ABOUT

487205_411865118853270_1195704606_n - Copyabout THE BLOG

STRANGE SHAPES is dedicated to Ridley Scott’s Alien and Prometheus, James Cameron’s Aliens, and David Fincher’s Alien³. Originally launched in late 2010 at Blogger, Shapes amassed a happy half million visitors by October 2012. The blog moved to WordPress as the layout is tidier and the site much better to work with. So, we start anew!

The blog’s focus squares mainly on the content from the original films that have yet to be fully addressed in official media (including the many comprehensive documentaries and books that are widely available). The blog will provide, hopefully, a thorough look at the designs of the movies, a comprehensive look at many unmade scripts, a word or two from the series’ unheard voices, and other miscellaneous bits and pieces.

If you are so inclined, you can support Strange Shapes through Patreon.

Contact: valaquen.blogspot@gmail.com.

about VALAQUEN

I am a Scottish postgraduate currently studying Medieval literature. My first encounter with the Alien came via a battered VHS copy of the Aliens Special Edition which was, for whatever reason, tucked away in my loft. Naturally, my love of the series snowballed from there, and here we are. I have another blog (Conversazione) where I like to spout off into the void about topics of personal interest.

LINKS OF NOTE

Weyland-Yutani Archives
An Alien trilogy blog run by my friend xeno_alpha. He has a wealth of information on unseen and alternate scenes and scripts, plus a plethora of cast and crew interviews that you won’t find elsewhere. He also addresses many of the misconceptions regarding the series. A real trove.

Alien Explorations
An Alien series blog run by wmmvrrvrrmm, who really gets into the lore that influenced the film-makers. A lot of unique material and a really extensive look at the films, comic books and art that influenced Dan O’Bannon and HR Giger.

Monster Legacy
A monster-orientated site run by my good friend. A great resource for monster maniacs. Covers Alien, Prometheus, and other films, including Godzilla, The Thing, and more!

Recollections of Alien
Alien model maker Jon Sorensen’s personal website. Contains a lot of rare photographs from the workshop and set, as well as Jon’s reminiscences.

Aliens Collection
You can get the scoop here on a plethora of Alien gadgets, toys, and collectibles.

Aliens at JamesCameronOnline
Includes an extensive FAQ, merchandise and printed media section, and several articles on the film’s creatures and its relation to Alien.

The Alien Universe Timeline
Series fan SM’s timeline of the Alien world, incorporating AlienAlien Resurrection. Another trove on Alien lore that you may not have known about.

19 responses to “ABOUT

  1. Markus3

    A bit of fun for those who have a beef with Prometheus:

    http://promethearse.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/promethearse.html

    • Iapetus

      ^ LOL, really not all that funny, at all, the same old tired ridiculous criticisms that have been rebuked time and time again. The film is a cautionary tale of hubris, thus when interpreted more sub-textually the more you get out of the film. Many cinema goers have lost the ability to actually read films any more, substituting proper interpretation with magnifying glasses. The common gripes in fact are so easy to explain it literally baffles me. 1. ‘Why didn’t the crew know anything about the mission or anyone else?’ They were corporate lackeys paid handsomely for an undisclosed mission, thus they only had profit on their mind over all else. This also reveals that the mission was, in Lindelof’s words, a ‘farce’, orchestrated purely out of Weyland’s own self-interest at the expense of all else. Just listen to Fifield and Milburn mock each other’s credibility as Scientists throughout the film, what does this tell you? They weren’t supposed to be the best of the best, the crew were deliberately selected for their greed and as easy manipulated guinea pigs. As Lindelof says in his commentary, the mission is a ‘farce’, the real mission is one old man’s superstitious quest for immortality and to be equal among the Gods but he wouldn’t have been able to muster up the investors for the ‘mission’ had he disclosed the real agenda. Ultimately all he needed in the end was David and his goons and it is no coincidence that David is deliberately juxtaposed with less intelligent humans. 2. ‘How did Milburn and Fifield get lost?’ This gripe is among the most irritating, because if you pay attention to the film the crew never have access to the 3D map display; the ‘pups’ send back the data to the ship, which is where the map is, and the crew only have access to lat/long number coordinates and atmosphere read outs. When the silica storm sets in it interferes with their instruments and causes Milburn and Fifield’s radio and video signal to break up sporadically, this is explained by Janek in the actual movie. ‘Why didn’t Shaw and Vickers run sideways?’ If you study the scene closely, they are being bombarded by exploding debris crashing all around them, when a window of opportunity presents itself they actually DO turn swiftly to the left only to be bombarded by more exploding debris. Also, during fight or flight you experience a loss of peripheral vision, otherwise known as tunnel vision, due to traumatic stress. All these ‘nitpicks’ smack of hatedumb (see ‘hatedumb’ at tvtropes.org) and they show a startling lack of insight into the film’s subtext and commentary. You should see Cinemasnob’s ‘Prometheus re-review’ video trolling the haters, Prometheus Explained with Real Answers by twinperfect channel or just listen to the director’s and writer’s commentaries. Any self confessed Alien fan would do well to realise how much Prometheus is a homage to Dan O’ Bannon and his original script; in the original script the ‘eggs’ were originally described as urns with markings or jars and they were contained in a pyramid that had hieroglyphics and murals of creatures adorning the walls (the film strongly hints that the urns or ampules in the film will become more organic over time and become the ‘eggs’ we’re familiar with, contextualising the derelict on LV-426!) The crew in the original script also take back the space jockey’s head to the ship. While the film is not perfect, it is by far the truest successor to the original film and a realisation of O’Bannon’s original ideas and vision.

      • BillTed

        Eh…
        The cautionary tale of hubris is the creation of that film.

      • Brewster

        Writing off the mission as a ‘farce’ doesn’t cut it. There are way too many plot holes in the script just because it was convenient to the overall making of the movie. The general idea is great, the end product aside from Ridley’s outstanding visuals not so much. I REALLY wanted to love this movie but ended up barely liking it.
        The MAD type comic may not have been terribly funny but was spot on regarding many points. So many dumb things just ruined it for me, such as the biologist sticking his face right up to the damn space worm and this right after he’s acting all terrified and just holograms! And let’s face it, the whole, ‘rolling dreadnought’ thing was just a bit silly. Not to mention the pretty much out of the blue epiphany by the captain regarding the nature of the engineers and the really aloof attitude of committing suicide at the end of the movie. Sure it was feasible but hard to swallow that the remaining crew (who didn’t really know what the hell was going on) would’ve been convinced to do that in just a couple of minutes.
        Sorry Iapetus, your explanations just don’t hold water. And, like I said, I don’t hate the movie (and after reading the original script) think this could have been a much better movie.

  2. BillTed

    Valaquen,
    I dont see any contact info here, but I was gonna let you (and anyone else) know that there is a 15 gig collection of prometheus promo junk on myspleen.

    I have no interest,
    but seeing as your sticking to your prometheus story.
    🙂

  3. Thomas buxton

    I really enjoy reading all the articles on this site, I love the individual pictures that appear to all four films, Great work keep it up fella

  4. Tim Huhtala

    Great!

  5. What are your thought on this?

    – Love the blog by the way 🙂

  6. Erh… nothing about Alien resurrection ?
    This blog is absolutely terrific anyway, thanks !

  7. thomas buxton

    Has anyone been watching Humans on Channel 4 in the UK? Very interesting as its taken a lot of themes regarding David 8 and has ran with them, Even the trailer for the series closely resembles the David 8/ Weyland commercial, Perhaps Mr Scott was onto something in 2012.

  8. Pingback: Blog Review: Strange Shapes – They Exist…

  9. Monolith here. I discovered the series watching the SE of Aliens as well. It’s a good way to jump in. Since then it’s become my hands down favorite science fiction series. Can’t wait to do some reading on your page here and get reacquainted with it, especially after our first official Alien Day.

  10. Pingback: Alien: the 1978 Scripts | Strange Shapes

  11. Jesse

    I love this site and I am very happy that it exists, but I wonder- do you really dislike Resurrection?
    It’s not a selection here I notice…
    (Not that it’s a good movie, but it’s still more artful than the AVP garbagefests.)

    Anyway, great work with this site, I look forward (hopefully) to more on the new prequel series, specifically Alien: Covenant,
    in the future.

    • Thank you, Jesse 🙂 Resurrection, AVP etc are not really films that I am interested in. I know other folk love them but I really can’t cover movies I have no interest in. No fun in that. Cheers for visiting and commenting 🙂

  12. Have you started your posts for Alien Covenant yet, sir? This site is outstanding. Surprised that I never found it out a until recently. As David would say, “bravo!”

  13. STARBEAST

    The thoroughness of this blog is tremendous. Every post is so rich in substance. Can’t wait to see the Covenant coverage. The prose on display is fantastic. Keep it up!

  14. Jovan Ristic

    Give us Covenant, sir!

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