Review of 'Memory: The Origins of Alien'

memory_origins_of_alien.jpg I am a big fan of the horror-SF “Alien” films ever since I was a kid. For many years I was too young to see the films but everyone talked about how terrifying they were. When I eventually did see Alien I was amazed at not only how scary it was but how amazing it looked with such obvious attention to detail not only in the sets but also to the characters and the story.

“Memory: The Origins of Alien” explores the roots of the film in the mythology of Greece and Egypt with the opening sequence portraying the furies of ancient Greece in a typically dark and mysterious Alien-esque environment. The whole film is like this – Slick and earie as we are taken from speaker to speaker going on about the various themes of the films with no narration. Interspersed in the talking are scenes from the film and background details that support the themes being discussed. The first subject is about the original story created by Dan O'Bannon on which the film is based then the problems encountered in attempting to bring this story to the big screen with the original director having bailed on the project leaving the as yet unproven Ridley Scott to take the reins. One of the biggest topics is of course the truly horrific “chest burster” sequence that not only shocked audiences but, notoriously, the cast themselves. The cast are interviewed as are the various key members of the production including the incredibly reclusive and, well, odd artist H. R. Geiger whose work influenced so much of the the way the films look and who ultimately helped design many of the sets.

Though this film perhaps over emphasises the importance of Alien it certainly does enlighten as to the details of how the story came to the big screen and some of the external influences. In doing so, Memory itself is quite atmospheric and looks great differing from many documentaries in attempting to put forward it's story in a unique and interesting way. A must see for fans of the films.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2022-07-24

Directed by: Alexandre O. Philippe

Studio: Exhibit A Pictures

Year: 2019

Length: 95 minutes

Genre: Documentary