New Prometheus trailer, Alien, Moon, and their Hollywood gloss.

by Toby Woollaston

Just released in IMAX theaters (in the U.S. at least) is the new Prometheus trailer.  For those who don’t know Prometheus is considered a loose prequel to the original Alien.  To be released this June, Prometheus has a great pedigree, and as with Alien, it is directed by Ridley Scott.  I am a huge fan of the original Alien, and I must say that this trailer looks impressive.  However, this is not without a few concerns. The original Alien had an authentic realism to it.  Bordering on mumble core, Alien, was dirty, industrial, and avoided what I will call the “Hollywood gloss”.  Alien used milk crates as set flooring, and modified cricket pads for its space suits, all unrecognizable yet ironically working towards its realist aesthetic. And this is my big concern with Prometheus.  Judging from this trailer and previous teasers, my concern is that Prometheus will suffer from the big budget Hollywood gloss that its lower budget counterpart avoided.  Its attractive cast, and its computer generated wizardry, among other minor quibbles, suggest to me that Prometheus will not capture the essence of its original.  Look no further that Duncan Jones’s cult classic Moon if you want to see a fine example of how a low budget sci-fi can work within its means to create a cerebrally brilliant film.  In an interview Jones talked about avoiding this Hollywood gloss and aimed for an Alien aesthetic.  I had kind of hoped that Prometheus would do the same. Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic, wrong, … or maybe they will actually be realized.  Either way, I still think I will enjoy the film regardless.  I’m just hoping it will be good enough to join the pantheon of sci-fi classics.

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