On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by author Joe Mayall for a deep space conversation about Ridley Scott’s 1979 science fiction and horror classic Alien

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

Over the last few years, there has been extensive reporting about the dangerous conditions workers are subjected to in the United States. Whether it’s Amazon’s grueling distribution warehouses, or the resurgence of fatally dangerous child labor, it feels like modern workplaces are becoming more dangerous for workers, in a strange dystopian regression. 

In 1979, director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Dan O’Bannon were sounding the alarm about the future of workplace endangerment with their groundbreaking sci-fi masterpiece Alien the story of a group of blue-collar space miners who are forced to investigate an alien planet because their boss tells them to. 

In today’s discussion, Rivka, Frank, and Joe explore how the film served as a warning against the erosion of organized labor in the U.S. during the late ’70s and early ’80s. They also unpack the film’s intentional choice to foreground the perspective of female and non-white characters, and how the android character of Ash represents the danger of artificial intelligence solely used to maximize profit.

For next week’s movie, we’ll be watching the independent film Blow Up My Life and discussing it with the film’s creators.

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