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The Missionary Position

The Missionary Position s Into the Infinite The Missionary Position 3 Barbar a Ehrenreich ost critics have regarded Ridley Scott’s Prometheus in much the same way that Arthur Miller probably thought of Marilyn Monroe—gorgeous, but intellectually way out of her depth. No one denies the film’s visual glory, which begins the moment a giant chalk-white alien strides out into the Icelandic wasteland, guzzles some gunk from a can, and splits open to release thousands of wriggling worm-like DNA strands into a waterfall. But when it comes to metaphysical coherence, the critical consensus is that Prometheus has nothing to offer. “There are no revelations,” the New York Times opines, “only what are called, in the cynical jargon of commercial storytelling, ‘reveals,’ bits of momentarily surprising information bereft of meaning or resonance.” In its refusal to offer an adequate accounting of the universe and our place in it, the film can even be accused of anti-intellectualism. “We were never really in the realm of working out logical solutions to difficult problems,” Geoffrey O’Brien complains in the New York Review of Books, just a “cauldron” of “juicily irrational ingredients.” But Prometheus does have a clear-cut metaphysical proposition to offer, one so terrible as to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Baffler MIT Press

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2012 Barbara Ehrenreich
Subject
Into the Infinite
ISSN
1059-9789
eISSN
2164-926X
DOI
10.1162/BFLR_a_00107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

s Into the Infinite The Missionary Position 3 Barbar a Ehrenreich ost critics have regarded Ridley Scott’s Prometheus in much the same way that Arthur Miller probably thought of Marilyn Monroe—gorgeous, but intellectually way out of her depth. No one denies the film’s visual glory, which begins the moment a giant chalk-white alien strides out into the Icelandic wasteland, guzzles some gunk from a can, and splits open to release thousands of wriggling worm-like DNA strands into a waterfall. But when it comes to metaphysical coherence, the critical consensus is that Prometheus has nothing to offer. “There are no revelations,” the New York Times opines, “only what are called, in the cynical jargon of commercial storytelling, ‘reveals,’ bits of momentarily surprising information bereft of meaning or resonance.” In its refusal to offer an adequate accounting of the universe and our place in it, the film can even be accused of anti-intellectualism. “We were never really in the realm of working out logical solutions to difficult problems,” Geoffrey O’Brien complains in the New York Review of Books, just a “cauldron” of “juicily irrational ingredients.” But Prometheus does have a clear-cut metaphysical proposition to offer, one so terrible as to

Journal

The BafflerMIT Press

Published: Nov 1, 2012

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