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‘Memory: The Origins of Alien’ Documentary to Debut at the Sundance Film Festival!

Late last year we learned of Memory – The Origins of Alien, a new documentary which will explore the development of the first Alien film! Entertainment Weekly brings us news of the documentary’s premiere and an exclusive look at the poster for the film:

 'Memory: The Origins of Alien' Documentary to Debut at the Sundance Film Festival!
The documentary is directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, who is best known for his 2010 Star Wars ocumentary: The People vs. George Lucas. Memory seeks to focus on the work of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger, exploring the early concepts and ideas of the film.

Set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 24th, there is no wide release date yet but we can likely expect to see one later this year. The Festival program describes the documentary as follows:

“Memory was a script that Dan O’Bannon started in 1971, abruptly hitting a wall at page 29. But after the idea gestated for several years, it ultimately took the form of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Alien.

Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentaries—most recently 78/52, about Hitchcock’s Psycho shower scene—have interrogated cinema’s cultural ripples. 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.”

It seems there are nearly endless stories to be told about the development and production of the original Alien. As also recently announced, we’ll also be getting a new comprehensive behind the scenes book of the film right before Alien Day on April 23rd.

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest Alien news! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums!



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Comments: 36
  1. Nightmare Asylum
    It's looking like we'll also have an opportunity to interview Memory's director, Alexandre O. Philippe!  :) You know the drill, any questions, get them across.

    What was the process of getting the documentary off the ground like? How did you go about approaching the O'Bannon and Giger families and 20th Century Fox?

    Did you consult Charles de Lauzirika's The Beast Within: The Making of Alien at all? What differentiates Memory from Lauzirika's doc?

    Is there a wider theatrical release planned after Memory makes its festival debut? How about a physical home media release?

    Was Ridley Scott consulted with/spoken to at all as part of the production of Memory, or does the doc exclusively focus on O'Bannon and Giger's contributions?

    Any other questions I have would probably delve too much into "spoiler" territory; regardless, can't wait for this doc!
  2. Valaquen
    I cant think of what else they found that wasn’t in the special features already included in the Anthology collection.
    I don't believe we've seen everything. The amount of footage that was filmed - there must be more stuff unreleased.

    The announcement specifically mentions O'Bannon's archives being accessed for the first time. I don't think this whole Memory thing is something I know of. If it is, I can't remember it.

    It's well known. It's just that nobody has ever seen it. It's meant to only be 30 pages long, and takes us down to the alien planet and no further. The most interesting thing about it will be: what changed between Memory and the first draft of Alien? Character names, dialogue, anything?

    There's one archive in particular I talked to you about that I'd love to crack open.
  3. Elmazalman
    I cant think of what else they found that wasn’t in the special features already included in the Anthology collection.
    I don't believe we've seen everything. The amount of footage that was filmed - there must be more stuff unreleased.

    The announcement specifically mentions O'Bannon's archives being accessed for the first time. I don't think this whole Memory thing is something I know of. If it is, I can't remember it.
    I would like to see more from Giger's archives - specifically, behind-the-scenes footage. Who knows how much film footage there is that didn't make the final edit for Giger's Alien?

    I don't recall seeing any behind-the-scenes footage from the deleted cocoon scene in the Giger's Alien documentary, yet footage (of the crouched Brett egg figure with the missing eyeball & dressing the cocoon set) turned up as clips in The Beast Within: The Making of ALIEN Documentary.

    The Brett egg and set dressing footage look very much like Giger / Mia filmed outtakes from the Giger's Alien documentary. 
  4. Corporal Hicks
    I cant think of what else they found that wasn’t in the special features already included in the Anthology collection.
    I don't believe we've seen everything. The amount of footage that was filmed - there must be more stuff unreleased.

    The announcement specifically mentions O'Bannon's archives being accessed for the first time. I don't think this whole Memory thing is something I know of. If it is, I can't remember it.
  5. AlienDestroysPredator
    All i have to say is that this better get released on either DVD or Bluray. If all they do is a 4k release then i'm not gonna bother with it.

    In the past 3 years i have finally bought a blu-ray player and got rid of my dvd collection of over 600 movies and repurchased ALL OF THEM on blu-ray. I am not switching to yet another damn format. And digital downloads have never appealed to me. I refuse to support non-physical media.

    It would be such a shame too because this is exactly the type of thing i would love to watch and spend money on but only if its the right format.
  6. Perfect-Organism
    Cool.  I could own this.

    I wish that Giger documentary that came out recently was available for purchase as well with English sub-titles..

    Do You mean the documentary "Dark Star"? Should that not be with Engl subs? Or is there any other docu? Thanks.

    Indeed, I do mean Dark Star.  To this date, I don't know how I can watch this in Canada.
  7. reecebomb
    Looking forward to this, making of features so far have been quite comprehensive, i hope we get some new material and perhaps a commentary on the prequels too, on how they differ from the original vision.
  8. The Eighth Passenger
    Gonna see if I can't make it to one of the showings. Sundance is my neck of the woods, been a few times before.

    Looking forward to AVP Galaxy's review later this month then!  ;D

    I don’t do digital downloads so I’m praying this will be part of the new 4K Blu-ray release.
    One day, the prevailing thought is you'll have no choice but to download (unfortunately).

    I don't think this is an official Fox docu like the CdL ones though. Unless of course they made a deal with Indie Sales to include it with the 4K release.
  9. The Old One
    Looking more and more interesting...

    I wonder how it will be distributed? I see it will be shown at the Sundance film festival this month, but will it get a wide cinematic release?
    Will it be included with the Alien 4k release or sold separately on DVD/BD or digital?


    Possibly sold separately digitally.
    But I can't imagine it being sold separately physically,
    probably it will be sold alongside the Alien 4K Blu-Ray.
  10. The Eighth Passenger
    Looking more and more interesting...

    I wonder how it will be distributed? I see it will be shown at the Sundance film festival this month, but will it get a wide cinematic release? Will it be included with the Alien 4k release or sold separately on DVD/BD or digital?
  11. Ingwar
    Quote
    Director Alexandre O. Philippe established himself as one of our foremost pop-culture documentarians with 2010’s The People vs. George Lucas, 2014’s Doc of the Dead, and 2017’s 78/52 (the latter of which breaks down the famous shower scene from Psycho). Now Philippe has turned his attention to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien with Memory: The Origins of Alien, which will premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.

    “This is actually a very different film [from 78/52],” Philippe tells EW. “People who expect the 78/52 treatment applied to the chestburster [scene] are in for a real surprise. Memory is the origin story of Alien, but it really is a full-on mythological take on the film. It’s an exploration of the power of cinema, the power of myths. It’s a very unique look at the original Alien film.

    “Obviously, Ridley Scott is a huge part of that,” the Philippe continues, “but it weighs very heavily on [screenwriter] Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger [the artist who designed the look of the titular creature]. We were very fortunate to be able to work with Diane O’Bannon, who is Dan’s widow, and who is one of our executive producers. She opened Dan’s archive for the very first time, so there’s a lot of stuff that fans of the film have probably heard about but have never seen. That includes the original version of the script, that is actually called Memory, that dates back to 1971. Then we worked very closely with the estate of H.R. Giger, and they gave us full access to their archives as well. What they’ve provided is remarkable.

    Interviewees featured in Memory include Alien cast members Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright and set decorator Roger Christian — plus, Philippe says, “a few surprises along the way.” Meanwhile, the film’s poster boasts an early piece of Alien art from the late Giger.

    “The egg that you see in the poster is the very first painting that H.R. Giger did for Dan O’Bannon,” says Philippe. “It felt like a really nice and appropriate nod to Dan, and also to Giger and their early collaboration on the film.”

    https://ew.com/movies/2019/01/09/alien-documentary-memory-poster-sundance/

    https://i2.wp.com/bloody-disgusting.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/memory-origins-of-alien.png?w=574&ssl=1

    https://bloody-disgusting.com/movie/3540845/poster-art-documentary-memory-origins-alien-features-h-r-giger-painting/
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