Memory: the Origins of Alien

Memory: the Origins of Alien

Alexandre O Philippe (2019)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Following his forensic examination of the shower scene from Psycho with his documentary 78/52, director Alexandre O Philippe ups the ante here by deconstructing and hailing Ridley Scott's Alien on the 40th anniversary of its release. You'd be forgiven for thinking Philippe's documentary has nothing to do with the 1979 sci-fi horror, as it starts at the Temple of Apollo with the vengeful Furies of Greek myth emerging from the mist. However, their fearsome dental array quickly indicates it's merely the prelude to a terrific, in-depth exploration of the gestation, making of and cultural impact of Scott's game-changing masterpiece. Due credit is given to the febrile imagination of screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, who channelled into his original script 50s bug movies, EC Comics, HP Lovecraft and nature's parasitic insects, and the disturbingly primal designs of HR Giger, both brought to nightmare-inducing life by the then-unknown Scott. Francis Bacon and Hieronymus Bosch are name-checked, too, in the creation of the Facehugger and the Chestburster, with the latter's notorious debut receiving extensive analysis. It's a richly rewarding experience, with the only quibble being the absence of Scott and Sigourney Weaver among the talking heads, although cast members Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright provide quality firsthand insight.

Cast & Crew

Veronica Cartwright Veronica Cartwright
Tom Skerritt Tom Skerritt
Ronald Shusett Ronald Shusett
Roger Christian Roger Christian
Terry Rawlings Terry Rawlings
Roger Corman Roger Corman
Ridley Scott Ridley Scott
John Hurt John Hurt
HR Giger H R Giger
Director Alexandre O Philippe
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: DogwoofGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 30 Aug 2019