Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019)

Memory: The Origins of Alien
Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
Writer: Alexandre O. Philippe
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2019
1-gif-review

“Plot”:
The documentary is basically a making-of of the first Alien movie, delving into the inspirations and techniques behind the film, especially the famous chest-burster scene

Memory: The Origins of Alien provides some interesting insight into the film that was new to me for the most part. There were a couple of things that I wished they had done differently, but overall it works pretty well.

The film poster showing a drawing of the Alien's head with a few annotations.

I am not a major fan of the Alien franchise, so watching this documentary wasn’t my first choice, but then with the showtimes at the festival, it just worked out that way. And I didn’t regret seeing it at all, even though my review might feel like I am saying “I wish things had been different” a lot.

For examply, it would have been nice if they had featured more women, but at least they had more than one woman which is already more than other films achieve. And I would have liked if they had talked about Ripley a little more, as she is a pretty relevant and important character in movie history. And I wish they had not gone on and on in a rather esoteric manner about the genius that is Dan O’Bannon because that just got a little bit too much. For the most part, it was a little annoying, but okay, but towards the end, it got completely out of hand.

A sketch of the famous chestburster scene showing a human figure with an alien coming out of its chest.

The film puts a lot of focus on the chest-burster scene and yes, that’s a famous scene that is also pretty relevant when it comes to film history, and sure, the film needs a focus and can’t cover the entirety of Alien, but still – I would have liked it better if they had covered a little more ground instead of going so in-depth with that one scene.

And one final wish from my side: I would have appreciated it if they had shown the names of people more often to make it easier to place them in the context of the film.

Be that as it may, even if it doesn’t sound like it with all my wishes, let me reiterate that I did enjoy the documentary that works very well. I am sure that people who love Alien can get a lot out of watching it.

The filmmakers of Alien examining a model of the Alien head.

Summarizing: Not great, but good.

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