hazelk: (john and sarah)
[personal profile] hazelk
Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown had an article on The Awl about the awsomeness of Ripley and Buffy and Marti Noxon and River and Summer Glau which was totally heartwarming except the (very small) part where she dismissed Sarah Connor in order to elevate Ellen Ripley to mother of all fictional mother figures.

I do love Ripley, I do. Even though I think the only Alien film I’ve actually seen all of in one sitting is Aliens I love her. In the 80’s I loved “Get away from her” Ripley almost as much as I loved “No living man am I” Eowyn a decade or so before. Alien hybrid Ripley is the one bit of awesome in a very strange broken movie. Ripley in maternal mode is the mother little girls wish for but not, I think, the mother to speak for them when they grow up when and if they have daughters of their own. Sarah speaks.

It’s a constant of Terminator 2 discussions that someone will claim it’s really a John Connor origin story but even in the movie (which is less Sarah than the show) who gets the voiceover? I generally hate them but what other female character gets the voiceover? I’m coming up Clueless. Eye roll. Whatever. Sarah speaks.

There are two scenes I remember from first seeing the movie. The dream sequence where her nightmare was the world burning (see, Sarah has to save the world) and another, much quieter scene when she’s watching Arnie with John and thinking how the machine will never let him down, never be angry with him, always be there. She can’t compete. In the show this theme is revisited in the parallels between Sarah and Weaver. Aliens has the classic good-bad mother dichotomy in Ripley vs the Alien queen. Its bad mother is a giant pulsating mass of teeth and venom, a maternal nightmare dreamed by people for whom mama will never be the name they call themselves (Sigmund I’m talking to you). Weaver isn’t bad. She’s cold, fluid metal, all things to all people; a beautiful quicksilver mermonster; the perfect other mother; the one who takes John away when he’s ready. Sarah lets him go. I think that’s the part that speaks to me. Much deeper than “Get away from her you bitch!”

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky

But until that morning
There's a'nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by
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hazelk: (Default)

May 2012


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