Video Shows How Alien: Covenant Is Simply Dripping With Classic Art

Alien: Covenant may not have met our expectations, but it was undoubtedly visually compelling. The dark sci-fi tableaus sketched out by director Ridley Scott and cinematographer Dariusz Wolski are lush and vivid, regardless of anything that does or doesn't happen in them.

Image: 20th Century Fox

Part of the reason why Covenant might be so visually striking is the way in which it borrows from painting. A lot of films do this, borrowing striking imagery, posing, and framing from static visual art. But since most of us don't have art history degrees, it usually goes unnoticed.

Thanks to creator Herrozzy on Vimeo, it's easy to get a sense for what might have influenced Scott's latest outing. Specifically, Herrozzy demonstrates that there are strong comparisons to be made between Covenant and the violence and splendor of Biblical art, with lots of illustrations of Dante's The Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost.

Seeing moments from Covenant next to those influences lends those shots a sense of operatic grandeur that we wish the rest of the film had managed to capture. I'm not sure I see all of the connections laid out here, but some feel absolutely spot on. Even when I don't agree, though, I always love this sort of criticism. Moves that don't work as a whole can still be full of personality and craft.

Videos like this provide a reminder that film is an art not merely influenced by other films, but a composite built out of music, painting, and everything in between. There's beauty in that.

What do you think? Do you see the same connections Herrozzy sees? Let us know in the comments. You can watch the video below, and if you dig this video, Herrozzy has some others on their page that go over similar terrain with some of Studio Ghibli's films.

[Vimeo]

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


Comments

    Scott has always had a classically influenced eye and even though some of these examples are a bit tenuous I see lots of classical art connections with other films such as Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, Hannibal and especially The Duelists.

    I really disliked the latest Alien (they'll never get it right and should leave the series alone) but the visuals are beautiful. I have an idea now (after seeing this video) to re-watch Covenant but to a soundtrack of nothing but Wagner's Ring Cycle.

      Watch the new honest trailer about it, my friends and I were discussing just how shite Covenant is, and two days later Screen Junkies released their take on it with exactly the same gripes that we had, it is spot on!

        We got 10 mins in and had to stop, the idea that a deep space colony ship would be crewed by a bunch of uncooperative bickering children was ridiculous.

          I didn't think it was that bad, but yeah I'm disappointed that the Alien/Prometheus movies continue to have supposedly smart people doing dumb things.

          Back to the article, I'd like to see a similar examination applied to other movies in different genres. I suspect you'd see similarities between even movies like Dumb and Dumber or the like purely because of the realities of staging scenes. They need to position characters in a certain way so we can see what they're doing, and so did the artists.

          Whether the similarities are accidental or deliberate is interesting though. If it's deliberate, it may have been done to evoke a particular memory or emotion which is clever. If it's accidental, well it's not :)

    Such a disappointing movie. But as everyone seems to agree, beautifully shot.

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