Those of you into horror documentaries will recognize the name Alexandre Philippe, the director behind 78/52, Doc of the Dead, and more. The man has an eye for finding a way to create fascinating deep dives into stories that may seem innocuous at first but hold within them some truly incredible tales.

Philippe will continue this trend with his latest documentary, Memory: The Origins of Alien, which delves into the creation of Ridley Scott’s now iconic sci-fi/horror masterpiece that introduced the world to the Xenomorph, one of the most identifiable cultural icons.

The documentary follows Dan O’Bannon’s original 1971 script for a film called Memory, which was never fully realized, stopping at the 29th page. Years later, it was the basis for Scott’s film that we all know and love. But this film doesn’t just focus on Alien. Instead, it goes much deeper, trying to figure out why the film has had such a lasting impact and such a dedicated fanbase.

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.

Memory: The Origins of Alien will be making its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.



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