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MOVIE REVIEW: MEMORY – THE ORGINS OF ALIEN (Screening as part of Revelation Film Festival)

| 10 September 2019 | Reply

MOVIE REVIEW: MEMORY – THE ORGINS OF ALIEN (Screening as part of Revelation Film Festival)
Directed by Alexandre O Philippe
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
77%

If ever a film deserved a deep analysis of its roots, it is Ridley Scott’s Alien, released in 1979. Written by Dan O’Bannon, the story of a relentless alien creature which will destroy anything in its path was an immediate hit and has remained not only popular but also relevant ever since.

Memory delves deep into the inspiration behind the story and the design of the film. O’Bannon drew from ancient Greek and Egyptian myths, the art of Francis Bacon and more to create his story, and Scott and his team created as striking a visual accompaniment as has ever been made – good enough to spawn a wealth of sequels and spinoffs (though not all of those, it must be noted, have been as successful creatively, critically or financially).

The dark and disturbing visions of renowned Swiss artist H R Giger were enlisted to provide the stylish design of the alien herself, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the interiors of the spaceship Nostromo where Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and her crew lived, and each element of these designs is explored exhaustively.

The documentary takes its name from the original short story written by O’Bannon in 1971, which itself drew from the concept of the shared memory of collective consciousness into which the idea of the perfect monster alien so adroitly tapped.

The end result, as we all know, is striking and riveting, and Memory leaves no stone unturned in its exploration of each of the seemingly disparate threads which became a part of the story, and the look and feel of the final film. A dizzying succession of talking heads assembled by director Alexandre O Philippe elaborates on every aspect of the story and film’s creation, highlighting above all else the entirely collaborative nature of making a piece of art such as this.

More exposition than documentary, Memory is a little dry, but science fiction and film buffs will find more than enough to keep them riveted in this fascinating analysis of the creation of one of the best (and most successful) movies of all time.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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