- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: BFI Publishing (31 Oct. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844577880
- ISBN-13: 978-1844577880
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 0.6 x 19.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Alien (BFI Film Classics) Paperback – 31 Oct 2014
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'Luckhurst offers many insights into characters and subtext that would presumably escape the average viewer of Ridley Scott's hugely successful SF/horror hybrid. But he also covers the gestation of the production, which is a fascinating story in itself, before dissecting the film to provide a pretty comprehensive and incisive analysis.' - Good Book Guide
About the Author
Roger Luckhurst is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK.
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Top Customer Reviews
The central part of the book is divided in sections named after the film's main characters, in the order in which they are <spoiler>killed by the alien</spoiler>. Each section always ends with a single line saying "one down, six to go" (in poor John Hurt's case), or whatever numbers corresponds to the particular character. But when you are reading well into the Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) seciton, it suddenly jumps to what obviously is the very last paragraph of the next character/section. I attached a screengrab from my tablet, where you can see the exact spot where this happens.
In case the people from BFI or Macmillan are reading this: i already sent my e-book back to amazon.es for a refund (in fact, i don't have it in my devices anymore), but what i want is the book with all its text intact. Fix this!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
To any readers who are unaware (much like I was until recently,) the British Film Institute publishes neat little paperbacks that analyze popular films of the past few decades under their Modern Classics series, and Alien finally got its turn! In a nutshell, they analyze the film from many different angles-- to its thematic elements, to physical things such as how it was made. These books are well-written and I hope some of the other, older ones I ordered (Blade Runner and The Thing) stack up as well.
It has some nice pictures and concept art from a multitude of Ridley Scott films, not just Alien, which was a nice touch-- this book considers all aspects of a film production and how it holds up in a modern age with fresh eyes and ears. Ridley is a sci-fi master, from his eponymous Alien, to the cult classic Blade Runner, and to his much-debated epic, Prometheus, his work will be talked about for the decades to come, even as Alien nears its 40th anniversary.
While it certainly doesn't bring forth much new trivia or tidbits of pictures, it does allow the reader to get a better creative grasp on Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece and offers some great inspiration for the budding writer or director. The avid fan of xenomorphs and Space Jockeys will almost certainly have unearthed most of the information and pictures contained in this book, but for the price, the Alien addition to the BFI library of publications is a great resource, whether to fans of sci-fi cinema, film majors, or just fans of Alien in general.
The cover painting by Marta Lech is a masterpiece as well-- it's not been since Giger's original "Big Chap" that the world has seen such a ghostly, perfect organism. Her rendering of the Alien serves as a great keystone to complement the aesthetic and design of both the original creature itself, as well as that of the film.
All in all, this is a well-written, gem of a book totally (in my opinion) worth it's sticker price, and makes for a nice addition to the collection of an Alien fan, or a sci-fi fan in general.