|Noomi Rapace as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus|
Guest post written by Rachel Redfern previously appeared at Bitch Flicks on June 20, 2012 and was originally published at Not Another Wave. Cross-posted with permission.
The prequel and spinoff for the classic film Alien has as much feminist food as its precursor did, albeit slightly less groundbreaking, though we can’t fault it for that: Alien did give us the first female action hero in Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of the irrepressible Ripley.
Prometheus is naturally larger in scale and far more reliant on special effects, a feature that while clichéd is expected in the current sci-fi action genre (not to be solely negative, the landscape was absolutely amazing and the cinematography superb, seriously, watch for some stunning views of Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park, Hekla Volcano, and Detifoss Waterfall).
And while some of the scenes are admittedly, far more graphic and gratuitous than I think necessary (there is a simple purity to the original Alien death scenes that I think is lacking here), the film featured some thought provoking and disturbing themes, though all backed again by a strong, smart, female scientist-turned-reluctant heroine and survivor, similar to the original Ripley.
The Swedish Noomi Rapace (seriously loving these Swedish actors) and South African Charlize Theron oppose each other brilliantly; Theron as the efficient and disdainful corporate heavy, Noomi as the resistant, believing, courageous scientist out to find some answers.
The film features a hefty score of themes for discussion, including one of the most disturbing abortion scenes I’ve ever seen. That scene is apparently what pushed the film up from a PG-13 rating into an R; if the studio had wanted to ensure a PG-13 rating, the MPAA demanded that they cut the entire scene. However, both director Ridley Scott and Rapace felt the scene was pivotal in Shaw’s intense desire to survive and in her emotional and mental development. If you weren’t pro-choice before, chances are you might be after witnessing this scene.
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Rachel Redfern has an MA in English literature, where she conducted research on modern American literature and film and it’s intersection, however she spends most of her time watching HBO shows, traveling, and blogging and reading about feminism.