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What does the film "Alien" say about the relationship between man and his creations?

 
 
Xiibo
 
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2018 09:12 pm
Obviously there is a general theme of the relationship between the natural (man) and the artificial (machine) that is prominent in much scifi and certainly this film. This film uses the ‘machine as traitor’ trope from 2001: A Space Odyssey and matches it with a type of ‘living machine’ in the form of the ‘xenomorph’ (alien). What does the film say about the relationship between man and his creations?
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 375 • Replies: 11
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2018 09:55 pm
I wonder why you are asking a begged question--you seem to have decided already what the film says. As a matter of fact, the HAL 9000 in 2001 was programmed to withhold information on the nature of the mission from the human crew--the computer has not betrayed anyone.
Xiibo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Dec, 2018 10:37 pm
@Setanta,
Sorry, this is a question for a class, I'm not the one who wrote it.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 05:38 am
@Xiibo,
I don’t think the xenomorph was analogous to a machine in any way. So I think the assignment question is flawed.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 06:00 am
@Xiibo,
I would start by looking at Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. That's pretty much where the conflict between man and his creation starts. Then look at the similarities with the book and the two films. You might want to look at the Terminator films as well.

Btw, the best xenomorphs are in Red Dwarf.



0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 06:42 am
@Xiibo,
Xiibo wrote:

Sorry, this is a question for a class, I'm not the one who wrote it.

So? You're basically want us to do your homework for you?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 07:26 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
I don’t think the xenomorph was analogous to a machine in any way. So I think the assignment question is flawed.
They do have some sort of artificial human (android?) in the crew if I remember correctly.
McGentrix
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 11:13 am
@Xiibo,
As Alien and later, Aliens, are my favorite movies I feel obligated to step in here...
In Alien, the USCSS Nostromo is diverted to an alien signal (distress signal perhaps) from an unknown source. The main villain in this movie is not really the alien, but the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Yes, the alien does kill everyone except Ripley, but it was the corporation that diverted the ship in search of profiting from an unknown signal.
Quote:
When Weyland-Yutani detected and partially decoded an unidentified warning signal emanating from LV-426, the Nostromo was selected (unbeknownst to its crew) to investigate and hopefully recover a potential Xenomorph specimen from the moon. To help ensure the recovery of the creature, the Nostromo's science officer was replaced two days before the ship left Thedus with Ash, a Synthetic sleeper agent who, under Special Order 937, was to assist in the recovery of a Xenomorph through any means necessary, even at the expense of the rest of the crew. Upon leaving Thedus, Captain Dallas transmitted the ship's report packet back to Sol, relaying it through Sevastopol Station.

source

Ultimately, man is responsible for i's creations as they are programmed by man, and follow the rules programmed therein.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 11:14 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

rosborne979 wrote:
I don’t think the xenomorph was analogous to a machine in any way. So I think the assignment question is flawed.
They do have some sort of artificial human (android?) in the crew if I remember correctly.

Yes, the original crew had an android on board posing as a human crew member. But the android wasn't the xenomorph.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2018 05:25 pm
@Xiibo,
The android in Alien is a villain in the sense that he tries to kill the human protagonist Ripley. Of course, he is only following his programming by the EVIL COMPANY.

In Aliens the android Bishop reveals himself to be a hero despite the continued sinister designs of the EVIL COMPANY

Two different directors explain why there is not a consistent theme concerning "man and his machine" in the two films. Scott is more cerebral than the ripping yarn spinner Cameron.

The next two films in the series are not, IMO, worthy of consideration.

In Prometheus, (IMO the best of the Alien films) you will find what you are looking for:

David the android and his deeds are the responsibility (ultimately) of his human creators.

The Xenomorph, on the other hand, is the responsibility of the alien race that, seemingly, engineered humanity and then decided to destroy it. Although biological, it is not less a "construction" than the human created androids.

We find, disappointingly IMO, in Alien Requiem that both constructs (machine and biological) combine to annihilate the race that gave birth to humanity. David is the engineer, the xenomorphs are his tools. The idea that the advanced aliens are destroyed by their own creations is not necessarily disappointing (although hackneyed) but the ease with which the annihilation takes place is not credible. After all, the pale-skinned giant in Prometheus at least wrestles with the creature that kills him.

After the first two films, the movies in this series suffer from a need to perpetuate their lucrative run.

Personally, I am rather tired of the "lone warrior woman defeats the last alien killer" plot feature of these films. I enjoy creative repetition in movies that take themselves less seriously (e.g. the Die Hard series) but the Alien series (directed by Scott) aspires to a loftier place.

Try actually watching the films and then coming to your own conclusions.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2018 05:26 pm
@rosborne979,
Disagree...

The xenomorph, although biological, was a deliberate construct just as the androids were, and both went beyond what their creators planned for them.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2018 05:29 pm
The answer your teacher wants is that man cannot control his creations.

0 Replies
 
 

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