My response to points discussed in the webinar "Alexandre O. Philippe - Memory: Ridley Scott's Alien and Mythology 2 Mar 2022 for the UCSD Arts and Humanities Events"

Leading from
 
(still collating)
 

I appreciated Alexandre O Philippe's documentary very much but I wish that he had done the research and made his case stronger

I don't expect everything to really be completely accurate with every detail in interviews and off the top of the head discussions. A few comments here about various things being said, mainly by Alexandre O Philippe and these are my views

I might add more details to this but I do appreciate the webinar, the discussion that went on and that it's entertainment with the view that the people involved could look at the subjects being discussed and have a variety of different ideas about this, that and the other, and there are different ways to approach subjects but a limited amount of time to sit down and really look at them. 
 
I enjoyed Denise Demetriou's very thoughtful contribution to the discussion here as well
 
Criticisms 
 
a) Elliot Scott's very early Alien storyboards are not Ridley's

AO Philippe will have seen the early storyboards by Elliot Scott for the Alien script when they were considering using actual ruins and strangely he  decided that these were done by Ridley Scott. 
 
This crossed over into the documentary I posted the proper information when the concept art came online about who did them and years later AO Philippe is still saying that they're by Ridley Scott. Oh come on!
Dan O'Bannon's derelict ship originally was going to be toadstool shaped and then a lobster like form. 
 
The pyramid featured in the script was never the derelict ship so I don't know why AO Philippe keeps saying this, WTF!
 
This crossed over into the documentary However the scene taking place in the pyramid interior would become became incorporated later on into the derelict ship, if that's what he means.
 
b) Where did Ridley's interests in scifi really lie?

In the webinar AO Philppe says "Ridley Scott himself wasn't even... uh didn't even like sci-fi mean He acknowledged that he did not like Sci-fi. He did not care for it."
 
Of course before the Alien script came along, Ridley was preparing a scifi version of Tristan and Iseult inspired by the French "Metal Hurlant" comic book that he had seen during the time he was preparing The Duellists and had also been impressed by Star Wars, but obviously just as Ivor Powell has said,  Ridley was hard to please. 
 
But the fact that Ridley had been exposed to Metal Hurlant and had discovered Moebius is a a major factor behind his own symbiosis with Dan O'Bannon's Alien film script, since he had been interacting with that mob during his time working on Dune rather than waffling about Ridley drawing pyramids in storyboards that weren't even his.

c)  If we didn't have Star Wars, there would be no Alien

About another thing that crossed over into the documentry about the idea that Alien shouldn't have succeeded. You could easily say that people wanted a monstrous character as horrifying as murderous Darth Vader from Star Wars and so that resulted Alien was another dark phallic headed cybernetic monstrosity that was a step weirder. 
 
I wouldn't bother compare Alien to The Thing and Blade Runner, they're entirely different films that were too threatening about the world coming our way. You couldn't show beautiful images of The Thing's alien creatures so easily and have the magazine readers make sense of them. Giger's Alien beast was a step beyond that anyway. Even the Space Jockey set was inspiring enough to get people to want to see the film. A few years earlier, the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers remake did quite well, it had a good cast, but it didn't have an interesting new monster to show off. 
 
In the clip of the documentary trailer a voice says "Alien is a radical break with science fiction, and that sanitized view of space." but you could say that the look of Alien with its Nostromo and interior was a development from the Millenium Falcon in Star Wars.

d) Who found the chestburster scene the most horrifying?

While it seems that people of both gender will have found the chestburster scene horrifying, I don't know how many men should we assume were actually terrified by it. I've only heard about the incident from the writer for Film Threat who interviewed AO Philippe about Memory. 
 
Well I admit that the thing that got to me was the sickening crunch of the chestburster biting through bone audible in a cinema with a good sound system. I hadn't seen the film when it originally came out but had been staring at the photonovel for a years before it reached television

e) Yes, John Carpenter read They Bite

Here's another thing that didn't need to be asked because the answer has been hanging around on the internet for a long enough time. AO Philippe mentions that "you, you have to wonder, after watching the John Carpenter version of the thing, er how can,  how can John possibly not have er read the Dan O'Bannon screenplay "They Bite"" but you can find out from John Carpenter that he did and that he thought that it was a Who Goes There ripoff
 
  1. Works with Dan O'Bannon on the Storyline of They Bite (later to be retitled Drone) . a scifi movie about ferocious insects that can imitate anything. According to Carpenter, "It was patently ripped off from John W. Campbell's story Who Goes There." (John Carpenter: The Prince of Darkness, p28)
 

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