Alien, Gravity, And Pacific Rim: The Radical Notion That Women Are People

aliengravitypacificrim Alien, Gravity, And Pacific Rim: The Radical Notion That Women Are People

It’s 1979. Unknown actor Sigourney Weaver has just been cast in Ridley Scott’s next film, a low-budget sci-fi horror called Alien. What follows is unexpected commercial success, cult status, and the lasting impression that Ripley is something different. Something new. Something better.

Through the 1960s and 70s, Western sci-fi didn’t do too well by its women. Alien‘s casting directors were working with a script full of generic male characters they could interpret as they pleased, and they chose Weaver to stand out against the genre’s deluge of testosterone. Resourceful, cool, frightened, aloof – in short, a rounded, flawed, multi-note human being – Ripley defies the trope that men are people and women are character traits.

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