Imagine yourself in 1970s Hollywood and you’re on set meeting a nobody director at the time George Lucas, who is wearing a white shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. He talks to you about this secret script named Star Wars. What would do? This was before so-called “Hollywood blockbusters”, before movie franchises, before green screens, and before SFX studios like ILM. Roger Christian accepted the gig and of course, the rest is history. Cinema Alchemist, Designing Star Wars & Alien is a memoir by Oscar-winning Roger Christian.
The 1982 film was absolutely on point for it’s science fiction noir story taking place in 2019, because we still have neon lights and newspapers! Directed by Ridley Scott , Bladerunner accomplished its look with a raw and real-life edge of art direction and special effects that we see influencing today’s futuristic films; the modern caper wardrobe intermingled with stylized space-tech outfits depending on the defined identity of the character – to the atmosphere of space age flying vehicles through a sky rise metropolis contrasting the ground level of real city life eclecticism of street cyclist, people walking with umbrellas, to grime that exists in rainwater running down a gutter in a dark alley street. There was no superficiality, but dark romanticism to this futuristic film which made it a cult noir classic.
Here’s a list of movies you may have seen in the theaters or at home these past 40 years: The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Arachnophobia, Blade Runner, E.T., Cocoon, The Goonies, Short Circuit, The Golden Child, Spaceballs, The Lost Boys, Empire of the Sun, Willow, Batman Returns, Darkman, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Aladdin, Jurassic Park, The Little Mermaid and Star Wars. What do all these movies have in common? The wonderful artwork and iconic movie posters done by artist John Alvin.
When the James Cameron’s ALIENS flick hit the theaters in 1986, it blew me away and it made go back to take a look at the first ALIEN (1979) film by director Ridley Scott. Now, if you don’t have the DVD or Blu-ray handy, or cannot find it streaming somewhere, then how about you go old-school and check out the official novelization of ALEIN with author Alan Dean Foster based on the screenplay by Dan O’Bannon.
As 80s kids, my brother and me were blown away when we first watched James Cameron’s epic ALIENS (1986) and then we had to grab a VHS copy of Ridley Scott’s ALIEN (1979) to fill in the blanks, because Sigourney Weaver played the iconic scientist hero Ellen Ripley who was such a bad-ass. In our minds Aliens 3, Alien Resurrection and Aliens vs Predator never happened, just like Brett Ratners’ X-Men 3. My head hurts just thinking about this, but I digress. After watching the first two films, you wondered if anything happened to Ellen Ripley during her 57 years of sleep? This “official novel” enlightens ALIEN fans on what happened to Ripley from the end of the first ALIEN film and the start of the second ALIENS film.