There’s a performative aspect to Memory: The Origins of Alien that took me, I admit, by surprise; it’s not even the opening sequence, really, which is 100% performance. It’s the format of the talking head interviews director Alexandre O. Phillipe conducts with people involved with or thoroughly educated on Alien‘s production and deep, beneath-the-surface meaning: Black backgrounds, with each subject dressed down in dark clothing, as if they’re in a black box theater talking xenomorphs to the audience.
I wouldn’t call this approach especially revolutionary, but it does add a certain satisfying theatricality to the telling of how Alien came to be in author Dan O’Bannon’s head, as if reading about parasitic wasps implanted in his imagination the idea that eventually blossomed into the title creature.
Anyways. Enough poetry. You can read my full review of the film over at Paste Magazine.