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Film Studies

This category contains 15 posts

30(ish) Days of Alien: Day 17 – They Shot Dark Horror Pictures, Didn’t They?

I hate bright movies. I’m not talking about movies that are hopeful or optimistic. I’m talking about lighting choices. I hate movies that are unnaturally well-lit. Advertisements

30 Days of Alien: Day 16 – The Visual Language of Ridley Scott

Horror can be a strange animal. Perhaps more than any other genre, the history of horror is defined by periods of complete dominance by certain styles of horror, often to the exclusion of nearly all others. In the 1930s and 40s, Universal’s cycle of monster movies dominated the horror landscape, producing such classics as Dracula … Continue reading

30 Days of Alien: Day 15 – Will the Real Alien Please Stand Up?

The 1980s were a simpler time. Back then, girls just wanted to have fun, a man could unironically rock out to Toto’s “Africa” without fear of judgment, and TV sitcoms gleefully ignored anything that was controversial (or, y’know, funny). And, with few exceptions, there was only one version of every movie you love.

30 Days of Alien: Day 13 – There Must Be Some Kind of Way Out of Here

In the 1960s and 1970, it’s safe to say that the war in Vietnam was the national obsession of the United States of America and the Western world in general.

30 Days of Alien: Day 11 – Chestburstin’: A Scene Analysis

A few years ago, the film journal Cinephile proposed a fascinating idea: that in this world of mobile devices, YouTube, and easy access to DVDs, the scene has taken on an added cultural resonance that comes close to matching that of the film.

30 Days of Alien: Day 10 – Phallus Phrenzy!

The critical history of Alien is an interesting one. Since the film was first released in 1979, there has been a sense that the film is more important than its relatively simplistic genre trappings would suggest. Critics, scholars, and the filmmakers themselves have often shared their own points of view regarding the meaning, if any, … Continue reading

30 Days of Alien: Day 7 – Genre Hybridity: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

When you’re a film student who spends much of your life either writing or talking about film, you often find yourself trying to come up with examples that demonstrate various points or concepts. It’s natural to feel more comfortable with certain films than others, so over time you tend to develop a group of movies … Continue reading

30 Days of Alien: Day 6 – Or is it a Sci-Fi Movie?

So if you’ve read yesterday’s article, I think you’ll concede that Alien’s horror credentials are fairly well established. Now about that business of it being a movie about people flying around in a spaceship in the future.

30 Days of Alien: Day 5 – Is it a Horror Movie?

Alien is a movie that takes place on a spaceship in the future, so it must be science-fiction, right? But wait… it’s also a movie that features a vicious monster that kills most of the characters in the film. Isn’t that more like a horror movie? With these two questions, we’ve taken our first steps … Continue reading

Listmania: The 10 Greatest Examples of Film Noir, Part II

Listmania is a weekly feature on I Wonder If You Wonder. Last week, I wrote about films 10 through 6 on my list of the greatest noir films of all time. This week: the Top 5.

Current wonderings…