Aliens (1986)

Cinema Classics Seminar: Aliens

Tis the Sequel
Wednesday, August 23, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Instructor: Andrew M. Karasik, Film Producer, 30th Street Entertainment
Location: Multimedia Room
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members
Register Now

20th Century Fox initially had no interest in making a sequel to its lauded and lucrative science fiction/horror hybrid, Alien (1979), and being sued by some of the film's producers didn't help. Enter James Cameron, a brash, Canadian writer/director who was finishing production on his own bold, new entry in the science fiction genre: The Terminator. When that film became an enormous success, James Cameron and his producing partner, Gale Ann Hurd, were given creative control over what would become Aliens (1986).

Cameron aimed to attract new audiences, along with skeptical fans of the original, by giving the sequel its own distinct feel, while maintaining a clear connection to the source material. Awakened after decades in stasis, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is haunted by her encounter with the alien and the losses that ensued. Manipulated into returning to its planet, she now finds herself in the role of a matriarch fiercely protective of her charges, which include a platoon of soldiers and an orphaned girl.

This scenario allows Aliens to expand upon the original film's exploration of feminine strength confronting tremendous odds. Yet, while Cameron makes the sequel more intimate emotionally, he also enlarges it in a visual and kinetic sense, converting the terrifying claustrophobia of Alien's ship into the looming, open expanses of Aliens' terraforming colony. He manages to inspire the same heart-racing trepidation as the original, while giving his subjects more literal and figurative space to roam.

During this brief study of this remarkable science fiction/action film, we will contrast Aliens with its predecessor while discovering the unique elements that set the film apart as not only one of Hollywood's greatest sequels, but as an exemplar of genre craftsmanship in its own right.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. Students meet in the 2nd floor Multimedia room for an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. The film itself is shown in one of our theaters. Your ticket for the screening, as well as popcorn and a drink, are included with your registration.
Sessions · Click to add to calendar
  • Wednesday, August 23
    6:30pm 2017-08-23 18:30:00 2017-08-23 22:00:00 America/New_York Cinema Classics Seminar: Aliens Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA