Tag Archives: Alien

Out Here: morality and conjecture in the contemporary space drama

A friend of mine once made a statement about space films on her Twitter account, and I’ve been mulling it around in my mind ever since. She said, “All I want is a space movie that doesn’t ask any larger questions,” which calls to mind all the outer space morality plays we’ve witnessed in the last couple decades.


Elysium, or “Why Was Jodie Foster’s Bad Accent Necessary To Make Her a Villain?”, didn’t so much pose a larger question as it answered one question over and over, really loudly. Class warfare is really hard, everybody! Also everyone deserves access to healthcare!

I thought the most interesting part of Elysium was the enigmatic Wagner Moura’s tattooed, lame-legged character Spider, because his role in the VERY straight-forward morality play wasn’t as boring as the unapologetically cruel Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) or the unapologetically good-hearted Max (Matt Damon). Without characters like Spider gumming up the works with their conflicting, selfish objectives, a space drama like Elysium ends up so simplistically rendered that it acts as a disservice to its setting. I mean, it’s deep space for crying out loud! If ever there was room for a grey area, space is it!

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Monster Design: Fine Artists, Cartoonists and Illustrators



One of my earliest memories is rifling through my collection of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” a now infamous series of books for kids. I owned the original printings with illustrations by Stephen Gammell. For a full look at the disappointing re-printing, using illustrations by the dude whose art was used in the “Series of Unfortunate Events” books, click here.

ZhrkTYvGammell’s original drawings were an exercise in suspense as much as they were depictions of unique monsters. The question of form is present in almost every one – what is this thing? Is it dangerous? As a child, I had no idea, but I enjoyed the sensation of staring at something and trying to figure it out. That’s an effect only a still shot, or illustration, of a monster can do.

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