Week 4: Watch ‘Alien’ director Ridley Scott on the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown
“Alien” director Ridley Scott joined film critic Justin Chang at 6 p.m. on May 28 to discuss the 1979 film, the latest Times readers pick in Week 4 of the Ultimate Summer Movie Showdown.
Previously, Chang and entertainment columnist Glenn Whipp revisited the film and its enduring Hollywood legacy. “One of the most remarkable things about ‘Alien’ — and what makes it not just a superior piece of sci-fi horror filmmaking but a genuine work of art — is just how patient it is, a quality that seems even more apparent now than (I imagine) it did in 1979,” Chang writes.
“The first hour or so is slow, methodical, dread-inducing build-up. The camera slinks and broods and wanders the halls of the Nostromo, as chilly and clinically observant as Ian Holm’s scientist Ash. Michael Agger put it perfectly in a 2003 Slate appreciation when he noted, ‘The scariest movie in history is actually a bit shy.’”
To recap the rules: Each week, Chang presents readers with a list of 16 movies from 1975 to 2019, all of which were released during a particular summer time frame. You may vote for your favorites on his Twitter account, @JustinCChang; each week’s polls are posted at 5 p.m. PT Tuesday.
You watch the winning movie on your own, then we convene at 6 p.m. on Thursday for a livestreaming event hosted by Chang and featuring special guests.
The first three winners were “The Avengers” (Week 1, May 1-7), “Bridesmaids” (Week 2, May 8-14) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Week 3, May 15-21). Last week (Week 4, May 22-28) might have gone the way of a science-fiction classic (“Star Wars”) or a horror landmark (“The Shining”), but instead the victory went to a movie, “Alien,” that can justly be described as both.
What’s next: Week 5:
On Thursday, “Finding Nemo” narrowly edged out “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” in the final Week 5 votingfor the next #UltimateSummerMovie.
Join Chang at 6 p.m. on June 4 for a live conversation about “Finding Nemo” on the Los Angeles Times Classic Hollywood Facebook Page, YouTube and Twitter. Update: This event has been rescheduled for June 11.
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