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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Best 'Prometheus' Analyses So Far | Criticwire

Original post by BY MATT SINGER | JUNE 18, 2012

"The following post, along with every single link it contains, includes SPOILERS for "Prometheus." Like here's one right here: SPOILER -- alien gods from the ancient past have amazing abs. But they're as stingy with their dieting secrets as they are with the origins of life in the universe...

The Best "Prometheus" Analyses So Far (With Lots of SPOILERS)

1. Adrian Bott on "Prometheus"' Mythological Motifs

"We know something about the Engineers, a founding principle laid down in the very first scene: acceptance of death, up to and including self-sacrifice, is right and proper in the creation of life. Prometheus, Osiris, John Barleycorn, and of course the Jesus of Christianity are all supposed to embody this same principle. It is held up as one of the most enduring human concepts of what it means to be 'good.' Seen in this light, the perplexing obscurity of the rest of the film yields to an examination of the interwoven themes of sacrifice, creation, and preservation of life."

2. Jon Korn on the Film's Literary Ancestry

"Examining Lovecraft and Clarke's own takes on ancient astronauts also allows us to see where, in macro terms, 'Prometheus''s narrative stumbles. Both the older authors succeed by limiting our contact with the superior races they describe, rendering them fittingly unknowable. In contrast, 'Prometheus' tries have it both ways, giving the Engineers a lot of screen time while keeping their intentions frustratingly opaque. It becomes hard to parse their reasoning for initiating life on Earth, then returning often to the planet during early human development, and ultimately wanting to destroy the same beings they created. While it probably would have run counterintuitive to the studio notes, I think the film's plot would be vastly improved by an injection of the same mystery that Lovecraft and Clarke so artfully deploy. (And it would lead more organically to the sequel so artlessly implied.)"

3. Drew McWeeny on What Does and Doesn't Work About "Prometheus"

"Ultimately, my biggest question about the film is 'Why didn't Ridley just make the 'Blade Runner' sequel instead?' It's obvious watching the film that David is the character he's most interested in, and the questions he explores with David would work just as well in the 'Blade Runner' world. If Ridley wanted to play the game with a character who might or might not be a Replicant, as it appears he's doing with Vickers, then why not do that in the actual 'Blade Runner' world as well?"

4. Steven James Snyder Decodes "Prometheus"' Mysteries..."

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