Ripley's character was originally a male but Weaver got the part and did a great job. IDK, maybe Weaver left a strong enough impression on RS that he didn't want to possibly jinx his franchse? Although David is poised to take center stage.
It's a tribute to his mother who he considered a strong female role model.
There vulnerability makes them more relatable i think.It's also a nice step away from macho male action heroes that that we were used too.
Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for
What's provocative about that?
It might be specific to this franchise. There was Harrison Ford in Blade Runner.
Yeah Ridley strikes me as a guy that definitely got the feminist memo back in the day :) iirc he had to push to get Sigourney the role as the exec types weren't keen?
Also, given the social context at the time of ALIEN I think he knew it would add some strangeness to the film and help make it that bit more unusual. Add that to the metaphorical male rape scenes and you are really starting to make the macho males in the audience squirm ;)
My guess is it worked and he likes to use/work with lead females so it has stuck with him and been a large feature of the franchise and his career as SM states.
RS excels at 'selling an idea' (Think Hovis commercial - Google it if not from UK) and I think he knew he could sell the fear better with a female lead and SW was just perfect, which he also must have seen. Also, as an aside, his Mother was called Elizabeth :)
He's not exclusive to female leads but imo as a director he is able to really showcases feminine strength, independence and survival instincts very well. And not in a cheesy 'GI Jane' kind of way - which was awful, frankly!
I could finish by making a childish joke about Hollywood and how to get ahead but that would be better in the 'Symbolism of the Heads thread, surely? ;)
He says he likes strong women and casting them in lead roles. Here is a short article about it: Ridley Scott talks about casting women in lead roles.
"My mum brought three boys up: my dad was in the army and so he was frequently away.
"During the war (World War II) and post-war, we tended to travel following him around so my mum was the boss.
"She laid down the law and the law was God. We just said 'Yup, okay' - we didn't argue. I think that's where the respect has come from, because she was tough." ~ Ridley Scott
@Chli~ He says he does identify as a feminist.
"When asked whether he considers himself to be a feminist ally, his answer was a definitive "yes".
Scott fills the quota of not only feminism but intersectionality as well (Idris Elba, Carmen Ejogo etc).
I wonder if it’s a good role model for girls to be compared with macho women running around with shotguns and flamethrowers? :) If I remember correctly, Liv Tyler didn’t want to do fight scenes (she was thought of taking part in The Battle of the Hornburg) in The Lord of the Rings because it didn’t feel right (her feminine nature).
@Chli - it's a good question. You could say the same about male lead roles that are overtly macho and their influence on boys or any other for that matter . . .
I think as an art form, film doesn't have to, nor should it have to, consider the social norms & expectations etc. However, some artists excel at playing on current zeitgeists and use them to help put the art into a definable context or to view it from a different angle.
re ALIEN, you could probably argue that Giger was more of the former - completely random and off the wall - whereas RS was more of the latter and used SW deliberately.
I suppose a danger though is the process of self-identification and also why films have viewer age limits (although they aren't really adhered to in general society . . )
I think you have to allow creative freedom but as an artist, just as any other member of society, its important to understand the potential impact that your words, deeds etc may have on others.
In short, I don't see it as an issue but I think that's because we see a variety of female roles in today's art, media, sport etc. Leave it up to the individual who they want to identify with but encourage variety. Same for males, have your Action Men like Rambo but also have gay leads, nerdy leads etc.
Last thing, end of the day Hollywood is a business and so ultimately its what will sell at a given time that gets the green light. I think that's why RS had such a hard time casting SW but because he pulled it off we now see many lead females. But please, no more GI Janes lol ;) Having a woman behave like a man is not empowering women imo.
I agree with what you say. The important thing is that everybody holds on to their head. ;)
@Chli; I think Ripley is a good role model, yes. I mean, why wouldn't she be? She's capable and not a bawling mess when shit hits the fan, able to defend herself. I never thought of her as being masculine, I saw her as confident. I liked her a lot growing up, she made sense to me.
Hudson was a whining mess the whole time during Aliens, he didn't strike me as feminine in any way, just cowardly, and Lambert was always crying in Alien, she just seemed super fragile. I dunno, I simply prefer the more capable, strong personalities in people. I don't see it as a male vs female thing at all, to me it's about personalities.
Ripley was my first celebrity crush. I wanted to marry her when I was 9 years old. She was never masculine, just strong.
Safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he's good!
I dunno, I simply prefer the more capable, strong personalities in people. I don't see it as a male vs female thing at all, to me it's about personalities.
Well said Svanya.
Ripley is a fantastic role model because she doesn't try to play tough, she is tough through actions and survival instincts, and a good comforting "mother role" to Newt despite the constant xeno threat. That's toughness personified.
You might be right. I like the dialog between Hudson and Vasquez when she does her push-ups:
Hudson: Have you ever been mistaken for a man?
Vasquez: No, have you?
I think the leading female roles fit in nicely the way the movies are made ( in ridley's case ). I honestly could'nt imagine it being any other way.
I think if you were to switch the gender it would take the focus off the intensity and feel of horror the movie portrayed. plus turn into some macho buff action movie which there are plenty of those....
Perhaps it has become a bit too trendy with female heroines who can manage all kinds of weapons, advanced technical instruments and are experts in different kinds of fighting techniques? We have the heroines in the Alien franchise, Milla in Resident Evil and now Rey in Star Wars?
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