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

leading from

Still collating
At this time, I am compiling this article from interviews and other articles long before I will get to see the actual documentary itself and obviously I can not wait to see it. I am reading these various things on the internet only with half a clue what's actually to be found in the documentary. Now I have found out that it's not strictly about O'Bannon's early script Memory after all, but covers various different things about the film. I'm still looking for contexts about what's being said here and there. What the film maker Alexandre O Philippe might say in interviews might only at times dimly make sense because interviews don't always give the interviewee time to say everything that he or she might want to in a way that should always make sense, and the various reviewers might not actually have much of a clue about what they're talking about but at this time, this is what I have to go on.

a) Synopsis:
MEMORY was a script that Dan O’Bannon started in 1971, abruptly hitting a wall at page 29. But after the idea gestated for several years, it ultimately took the form of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece ALIEN. If MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN were only a comprehensive account of ALIEN’s origins—ancient myths, comic books, H.P. Lovecraft, sci-fi movies and parasitic wasps—it would still be fascinating. But how did ALIEN lodge itself so indelibly into our cultural imagination? Philippe’s real interest lies in the deep resonance of myths and our collective unconscious. The strange symbiotic collaboration between ALIEN creators O’Bannon, Scott and H.R. Giger suggests a greater synchronicity across history, art, and storytelling, a synchronicity that gives us the Furies, creatures of Renaissance painting and even chest-bursting aliens.” (

Alexandre O Philippe

b) See: Tackling a different beast

c) See: Name changes

d) See: Philippe's introduction to Alien

e) See: The Mysterious Space Jockey

f) See: The design of the Alien life forms

g) See: Dan O'Bannon's Archives


h) See: Comic book references

o) Diane O'Bannon

In her interview Diane says “Dan didn’t steal from anyone, he stole from everyone.

(This section will further cover what Diane said, but here we start with what the newspapers took notice of)
  1. didn’t steal from anyone,” Diane says when interviewed, “he stole from everyone.” (
  2. Time Out: devouring him from the inside,” his widow Diane remembers.(
  3. Indiewire: Still, the documentary only hits its stride when it hones in on O’Bannon’s widow, Diane, who extends a wonderful invitation into her late husband’s world. She walks us through his childhood, his battle with Crohn’s Disease, and his time with John Carpenter, all of which shaped him in their own way. (
  4. Indiewire: Most of all, Diane provides an overview of Dan’s more direct creative influences, which were vast and powerful. “Dan didn’t steal from anyone,” she says. “He stole from everyone.” H.P. Lovecraft, Francis Bacon, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Greek monsters, Egyptian myths, and American comic books.

p) See: Ron Shusett

q) See: Chest burster scene

y) The documentary premiered at the Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah, USA on January 24th 2019



z.i) See: Report with complete transcript in segments as reference quotes for the webinar Memory: Ridley Scott's Alien and Mythology with Alexandre O. Philippe


z.ii) See 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"

1 comment:

  1. I added this page "Alexandre O Philippe's Memory -The Origins of Alien" on February 9th 2019, and have continued to develop it, trying to find out as much as possible about this documentary that's been shown at the Sundance Film Festival this year. I still am slowly finding out what it is about.