Alien – Director's Cut

Unlike its increasingly baroque series of sequels, Ridley Scott's original 1979 Alien is a film about human loneliness amid the emptiness and amorality of creation. It's a cynical 1970s-leftist vision of the future in which none of the problems plaguing twentieth-century Earth-class divisions, capitalist exploitation, the subjugation of humanity to technology-have been improved in the slightest by mankind's forays into outer space. Although it has often been described as being a haunted-house movie set in space, Alien also has a profoundly existentialist undertow that makes it feel like a film noir. Strikingly, knowing what's going to happen does little to dampen the experience. If anything, this digitally cleaned-up and remastered version, with a rejiggered six-track stereo soundtrack (and one grotesque, never-before-seen scene in the Alien's "nest"), makes you appreciate the delicacy of the film's symbolism, the masterly composition of shot after shot, and Jerry Goldsmith's subtly unsettling but never ham-handed score.

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