I’ve always thought it strange that some folks simply aren’t into movies. When I break it down, the vast majority of my life has spent watching them, analyzing them, building relationships based around ’em… I naturally gravitate towards those like me, that live and breathe cinema. We all seem to have this unique understanding of its importance – That it is not a lesser artistic medium than any other. Movies have the power to move the world, and in the case of Alien (1979), it absolutely did.
MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN isn’t your typical ‘making-of’ documentary, as I had assumed it would be. Rather, it dug into the trifecta of forces that fate brought together in order to bring forth a collective dream. I was unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations writer Dan O’Bannon went through when trying to get his story made – Switches in direction, ditching the use of H.R. Giger, budgetary restrictions… So much was up in the air early on, I cannot help but wonder what the finished product would be had things not turned out so perfectly.
It is a part of cinematic history now – The union of Dan O’Bannon, H.R. Giger, and director Ridley Scott. What is so incredible about this trio was how in sync they were; They all shared the same bizarre, borderline Lovecraftian vision. Which is another thing this documentary totally brought to light for me – The insurmountable heap of various sources of inspiration Alien had been drawn from. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the argument that something original cannot be made in present day – The existence of this unique product, pieced together by a million fragments of pre-existing art deflects that with violent force.
Not only informative, MEMORY is delectable eye-candy – Transitions stitched together by the use of sketches, scripts, documents… A perfect package delivering interviews with those involved, both old and new. Aesthetics aside, it was an incredibly informative experience. Not only did it dig into the fictitious material that inspired Alien, it analyzed the deep social commentary hidden in its subtext. This wasn’t some other sleek science fiction movie, no… This felt far more real.
Like any other film documentary, I’m waiting for some rad behind the scenes footage – This delivered in spades. A large portion of the third act dips into the inner workings of the iconic chest burster scene, and it is bloody (forgive the pun) fun. Hopefully the conclusion you’ve drawn based on this information is apt – MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN provides a well-rounded, informative package on the most seminal sci-fi horror film ever made. MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN will be released nationwide and on-demand October 4th.