Aliens (1986); Friday, November 13th, 6pm, Zrinyi 14, room 411


“This is, in fact, the key respect in which Aliens differs from its
cinematic source: it takes us back to the geographical (if not the
cosmic) source of the alien species, and it introduces us to two
aspects of its reproductive cycle about which Alien is silent, but
without which the alien species as such could not survive (the
cocooning of living human hosts in preparation for impregnation,4
and the mode or variant of alien life from which the eggs containing
the impregnating facehuggers themselves come) – that is, it uncovers the biological as well as the geographical source of
the alien species. And by forcing Ripley to confront what she is
trying to repress, and thereby forcing the Alien series to confront
what it has so far repressed about its eponymous protagonist,
Cameron presents himself as engaged in an essentially therapeutic
endeavour – one in which the reiteration of that which has been
repressed will bring release or liberation. It is as if Cameron takes
his own film as the necessary therapy of which his predecessor’s
central human character and the cinematic world in which she is
introduced both stand in need. He proposes, in short, to heal
both Ripley and the alien narrative universe, to cure them of that
which ails them; and it is in his understanding of what this
requires that Cameron makes manifest his deepest acknowledgement,
and his most radical subversion, of the underlying
logic of Scott’s prior film.”

Stephen Mulhall, On Film


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