David the Noam Chomsky
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Actually, Spaihts claims they toned down his big ideas, and in interviews Lindelof and Ridley have said that Lindelof wanted to provide more backstory and explanation, but Ridley wanted to leave things vague. Also, consider that Spaihts single other produced screenplay, “The Darkest Hour,” is one of the most godawful movies of the last year. So maybe his draft wasn’t shining and perfect and he might deserve some of the blame?
Well I suppose I would argue that Prometheus does make its pulp stylings apparent and that it does turn them into high art. The vehicles and the spacesuits harken back to golden age pulp, (the suits specifically being slicker versions of the ones found in Planet of Storms – they even stuck a couple mercenaries in replicas of the original Planet of Storm suits to communicate the homage), the music sounds like something out of Star Trek and is used ironically at several moments, the characters play out their genre roles to the T, and there are several shots for shot moments lifted from camp classics like Contamination (The electrocuted heads, the dreamlike ghosts coming down the hallway). I disagree that the characters need to be psychologically believable, I actually think that would run contrary to the films intentions, but I do think they are sympathetic. As futile as their naive desires may be within the brutal Lovecraftian world they’ve stumbled into, those fears and desires are all still very relatable. In fact the juxtaposition makes them even more relatable, because who doesn’t fear that our optimism and hopes are delusions within a cold and uncaring world?
Every scene. He’s just cloaked.
They aren’t mutually exclusive concepts though. Making the crew a bunch of naive golden age sci-fi scientists allows them to represent the idealism and pettiness of humanity. And then when you slam them against Lovecraftian pulp tropes which trade in a brutal and unknowable universe an interesting picture comes out of the juxtaposition. It’s a way of using the pulp genre to say something bigger, and isn’t far from methods explored by Michael Chabon and Margaret Atwood, although it is new to cinema.
I think the reason behind most of these complaints is simply a misread of the film’s tone. Had the film been titled “Indiana Astronaut and the Temple of Goo,” there would probably be less confusion. It’s straight faced pulp, specifically 1950s sci-fi pulp, and the characters fit the tropes of the genre very closely. It’s a little surprising, given that it comes from a series which tends to lean toward the Very Serious, but there are a lot of visual and audio quotes of classics from the genre that reinforce that read, and the film becomes much more enjoyable when you watch it with that mindset.
In the the static image that’s displayed before you actually play the clip for Trespass, I seriously could not tell if the dude in the close-up was Nic Cage or Harrison Ford. Then I played the clip and it’s apparently Nic Cage playing the stereotypical Harrison Ford role? So that’s weird.