Saturday, 16 April 2011

'Alien', GFT, 15/4/11

Last night I saw 'Alien' on the big screen for the first time.
Screened from a 35mm print at the Glasgow Film Theatre the cinema was packed for the late night showing.

I've always been a fan of the 'Alien' series, even if they've declined in quality in the latter half of the episodes. I will say right here and now that I do not count the AvP films as part of saga, but rather as trivial entities based on commercialism and the need for greed.

'Alien' is my favourite of the franchise as it has, in my opinion, the most original materials that create a wonderfully thrilling and satisfying whole. H R Giger's designs are truly exceptional as is the production design as a whole. The cast are excellent, music is atmospheric and chilling, direction first rate and even the special effects, although somewhat dated, hold up pretty well.

Seeing it on the cinema screen, it's original home, was quite an experience; having only seen it on VHS, DVD and television broadcast the scope is increased, the detail in the film is greater, the sound is all encompassing and the shared experience is galvanising. The atmosphere in the auditorium is palpable and I was pleasantly surprised to find the tension built up throughout the film was increased when one views it as a collective experience. Yes, there was the odd laugh at some of the special effects, but there were also still the shocks and awe. Seeing the alien landscapes, the alien derelict and it's pilot, not to mention the titular creature itself enlarged before you was something I'm glad I was able to experience.

I now look forward to seeing 'Aliens' in the same manner ...

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