As a prequel (of sorts) to Alien, the film seems just as invested in parricide as the other films, but it's also a mirror of our own very Earth-bound obsession with the origins of life. In that sense, the Scott-directed Prometheus serves as an appropriate origin-story to a franchise that includes everything from Scott’s original sci-fi/horror masterpiece to action figures and key chains. It is almost as though the offspring spawned by Scott’s brainchild, after having passed through the hands of three other directors (James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet), have overrun their creator’s intentions. With Prometheus, Scott has both reasserted control and brought the series back to something like its former glory.(2)
"We're not bad people, we just come from a bad place," says Sissy (Carey Mulligan) to her brother Brandon (Michael Fassbender).
That "bad place" is never made explicit in Steve McQueen's latest feature, Shame, which details the numbing routine of a sex-addicted bachelor in Manhattan, but the results are clear in the self-destructive behavior of these two siblings. There's a lot of graphic sex in Shame, which may attract most of the attention from audiences and critics, but the feeling of survived trauma pulses beneath the film like unacknowledged radio static. McQueen is not interested in why Sissy and Brandon are the way they are; he wants to examine how trauma and addiction actually play out in the everyday lives of those afflicted. There is a lot of repetition in Shame, showing Brandon's narcotized-by-sex routine.
"You'd think they knew we're on our way, bringing them the plague," Sigmund Freud says dryly to his colleague, Carl Jung, as their boat pulls into New York harbor on the eve of their joint lecture tour. The plague of psychoanalysis thus arrived in America, where it flourishes to this day.