n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Gazing upon the mother giving birth : anxieties and aliens in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012)

Volume 31 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491


This article explores the female hero and more significantly, the female alien – the Trilobite – in Ridley Scott’s science fiction film, Prometheus (2012). The female alien reveals social, cultural and sexual anxieties that are projected onto the audience. Using a feminist film analysis, this article explores how horror in the science fiction film responds to gendered cultural shifts that disrupts the view that cinema is constructed for the viewing pleasure of a patriarchal society. Through a particular scene in the film, and through gazing at the mother alien giving birth, this article explores how cinema wields potential to disrupt the male gaze, and identify with female sexuality and the female body. Employing a feminist psychoanalytic framework, the article shows the film’s potential to grapple with the issues of the female unconscious, revealing the female alien as a site of power through her procreative potential. The Alien franchise has garnered significant attention from feminist film theorists, focusing predominantly on the alien Xenomorph. This analysis instead focuses on the alien Trilobite, as the mother and progenitor of the Xenomorph.

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