Memory: The Origins of Alien is a 2019 documentary directed by Alexandre O. Philippe that examines Dan O’Bannon’s script Memory, which later evolved into the film Alien. It contains “previously unseen materials from the archives of writer Dan O’Bannon and designer H. R. Giger, including story notes, drawings, designs, behind-the-scenes footage, and O’Bannon’s original 29-page Memory script from 1971.
The documentary premiered on January 24, 2019 at the Sun dance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, followed by a limited theatrical run in both the United States and United Kingdom. It is due to be released on home video in September 2019.
Memory: The Origins of Alien, premiering in the Midnight Category at Sun dance 2019, follows the making of the science fiction classic: Alien. I caught the screening on a Friday morning… admittedly not midnight… more of a brunch showing.
Joker (2019) also release on 4th October (2019).
The film is a deep dive into the pace, imagery, cinematography, script and that one scene where the creature buys a one way ticket to Bloodville via the Chest Cavity Express. Here’s a glimpse at the doc that aims to reveal what made Alien a gooey, light flickering sci-fi masterpiece, where it rains inside and steam is inexplicably everywhere…oh wait. Ridley Scott did explain it. Cause it looks cool.
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Director Alexandre O. Philippe‘s documentary begins, a little like the classic film, with a long drifting tracking shot down a familiar looking spacecraft hallway ending at an unspeakable horror —one I won’t spoil here.
This prologue works as a great hook that becomes an anchor for the entire doc. (Shots of the hallway along with beauty shots of The Temple of Delphi return every now and then throughout the doc’s 93 minutes.) With such a striking beginning, I was primed for the type of cinematic doc that seems to be so on trend, but from that first hallway, we move into more of a standard Ken Burns sort of format that loosely follows the act structure of the 1979 film. (Motion on photos covering voice over and seated interviews.)