My Summer Lair featuring Alexandre O. Philippe (Memory – The Origins of Alien)
Published on: April 23 2019
My Summer Lair Chapter #113: When Did The Xenomorph Come Into Your Life?
We’ll start with what it’s not rather than what it is. And I’m talking about Memory: The Origins of Alien Alexandre Philippe’s latest documentary screening during Hot Docs and not the Xenomorph.
Memory is not a behind the scenes DVD extra; rather is a dense and deft film essay that documents the fortuitous symbiotic relationship of Dan O’Bannon (screenwriter) and H.R. Giger (Alien designer) and Ridley Scott (director). Somehow these gentlemen were able to mind meld with each other and the universe or wherever creativity comes from and fashion a horror sci-fi movie that tapped into the collective unconscious to generate a significant pop culture conscious altering moment. Whew.
See why we needed 40 years to fully understand what’s happening and what we’ve seen? The feelings you have about your divorce evolve from the moment it begins to decades later right? You have a better sense of what you’ve experienced.
Another important question: Is 1979’s Alien horror sci-fi or sci-fi horror? hmmm.
So 40 years later we have Alex’s Memory a documentary that deconstructs how we got here because when we look back there is a clear path; often employing unseen materials like original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards even incorporating exclusive behind-the-scenes footage all reveal that path.
Beyond that is the mythology that potent mixture of highbrow and lowbrow culture including comic books and paintings that hang in the Tate.
Memory which’ll wrap up its Hot Docs run will be seen on screens throughout 2019 especially during San Diego Comic Con. It’s recently been acquired by Screen Media and Legion M so you will get a chance to see it and I highly recommend it.
One error in this episode: I said 1955 when talking about Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy (2004). The correct date and line is: “1958: the Occult Wars finally come to an end with the death of Adolf Hitler.” So fired!