22nd January 2017: Day 3 - Lazy Sunday Afternoon
AN Other: Name one movie you’ve never seen before?
AN Other: You’ve never seen Alien?
Alien came out in 1979 when I was just 17 and too young to get in to see it. This was also the year I returned to live in the UK after four years in Nigeria (not relevant, but an interesting fact for someone maybe). In those days If you missed the cinema release you had to wait for the film to come out on telly. I don’t remember exactly when it first came on telly but that and each subsequent time it was shown I was out. I set the video to record it once and when I came to watch it I had set the wrong station.
It’s been a long time since I spent a Sunday afternoon lounging about watching a movie, in fact I can’t remember the last time I gave myself that luxury. But I did this afternoon and what a very nice time it was. I’ll definitely be doing it again and sometime soon.
So today, after lunch, I took the laptop into the bedroom.
The voice of AN Other (in my head): Laptop??? You should be watching it on a big screen, in HD and preferably 3D.
Probably, but there’s a lot to be said for drawing the curtains (to block out the sun) and crawling under the duvet with a cup of green tea and a Trek bar (other protein bars are widely available).
From the moment the DVD started you could see the style of the film was dated. I found myself getting a bit bored 16 minutes in as they established the setting and the characters – I’m not really fond of single setting films - and my mind kept asking when the thing would come out of the thing’s stomach. And then the alien (not the thing) locked itself on to John Hurt’s character’s face and I was hooked in. Watching on the laptop gave it an intimacy I couldn’t have experienced watching on a TV screen. I experienced the claustrophobia of being in an enclosed space (cos the room was a bit too hot and I couldn’t be bothered to get up and turn down the heating), the characters’ fear felt close and the alien’s face was in my face. The room - my room - got darker and darker as the film progressed so I felt like I was really in it. Sucked into the suspense of where the alien was lurking and who it would get next although at times it seemed obvious in today’s terms. Towards the end the convention of lulling the audience into a false sense of security seemed so old hat that I didn’t relax, instead I was waiting for what happened to happen.
I really enjoyed it, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be - the remake of the Jungle Book was scarier – but it was very good. Which makes me think about how things that were so scary years ago, don’t seem to be anymore. Yes, it could be that we have become de-sensitised, but could it also be that they are just not so scary because we are more grown up, because we have changed?
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do or try but were too afraid? Is it possible that if you really think about it, the thought is no longer as scary because you’re more grown up, because you’ve changed? – just a thought.