This year it marks the 40th anniversary of Alien (1979), a pivotal movie indispensable to understand the horror and science-fiction of the last half-century. A screenplay masterfully written by Dan O’Bannon, a creature created in the deviant mind of H. R. Giger, a bunch of hi-class actors and a terrific direction by a young Ridley Scott before being perverted by the studios and mediocrity were the key ingredients for a movie that has scared generations and is still doing. The origin of a never-ending saga of movies, a true cult phenomenon, one of the most important movies in history.
Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) is a documentary that has been presented as “The untold origin story behind Ridley Scott‘s Alien (1979) – rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, the art of Francis Bacon, and the dark visions of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger. A contemplation on the symbiotic collaborative process of movie-making, the power of myth, and our collective unconscious”.
A contemplation on the symbiotic collaborative process of moviemaking, the power of myth, and the collective unconscious, Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) unearths the largely story behind Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece, and reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the O’Bannon and Giger archives, including original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and Dan O’Bannon’s original 29 page script from 1971, titled Memory. Bridging the ancient world with Ridley Scott’s complex futuristic universe through a mix of distinctly low-fi VHS aesthetic and stunning 4k Cinemascope aspect ratio footage, Memory boldly goes where no film essay has gone before, to deliver a revealing and wholly original take on one of Hollywood’s most beloved and iconic shockers.
Alexandre O. Philippe, also responsible of the outstanding documentary about another essential movie in the genre of horror, 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017), where it goes deep into detail on perhaps most iconic scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), has written and directed the movie. It includes the participation of members of the original cast of Alien (1979) Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright, as well as other personalities in the world of cinema, with names like Axelle Carolyn, Roger Christian, Roger Corman, Henry Jenkins, Ben Mankiewicz, Ivor Powell, Terry Rawlings, Gary Sherman and Clarke Wolfe, and the Furies Linda Rich, Rhoda Pell and Mickey Faerch.
Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) was premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. After that, it has been present in festivals around the world like Istanbul Film Festival, Imagine Film Festival, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Molodist International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival or Munich International Film Festival. In October it will also be part of the line-up of Sitges Film Festival.
Here you can watch the trailer of Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019):
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