Alien: Alexandre O Philippe's Memory - The Origins of Alien: The nature of the Furies




Orestes and the Erinyes


Philippe had talked to William Friedkin about the Exorcist project that he was working on, and they had discussed the devil.

Friedkin had talked to the Vatican about it, and they told him about how their exorcists don't see the Devil as an actual physical being with horns and a tail, but instead it is a force, it is an energy that happens, that has to be reckoned with sometimes.

Philippe believed that everything the human race do as a collective creates a ripple effect.

So the Furies come back through time and they come back through mythology, through stories, through films, through things that humans do in society when there’s something we do and there’s a certain guilt that comes out, and they need to process that.

With that, he thought that would the whole argument that he would make through Memory.

If Dan O'Bannon hadn't been been connected to the resonance of this particular myth, then somebody else would have had to do that because humanity as a collective had summoned that story with the need for it to show up on the screen so that we could process those images and ideas.


  1. Lisa: But this idea of, “Okay, we’re going to follow this idea back to its origins,” and you go to Egyptian myth and you dive in Giger’s work and all of that. There are just so many research rabbit holes that you can totally get lost down. How do you prioritize? There’s potentially no stopping point.
    Brad: Yeah, there’s a lifetime of research.
    Alexandre: For sure. For sure, yeah. To me, and this is where I have to put on my dramatic writer hat and go, “What is the story of this film?” It’s not, “What is the story that this fan would wanna see versus that fan?” Because there are always gonna be people who say, “I wanted more of this,” or, “I wanted more of that.” What is the story of this film? The story of this film is still about the Chestburster, in the sense that the Chestburster is the moment. It is the moment of Alien in the way that the shower scene is the moment of Psycho. It is the moment that everything led to it, and the moment had to work in order for Alien to resonate with audiences, and so many things could have gone wrong.

    The reason that I have the opening sequence that I have, which I’m not gonna spoil, but the whole idea is that it is more than just a piece of material prop that is coming out of the chest or fake chest of John Hurt. The argument is that the emergence of the Chestburster in Alien is the reemergence of the Greek Furies showing up onscreen in 1979 to address unconscious patriarchal guilt that we need to work through as a society and to restore a balance that truly needs to be restored. And that’s what the Furies do. So if you wanna get really, really esoteric, then you wonder, “Well, are the Furies actually real? Do they really exist?” Well, it’s a force.
    It’s like when I talked to Friedkin — The Exorcist project I’m working on — about the Devil. He doesn’t see the Devil. He’s talked to the Vatican. The Vatican exorcist doesn’t see the Devil as an actual physical being with horns and a tail, but it is a force, it is an energy that happens, that has to be reckoned with sometimes. I think everything we do in life and everything we do as a collective creates a ripple effect. So the Furies come back through time and they come back through mythology, through stories, through films, through things that we do in society when there’s something we do and there’s a certain guilt that comes out, and we need to process that. And so, I think that’s the whole argument that I make through Memory.
    (https://filmschoolrejects.com/alexandre-o-phillippe-sundance-2019/)
  2. Alexandre O Philippe: 1979, if Dan O'Bannon had not as Will Linn said, as stenographed a larger song, as Alien is, if he had not been connected to that resonance of this particular myth. Somebody else would have had to do that, because we as a collective summoned that story, we needed that story to show up on the screen and we needed to process those images and those ideas. (https://itmodchatcast.podbean.com/e/chatcast-1-alexandre-o-philippe-on-memory-the-origins-of-alien/)


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