Forty years since Ridley Scott’s “Alien” (1979), the cinematic extraterrestrial is changing

 

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Sidney Perkowitz, cofounder behind the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, says Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival (2016) is an outstanding depiction of non-humanoid aliens pursuing intelligent contact. (Image Courtesy: Business Insider).

Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) was released forty years ago this May, and since then, the Hollywood extraterrestrial has evolved into something more scientifically feasible than the xenomorph, according to Business Insider. Before CGI, science fiction films in the 1950s and 1960s dressed actors in alien costumes, and because sci-fi is often an allegory for society’s fears, these humanoids are almost always hostile, even though physicist and author Sidney Perkowitz says no lifeform is evil for the sake of itself. With mosquitoes carrying viruses farther due to climate change, and filmmakers concerning themselves more with box office figures than scientific accuracy, Daniel Espinosa’s Life (2017) realistically posits that alien life will be discovered microscopically, but still villainizes it.

Author: Hunter Goddard

A jack of all trades, Master of Arts, in multimedia content creation and marketing. I'm developing my blog site, Suspension of Disbelief, into a collection of daily short-form news posts about the industry and craft of writing as well as flash essays where I leave the world a more beautiful place than I found it, with a talent for creative nonfiction where other artists wield a paintbrush or a musical instrument instead. Here, you will find the facts of life aestheticized into the plot points of your next favorite dramatic narrative.

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