Quite a few of you have responded to my scribble about Prometheus, which have now shown up on Reddit and IMDB and Blastr and similar havens of earnest discussion. Prometheus scriptwriter Damon Lindelof has also linked to it from Twitter and added 'I love the way you think', which was very nice of him. There are way too many comments to address individually, so I've collated some of the typical responses.
"I enjoyed the movie a lot more because of this article."
Glad to hear it, and thanks for saying so!
"Dude, you're really overthinking this."
All too likely, I'm afraid. But can I remind you that this is Ridley Scott we're dealing with here? He deliberately includes heavily symbolic stuff in his films that doesn't respond easily to a straightforward interpretation. Yes, a film needs to work on the tell-a-good-story level too, and we'll get back to that, but when a director's work can be dug into deeply, then I think it's worth doing.
But there's a caveat: it's only worth doing if you enjoy that kind of exercise purely for the sake of it, which I do. If you start thinking that your mental wankery is authoritative, or says anything final or absolute about a film/book/whatever, then I'm afraid you're being a bit of a bell end.
"This guy explains everything! HA HA SUCK IT HATERS THIS FILM RULES!"
Dude, I'm a random English children's writer who put some stuff up on Livejournal. LIVEJOURNAL. A social network about as cutting edge as a flint axe. I'm pleased that you enjoyed my babble and got something out of it, but please, please don't use it to hit other people over the head with. There is no such thing as a definitive opinion about Prometheus.
"All the symbolism in the world won't make up for stupid characters."
Well, quite. Here was my initial reaction to seeing the movie. Note the timestamp.
"I liked your article but I didn't agree with all of it."
By far the most common response, this. It's very heartening. There were two main motives to writing it: a) identify possible symbolic references and b) speculate about their meaning. And those form two different arguments. Do I think the symbolism is there? Yes. Do I think my take on it is definitive? Absolutely not.
"You were wrong about the mural of the Engineer. His abdomen isn't ripped open."
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to point this out, including Peter Briggs, author of the original screenplay for Alien vs Predator. In the images I was looking at, the 'tear' seemed very clear and apparent, but if you look at the shots from another angle, it's obvious it's not present in other images.
EDIT: Many thanks to James Wheeler, who says this:
Possible explanation for this is that the image without the torn abdomen is a behind the scenes shot of the mural without any VFX laid over it, whereas the images that do show the tear are stills from the actual movie, plus VFX. As John Nor pointed out to me, the murals do change over the course of the film. I do need to see it again to make quite sure, though.
Also, as a little bonus, this concept art of the Sacrifice Engineer not only shows a rent appearing in his side, but has little arrows pointing to it.
"This film SUCKS!"
The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it sucks.
EDIT TO ADD AN AFTERWORD BELOW THE ORIGINAL LAST LINE: There's a reason why I haven't been arguing in defence of the article, neither here nor on Reddit nor anywhere else, and it's simply this: I am perfectly happy to be proven wrong. If hard evidence comes to light that definitively disproves any of it, then great! I'll modify my thoughts accordingly (which, you will see, I was attempting to do above regarding the Engineer mural).
Because, he said rather pompously, that's what you DO. If the evidence doesn't fit your theory, you change your theory. Even if it was a cool theory, and even if it explained things in a way you liked. You shrug and you smile and you move on. Because not doing that makes you, at best, a bell end (and at worst, a fanatic).
Not bored yet? There's more stuff here...