been made, or would have been made badly. Imagine a world without this beautiful and terrifying vision of the future.

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