Alien (1979)
Alien (1979)

Film Studies

Remote Classroom:
“The Perfect Organism”:
Exploring Ridley Scott’s Alien

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 6:30 pm ET (75-90 minutes)  
Instructor: Jacob Mazer, Special Programming Manager, BMFI

Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) has had an outsized impact on science fiction cinema, spawning countless sequels, spin-offs, imitators, parodies, and pastiches. Yet, for all of its filmic progeny, the original remains a singular experience, suffused with a sense of mystery and menace that eludes easy characterization. In this seminar, we will leave aside the rest of the franchise and approach Alien as a self-contained work. 

We will begin by tracing the film’s origins and the convergence of talents that helped shape its unique look and tone. But our focus will be exploring Alien’s rich thematic territory, which lends the film to a range of interpretations and has fascinated scholars and pop-culture aficionados alike. Join us to discuss protagonist Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as a feminist figure and consider Alien’s broader treatment of gender; to examine its politically charged engagement with class and corporate power; and to grapple (metaphorically, of course) with the titular monster itself, a deeply symbolic creation that taps into anxieties about the body, technology, sex, nature, and more. 

Students will receive email confirmation of their registration immediately, and another email with instructions for joining the class via Zoom about 24 hours before the class. Please be sure to check your clutter/junk/spam folders for these emails. If you cannot locate these emails, please email us.

Course Information

$15 for members, $20 for non-members

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  • Tuesday, November 10 · 6:30 pm