ALIENS and the way in which this film created a new era for female leads – especially in a male-dominated genre (ACTION) is the thesis of this video essay. To create a female lead that would rival the hyper-macho heroes like Stallone and Schwarzenegger required that this lead be independent, resourceful and to focus on an aspect a hyper-macho man would not be able to- Motherhood. The movie begins with Ripley having a life that is in dismay. From a career that is on the brink, to the loss of her daughter; the film allows for a redemption to be made and Ripley will do whatever it takes to make sure this happens. Ripley is also different than other females in the movie – through contrasting femininity. The final battle is one between two mothers – looking to protect their young and doing whatever it takes. All this said, Ripley is a three-dimensional figure with emotions, drive, and independence. These traits have had an impact on other movies with strong female leads today.
This video essay contained no voiceover and instead utilized text sprinkled throughout the essay. The text in the video essay is not extremely academic, yet, even so, it brings about an argument with supporting evidence as to how the protagonist in ALIENS is in the upper echelon of action movies. Split screen is included to showcase juxtapositions between this film and others in similar situations and then goes on to elaborate how ALIENS is different. Split screen is mostly utilized in this video essay to rebut the ways ALIENS does a good job of creating a powerful well-rounded female protagonist in a hyper male-dominated film format. The dynamic of having the text on one side with video supporting the text makes the flow of this piece work well and showcases the ways in which video essay successfully may utilize the medium of film.