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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Memory: The Origins of Alien is a Must See For SciFi Fans

It's the 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott's SciFi classic, Alien, and in light of that impressive landmark, the award winning director Alexandre O. Philippe has created a finely crafted documentary about the making of the Academy Award winning film. Memory: The Origins of Alien is set to appear in select theaters nationwide and On Demand October 4, 2019. And today, you can see the official trailer for the feature length testament to one of the greatest successes of mixed genres.

Philippe is best known for his cinematic explorations of Alfred Hitchcock (78/52), George Lucas (The People vs. George Lucas), and Zombie culture (Doc of the Dead). His latest film takes film fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of the 1979 classic Alien. Philippe uses exclusive behind-the-scenes footage in support of his quest to unearth the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott's cinematic masterpiece. The pursuit reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the archives of Visual Effects creators Dan O'Bannon and H.R. Giger (who received an Oscar for the work on the film). These materials include original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, and O’Bannon’s original 29 page script from 1971, titled "Memory."

As fans likely remember, the plot of this SciFi/Horror film mashup takes place after a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call. As a matter of protocol it lands on the source moon where one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form. This is when the Horror aspect is introduced. The crew soon realize that the attacking alien's life cycle has merely begun, and a variety of horrific events laced with science fiction elements escalate to an astounding climax. The documentary itself dedicates its focus on the film’s iconic “Chestburster” scene. SPOLER - This is the scene where the alien breaks through the chest of actor, John Hurt. Without a doubt this is the most startling and remarkable scene in the whole movie.

Memory: The Origins of Alien screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it experienced something that has never been done before. The significant industry milestone I'm talking about is that it is the first accusation made by an entertainment company solely owned by fans. Fans, and not corporate America or big box studios, purchased one of the most sought-after and highly anticipated documentaries of the year. More than 100,000 members of the company made the collective decision to select and purchase Memory: The Origins of Alien.

As the Studios and their system of producing films wane in significance to today's millennial artists, "crowd purchasing", much like crown funding, could become the most assured way to make a living in the industry of filmmaking. More and more independent films are making their way into major theater chains. More and more films are finding success on NetFlix and the like. The question is who really needs the studios anymore. Yes, the large franchises such as those over seen by Marvel require mega bucks to create their visual effects heavy productions. But the little guy who gets lost in the shadows does not. Time will tell if "fan purchasing" has a future or not, but what it comes down to is if the audience fills the seats. They don't care who made the films they like. As long as it's a good film they'll buy the tickets, which may likely fund the next purchase. Power to the people!

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