Memory – The Origins of Alien

Alexandre O. Philippe, USA 2019, 95’
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall

Three individuals who were primarily responsible for the success of Alien: screenwriter Dan O’Bannon, character and set designer H. R. Giger, and director Ridley Scott, who was just starting his great career at the time. Regarding his idea for the film, O’Bannon said the following: I didn’t steal from anybody. I stole from everybody. While writing the script for Alien, he inserted cultural clues like puzzles—from cheap comics from the 1950s to the paintings of Francis Bacon, from the stories of H. P. Lovecraft to the plays of Aeschylus, from a fascination with parasites to hidden sexual fantasies. Scott’s directorial genius and Giger’s surreal imagination enabled them to find inspiration in these materials to create a film that not only remains one of the most terrifying horror films in the history of cinema but that also offers a very current social and political commentary. Alexandre Philippe’s documentary is both the story of the making of the cult horror and a journey in search of its sources—as well as a fascinating voyage into the depths of the human subconscious.

Jakub Demiańczuk

Alexandre O. Philippe

Alexandre O. Philippe is a Swiss screenwriter and director, and a graduate of the Drama Department at New York University. He makes documentary films about pop culture phenomena, including the Klingon language from Star Trek, zombies, and the relationship between Star Wars fans and George Lucas. In recent years, he has been analyzing classic horror movies. In addition to Alien, these include Psycho and The Exorcist. He has twice been nominated for an audience award at the SXSW Festival in Austin.

Selected filmography

2003 Chick Flick: The Miracle Mike Story (doc.)

2004 Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water (doc.)

2010 Skandalista George Lucas / The People vs. George Lucas (doc.)

2012 The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (doc.)

2014 Doc of the Dead (doc.)

2017 78/52 (doc.)

2019 Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Alexandre O. Philippe
screenplay Alexandre O. Philippe
cinematography Robert Muratore
editing Chad Herschberger
music Jon Hegel
producer Kerry Deignan Roy
production Exhibit A Pictures, Milkhaus, Screen Division
sales Inde Sales
language English
coloration colour
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