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Poster unveiled for Memory: The Origins of Alien as doc heads to Sundance

Alien Sigourney Weaver Ridley Scott

It's well known that a working title for the original ALIEN was "Starbeast", but it's a lesser known fact that when screenwriter Dan O'Bannon first attempted to write the script in 1971 (eight years before the film made it to the big screen) the title page said "Memory". That first script, which O'Bannon abandoned after just 29 pages, is where director Alexandre O. Philippe got the title for his upcoming ALIEN documentary, MEMORY - THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN.

If MEMORY - THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN were only a comprehensive account of Alien’s origins — ancient myths, comic books, H.P. Lovecraft, sci-fi movies, and parasitic wasps — it would still be fascinating. But how did Alien lodge itself so indelibly into our cultural imagination? Philippe’s real interest lies in the deep resonance of myths and our collective unconscious. The strange symbiotic collaboration between Alien creators O’Bannon, Scott, and H.R. Giger suggests a greater synchronicity across history, art, and storytelling, a synchronicity that gives us the Furies, creatures of Renaissance painting, and even chest-bursting aliens.

Propelled by a pure joy of cinema (and sociology), the film is strewn with unearthed archival material, designs, and story notes. It’s safe to say you’ll never think of Alien the same way again.

MEMORY - THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN will be making its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. It's scheduled to be screened at the Egyptian Theatre at 9:45pm on January 24th. In anticipation of its premiere, a poster has been released online - a poster that sports the very first painting H.R. Giger did of the xenomorph egg and alien for O'Bannon.

Philippe's previous documentary work includes THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS, DOC OF THE DEAD, and 78/52: HITCHCOCK'S SHOWER SCENE. I'm interested to see what his ALIEN documentary is like.


 

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