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Tuesday, 5 October 2004


ANALYSIS OF THE ALIEN QUADROLOGY

Alien

Within the first installment of the Alien quadrology, two female characters are present onboard the Nostromo spacecraft. Signourney Weaver's character, Ripley becomes established towards the end of the movie where she begins to take on the masculine traits which she has become famous for within the trology. Her role in the film was originally written for a man , but Ridley Scott, the director of the film, decided that weaver was best suited to the role. It was only after this film that women were being used in high profile roles in Star Trek films.

To those who watch the film having not seen it before, it does not appear as though Ripley is going to be the lone survivor of the spacecraft. This subverts the conventions as her role is mainly associated with the male sex.

Within the first thirty minutes, when nothing much happens, she comes accross and just an ordinary woman, but as the film progresses and becomes more chaotic, she begins to reveal her masculine side. Her role makes us feel worried for her because as a woman, she seems more vunerable in a dangerous environment. Of course, it takes viewers by surprise when she is the only one left standing, especially due to the fact that we expect the more established charater at the time to be the survivor (Tom Skerritt).

Aliens

In the sequel to 'Alien', Ripley is found on a crash site, having been in 'hyper sleep' for around 50 years. When awakened from 'hyper sleep', she is rehabilitated before informing the U.S Marines that she encountered supernatural life-forms in outer-space. Of course they do not believe this right away. This may reflect the social attitudes towards women in society, as a stereotype is that they are not taken as seriously as men. Eventually, she convinces the marines to travel to a colony on another planet to see what they find. She is backed up by about twelve men and one other woman, all wielding large machine guns and flame throwers.

The female member of the marines is named 'Vasquez' and as a woman, does not look out of place at all, amongst the men. This is due to her male traits, including her stance/posture, army costume, largely built body and short hair. Also, her gun is different to everyone else's. She is holding a large flame-thrower, making her slightly more superioir to the rest of the group. Her gun, which symbolises a male phallic symbol, reinforces her masculine image. She is portrayed as rough, aggressive, and also brave, especially when she sacrifices her life to save others.

Ripley, whilst possessing most of Vasquez's male traits also shows a sensitive side to her in this film. Within' the film, Ripley encounters a girl named Newt, a survivor amongst the Alien infested colony. Ripley becomes emotionally attached to the girl and this threfore introduces a 'mother & daughter' type relationship. This is used to contrast her more aggressive, dominant side.

Alien 3

Ripley's portrayal in the previous two films is near enough the same within this film, but she has taken her masculinity a step further by shaving her hair off. Also, she dresses in army-like clothing, and swears quite often, therfore reinforcing her masculine image. Being the only woman on board means that she is looked down upon by the male prisoners. Like in 'Alien' and 'Aliens', she progresses from being a vunerable woman in a dangerous, male dominated environment, to being the leader of the group and taking charge in chaotic situations.

Alien Resurrection

This film is slightly different to the rest of the 'Alien' films in the sense that it features two female stars, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, and Winona Ryder as Annalee Call. Ripley is probably at her most masculine within this movie than the rest of the Alien films. For example, she is seen playing a game of basketball on the spaceship, a sport mainly associated with the male sex. When a male crew member tries to challenge her at a game, she proves too good for him. He then proceeds to make a sexual remark to her. This scene may portray the fact that women are climbing higher up the ladder, but are still just seen as sex objects. However, she is still not taken seriously by male members of the crew when she states that they are all going to die whilst the Aliens are on board. This scene, like in 'Aliens', reflects the social attitudes towards women, as a stereotype is that they're not taken as seriously as men are.
Winona Ryder is conventional for a modern day sci-fi as she is both young and attractive. Her attitude is established at the start of the film where she uses aggresive language, but unlike Ripley, she does not possess the male gaze. She is more feminine than masculine. She is talked down upon by certain male members of the crew. For example, one person tells ther that she ''has no authority here''. The scene in which she gets shot but then comes back to life may connote the fact that, as mentioned in the last paragraph, women are climbing higher up the ladder in society and breaking through the glass ceiling.
Conclusion
Whilst all Alien films feature Ripley with a masculine attitude, this has become more reinforced with each sequel. For example, in Alien 3, she takes her masculine side a step further than the pre-sequel by shaving her hair off. This reflects how women have progressed further and further in society as time has gone by. However, in all four films, there hasn't been one scene where she is not talked down upon, or not taken seriously, meaning that women have not yet caught up with men in present day society.






Posted by comics/franco_1 at 4:56 PM EDT
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ANALYSIS OF THE ALIEN QUADROLOGY

Alien

Within the first installment of the Alien quadrology, two female characters are present onboard the Nostromo spacecraft. Signourney Weaver's character, Ripley becomes established towards the end of the movie where she begins to take on the masculine traits which she has become famous for within the trology. Her role in the film was originally written for a man , but Ridley Scott, the director of the film, decided that weaver was best suited to the role. It was only after this film that women were being used in high profile roles in Star Trek films.

To those who watch the film having not seen it before, it does not appear as though Ripley is going to be the lone survivor of the spacecraft. This subverts the conventions as her role is mainly associated with the male sex.

Within the first thirty minutes, when nothing much happens, she comes accross and just an ordinary woman, but as the film progresses and becomes more chaotic, she begins to reveal her masculine side. Her role makes us feel worried for her because as a woman, she seems more vunerable in a dangerous environment. Of course, it takes viewers by surprise when she is the only one left standing, especially due to the fact that we expect the more established charater at the time to be the survivor (Tom Skerritt).

Aliens

In the sequel to 'Alien', Ripley is found on a crash site, having been in 'hyper sleep' for around 50 years. When awakened from 'hyper sleep', she is rehabilitated before informing the U.S Marines that she encountered supernatural life-forms in outer-space. Of course they do not believe this right away. This may reflect the social attitudes towards women in society, as a stereotype is that they are not taken as seriously as men. Eventually, she convinces the marines to travel to a colony on another planet to see what they find. She is backed up by about twelve men and one other woman, all wielding large machine guns and flame throwers.

The female member of the marines is named 'Vasquez' and as a woman, does not look out of place at all, amongst the men. This is due to her male traits, including her stance/posture, army costume, largely built body and short hair. Also, her gun is different to everyone else's. She is holding a large flame-thrower, making her slightly more superioir to the rest of the group. Her gun, which symbolises a male phallic symbol, reinforces her masculine image. She is portrayed as rough, aggressive, and also brave, especially when she sacrifices her life to save others.

Ripley, whilst possessing most of Vasquez's male traits also shows a sensitive side to her in this film. Within' the film, Ripley encounters a girl named Newt, a survivor amongst the Alien infested colony. Ripley becomes emotionally attached to the girl and this threfore introduces a 'mother & daughter' type relationship. This is used to contrast her more aggressive, dominant side.

Alien 3

Ripley's portrayal in the previous two films is near enough the same within this film, but she has taken her masculinity a step further by shaving her hair off. Also, she dresses in army-like clothing, and swears quite often, therfore reinforcing her masculine image. Being the only woman on board means that she is looked down upon by the male prisoners. Like in 'Alien' and 'Aliens', she progresses from being a vunerable woman in a dangerous, male dominated environment, to being the leader of the group and taking charge in chaotic situations.

Alien Resurrection

This film is slightly different to the rest of the 'Alien' films in the sense that it features two female stars, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, and Winona Ryder as Annalee Call. Ripley is probably at her most masculine within this movie than the rest of the Alien films. For example, she is seen playing a game of basketball on the spaceship, a sport mainly associated with the male sex. When a male crew member tries to challenge her at a game, she proves too good for him. He then proceeds to make a sexual remark to her. This scene may portray the fact that women are climbing higher up the ladder, but are still just seen as sex objects. However, she is still not taken seriously by male members of the crew when she states that they are all going to die whilst the Aliens are on board. This scene, like in 'Aliens', reflects the social attitudes towards women, as a stereotype is that they're not taken as seriously as men are.

Winona Ryder is conventional for a modern day sci-fi as she is both young and attractive. Her attitude is established at the start of the film where she uses aggresive language, but unlike Ripley, she does not possess the male gaze. She is more feminine than masculine. She is talked down upon by certain male members of the crew. For example, one person tells ther that she ''has no authority here''. The scene in which she gets shot but then comes back to life may connote the fact that, as mentioned in the last paragraph, women are climbing higher up the ladder in society and breaking through the glass ceiling.

Conclusion

Whilst all Alien films feature Ripley with a masculine attitude, this has become more reinforced with each sequel. For example, in Alien 3, she takes her masculine side a step further than the pre-sequel by shaving her hair off. This reflects how women have progressed further and further in society as time has gone by. However, in all four films, there hasn't been one scene where she is not talked down upon, or not taken seriously, meaning that women have not yet caught up with men in present day society.






Posted by comics/franco_1 at 4:53 PM EDT
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Thursday, 30 September 2004
(CD Booklet-'Thanks to...')
Apocalypse would like to thank the following:



Ainsley Harriot (We would never have been able to make this record without you), Theresa Dimicioni,
Dean 'Dig A Deeper Hole For Himself' Whittaker, Conor 'The Fat Controller' Leighton, Sean
'Where Is My Head At' Whelan, Felix 'You Want Fries With That?' Chong, Anthony
'Introverted Enigma' Cuthbertson, Nicole 'Open All Hours' Fasulo
Jack and Andy, Jeff White, the production team, friends and family, elektra, Jimmy Jones,
Axl Rose, Dave Mustaine, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Toshak Greening, Franky Spencer,
Steven Hawkins, George Bush, Uri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong, Keith Lloyd, Kirk Hammet,
Jimmy Lee Sloas, Cliff Burton, Wesley Ghallager, Tina Wright, Prunells Dean, Bill Troy,
Mark Henslet, Gene Garters, Louis Urcut, management, Mum, Dad, Jamie Oliver.

Posted by comics/franco_1 at 4:16 PM EDT
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Music Video Ideas
The writer of this song uses the Sanitarium in ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest as a metaphor for his own isolation, and his feeling of being trapped from the outside world. He claims that as a youth, he was extremely reserved and felt that the world was against him, and I will try to portray this feeling within my music video. The video will not contain a huge cast, as the whole object is to create a feeling of loneliness and isolation. A lot of images & metaphors will be included within the video in order to convey a particular message, similar to the video by Nick Kershaw, entitled ‘The Riddle’. However, the video will not be as complicated and confusing as this. Performance shots will be shown, but I am aiming to subvert the conventions of most metal videos in which the performance is the main focus. In my opinion, it is the narrative that makes the video, not just the performance.
The following are ideas that I have come with to include in the video. This includes, certain actions, mise-en-scene, symbols & metaphors etc. The left hand side column will state the idea, and the column on the right will explain its meaning or why it is being used. After I have typed out all of my idea, I will arrange them all to create a storyboard.
Ideas
A shot of a full moon
The lyrics state that ''the moon is full..'' and that it ''never seems to change...''. This means that time seems to be going by very slowly.
Quick shots of windows and doors being locked. Blinds closing.
Connotes being trapped from the outside world.
Phone off hook and mobile dropping to ground in slow motion
Lack of communication with outside world.
Man standing in the middle of a large field > Zoom out
Connotes isolation
Three shots of day evening & night. Each shot leads into the other in quick succession, similar to the effect used in Madona's 'Ray Of Light' video.
All days follow the same pattern
Shot of the hands on a clock spinning, using the same effect as above. Start from twelve o clock, film for two seconds, stop camera, move the hands to one o clock, film for another two seconds, position the hands to two o clock, film for two seconds etc. This pattern will be repeated twelve times.
The meaning of this is the same as above. Also, he wishes that time could travel as fast as this, as his days go by very slowly, thus increasing his mental suffering.
Fire burning
Connotes how he feels inside, frustrated.
Smashing a watch with a hammer
He is frstrated, as time appears to be going by very slowly.
Church-Looking up at the cross
The following text is taken from http://www.heartlight.org/articles/200108/20010806_alone.html
''More than a symbol of torture, the cross was a symbol of loneliness. It was a slow, agonizing, tortuous way to make an object lesson of a human being. Based on brutality and humiliation, crucifixion was a way to place a human being before the watching eyes of a morbid and mocking mob while keeping the victim isolated and alone. That’s how our Savior, Jesus, died...
Alone. Abandoned. Betrayed. Denied. Ridiculed. Mocked. Beaten. Convicted. Tortured. Struck. Paraded. Crucified.''
The man is simply sharing in Jesus' suffering. He feels alone, just like Jesus did before execution.
Church-Lighning candle and it is blown out by the wind
The burning candle is a symbol of life, and by it blowing out, this connotes his lack of commitment towards life, and could also connote a lack of faith, ie. not even Chritianity is enough to save him.
Walks out of church and drops crucifix. Low angle shot, slow motion
His lack of faith means that God is no longer involved within his life. This shot is followed by the man walking out of the church.
Walking around the graveyard
This connotes what he is feeling within his own mind. He feels that this environment is suitable for himself, and that he is better off dead than alive.
Flowers dying
The shot used for this will be similar to that used for the 'clock' and 'day-evening & night' idea and will show a flower gradually dying. Flowers connote happiness and by showing it dying, this provides an insight into the person's mind.
Cage door closing-slammed shut
Connotes being trapped from outside world and the feeling of being institutionolised.
Performance
Shot of the camera following the guitar cord, from the amp, to the guitar player (introduces guitarist)
Close up of guitar during opening guitar passage and first solo.
Shot of the band as a whole- quick shots throughout video and during the chorus.
Single shot of the drummer during the fast part of the song.

Posted by comics/franco_1 at 2:29 PM EDT
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Band Members







Posted by comics/franco_1 at 2:26 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 29 September 2004
Image
Image

Within the music industry, image can be a way of attracting audiences to a particular band. For example, the 'sexy' image of a girl band may be manufactured and used by the record company in order to attract young girls, who want to be like them, or boys, who find them physically attractive. This is very evident in the pop genre and is an example of how image can be used to the band's and record company's advantage. In some cases, the number of sales has more to do with image than the music itself. The 'pretty boy' image is one characteristic within boy bands, both past and present. Examples include 'Take That', 'Boyzone', 'Blue' and 'Westlife'.All of these bands have been successful, mainly due to their manufactured image, given to them by their record companies in order to attract a large audience, therefore increasing sales.

Gimmicks are very common within the death, gothic, and in some cases, nu-metal genres. Gimmicks are used by the record company to add another dimension to the band and to make them seem more enigmatic and exciting. Within the next section I will analyse the gimmicks within the highly successful nu-metal band, 'Slipknot'. The image of these bands is often a portrayal of the music itself. For example, within the death metal denre, gimmicks such as demons, vampires etc. are used in conjunction with the aggressive nature of the music. Some argue that the success of these bands is mainly due to their image, which, as stated before, makes the band more interesting.

Within heavy metal, bands such as 'Metallica', 'Megadeth', 'Black Sabbath' & 'Anthrax' do not possess such over-produced images, but sport scruffy clothing, such as denim jackets, leather trousers, and trainers. These bands mainly rely on their music and attitudes. For example, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth possess the 'in your face' attitude, which has been ever-present in this this genre, and is also a very talented guitarist. It is bands such as these that rely mainly on their music, and not their image to attract audiences. James Hetfield of Metallica for example, has often been quoted criticizing so-called 'poser bands', who ''spend more money on make-up than making music'', such as 'Motley Crew', 'Kiss' & 'Bon Jovi'. Several years later however, James Hetfield and the rest of his band mates found themselves contradicting their 'anti-poser' view by completely changing their image. This will be discussed in more detail within the next section.
Metallica
Formed in 1982, Metallica lived the lifestyle of many bands around that period. Their exessive intake of drugs and alcohol earned them the nickname, 'Alcoholica'. Other bands such as Sabbath & Megadeth were also gaining repuations for their heavy intake of drink and drugs, and this soon became a common characteristic for the metal genre and an image which they were unable to hake off until certain members were taken in to rehabilitation. James Hetfield of Metallica for example was taken into rehab in 2002 for severe health problems caused by alcohol, before recovering the following year and releasing a new album with his fellow band mates, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammet. However, Hetfield is still associated with the image of a 'drunk'. So whilst heavily manufactured bands such as Slipknot are well known for their wacky gimmicks, other metal bands, especially those which formed in the early 80s, are known for their chaotic lifestyles.
From 1996 to 2001, Metallica completely changed their musical direction from a rock/thrash genre (ie. the self titled, 'Black Album') to a 'rock n' roll' genre with the release of their 6th studio album, 'Load'. They went through a phase in which they 'conformed' to the style of music which society expected at the time. Along with the change in musical direction, a drastic change in image had to occur. This was the first time they had ever experienced the 'manufactured image.' They had gone from scruffy men sporting spandex and denim in their 20s, to a more polished look, including short, groomed hair (therefore eliminating the image associated with their previous genre, long hair), shoes, and in some cases, make up, although this was only used within the CD booklets. This huge change obviously lost them many of their hardcore fans, but they gained as many new fans as they had lost. Metallica are now known to have two sets of fans, the 'pre-Load era' fans, including the metal heads of the 80s and early 90s, and the 'post-Load' era fans, including the 'rock n' roll' fans of present day.
However, in 2003, after James Hetfield finished his rehabilitaion, Metallica changed their musical direction again, along with their image. The new music style involved a rawer sound, similar to many nu-metal bands of present day. They changed their target market again. It seems as though their main target market now are the same young teenagers which listen to certain nu-metal bands such as Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Linkin' Park and 'Papa-Roach'. This is reinforced with the new image, including baggy jeans, dyed hair, chains, and many other 'motifs' associated with teenagers. This image and music will of course appeal to young teens, and they will buy their music. Some hardcore fans will purchase the new material, but it is not these that are being targeted anymore, instead a new audience is being targeted.
Slipknot
This band's music is targeted at the same market as present-day Metallica. The image is very well known and has been ever since they hit the big-time in 1999. The band features 9 members, each with their own gimmick. Each member wears a mask based on old horror movie). For example, the 'dead skin mask' from 'The Texas Chainsaw Masacre', the clown from Stephen King's 'IT', and the white mask from 'The Crow'. These images could symbolise what the members are feeling inside, and their aggression is released through their music.
Cradle Of Filth
This band is a commercial death metal band and are similar to Slipknot in the sense that they are a heavily manufactured band. Each member has pale white face paint, black lipstick, long hair, leather trousers and boots & nose piercings. This image is becoming increasingly popular in the music industry.

Posted by comics/franco_1 at 3:01 PM EDT
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Women and film
http://www.hku.hk/english/courses2000/2037/fbplanet.htm

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:_zotjgsJ_FEJ:www.amctv.com/person/detail%3FCID%3D814-1-EST+women+and+film-+Sigourney+Weaver&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

http://en.mimi.hu/sexuality/sexual_revolution.html

http://www.scifi.com/transcripts/1998/StrongWomenCharacters.html

http://www.babesinspace.net/report/reports/2000-03-08.html

Posted by comics/franco_1 at 2:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 September 2004 3:55 PM EDT
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