Category Archives: Shinji Takagi

Shinji Takagi – Alien & the Abject

After reading the article “Kristeva, Femininity, Abjection” written by Barbara Creed, several features appear in the “Alien” movie series that emphasize some sense of grotesqueness and abjection based on her explanation and interpretation of such effect in relation to a natural human reaction.  There are several aspects Creed points out in order to emphasize the impression of abjection, and such aspects can be observed in particular scenes from Aliens.  First of all, this creature has some features that evoke our common abject feelings.  Its configuration is one of clear features.  For instance, the darkness, shiny, and smooth texture of its skin already give us an impression of a foreign creature. Perhaps, it reminds most audiences of disgusting or geeky insects such as cockroaches or lizards.  Also, although some features are completely similar to existent grotesque creatures or insects, the overall configuration still remains human in proportion.  This juxtaposition of non-human and human configuration and features brings an unfamiliar interpretation to the audience with emphasis of abject characters.  Additionally, several distinct features compared blur the boundaries between humans and creatures, such as saliva which has extraordinary stickiness and its blood which color is yellow and has strong acidity, distinguish it from the typical features of human being yet emphasizing the sense of grotesqueness. The emphasis of abjection is never accomplished without inheriting the existing natural elements of our world.  Unfamiliar, grotesque, and abject aspects of expression are always created from redrawing boundaries between conventional and unconventional juxtaposition of several distinct characters.  Creed concludes at the end of her article, “This, I would argue, is also the central ideological project of the popular horror film – purification of the abject through a ‘descent into the foundations of the symbolic construct’” (qtd. in Kresteva).