Review- Memory: The Origins of Alien Documentary

Memory: The Origins of Alien unearths the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott‘s cinematic masterpiece, and reveals never-before-seen materials from the archives of Alien creators Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger.

Rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, parasitology, H.P. Lovecraft‘s weird fiction, the art of Francis Bacon, and the symbiotic genius of Dan O’Bannon (writer), H.R. Giger (designer), and, of course, Ridley Scott – Memory unearths and unpacks a treasure trove of unreleased materials from the O’Bannon and Giger estates.

This includes original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, sketches and concept art, behind-the-scenes photographs and footage, and Dan O’Bannon’s never-before-seen, original 29-page script from 1971, titled ‘Memory’.

The documentary also takes fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of Alien and dedicates focus on many of the film’s key scenes including the iconic “Chestburster” scene.

This Documentary features Veronica Cartwright (Actor – Alien), Tom Skerritt (Actor – Alien), Roger Christian (Art Director – Alien),  Ronald Shusett (Executive Producer – Alien) and many more.

This insightful documentary written and directed by Alexandre O Philippe (78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene) and produced by Kerry Deignan Roy offers a new insight into the varying inspirations the led to the creation of the iconic film ‘Alien‘. Whilst it offers some behind-the-scenes footage the film focusses mainly on the creation of the concept for the film and its cultural impact rather than the ‘making of’ the film itself. However, this in-depth look at the creative and cultural impulses behind ‘Alien’ should prove interesting to both avid fans of the film and casual observers and leave them having learnt something new about the world of Alien.

The film relies mostly on interviews with writers and academics discussing the inspirations behind the film and its lasting impact but we also hear from some of those involved with making the film as well as archive clips of O’Bannon, Giger & Scott; although we also get to hear the perspective of their friends/colleagues and relatives.

Stylistically this is not a typical documentary; for example Philippe uses a spaceship control screen to show archive clips and even a dramatic depiction of the mythical ‘Furies’ in the opening of the film; although the significance of this if not revealed until later on.

The films graphics & music are also heavily inspired by Alien All of this helps to put the viewer inside the world of ‘Alien’.

We would recommend this film to anyone with an interest in ‘Alien’ or the world of science fiction in general.  4.5/5 

Get your copy of Memory: The Origins of Alien on Amazon now!

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