Visionary documentary filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe delves into the origins and influence of “Alien” in his new film “Memory – The Origins of Alien”.
Throughout the year, we’ll be bringing you previews and advance notice of the films we’re most excited about — films that may not be on your radar, but definitely should be.
We’re kicking things off with a first look at Memory – The Origins of Alien, the new documentary from Alexandre O. Philippe.
Memory was a script that Dan O’Bannon started in 1971, abruptly hitting a wall at page 29. But after the idea gestated for several years, it ultimately took the form of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Alien.
Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentaries — most recently 78/52, about Hitchcock’s Psycho shower scene — have interrogated cinema’s cultural ripples. If MEMORY – THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN were only a comprehensive account of Alien’s origins — ancient myths, comic books, H.P. Lovecraft, sci-fi movies, and parasitic wasps — it would still be fascinating. But how did Alien lodge itself so indelibly into our cultural imagination?
Philippe’s real interest lies in the deep resonance of myths and our collective unconscious. The strange symbiotic collaboration between Alien creators O’Bannon, Scott, and H.R. Giger suggests a greater synchronicity across history, art, and storytelling, a synchronicity that gives us the Furies, creatures of Renaissance painting, and even chest-bursting aliens.
Propelled by a pure joy of cinema (and sociology), the film is strewn with unearthed archival material, designs, and story notes. It’s safe to say you’ll never think of Alien the same way again.
We’ve been given a first look at the film’s beautiful poster, which echoes the iconic artwork of the classic 1979 film. It features the very first painting H.R. Giger ever made of Alien‘s now-famous xenomorph egg and alien for writer Dan O’Bannon — an ode to their early collaboration on the legendary project. Check it out below.
MEMORY World Premieres at The Sundance Film Festival on January 24th, at The Egyptian Theatre at 9:45PM. It is very proudly Sundance 2019’s Opening Night Midnight film.