INTERVIEW: Myth, ‘Alien,’ and ‘Memory’ with Director Alexandre Philippe

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Alexandre O. Philippe

Memory: The Origins of Alien premiered at Fantastic Fest 2019 from director Alexandre Philippe, known for 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene In Memory, Philippe explores the origins of one science fiction’s most iconic films, Ridley Scott’s Alien. But, this isn’t just a production history, instead, he discusses the myths and culture that formed the story of the film and how it could have only happened with the trio of Dan O’Bannon, H.R. Giger, and Ridley Scott. Beyond this, Alexandre Philippe maps the history of the iconic “chestburster” scene, where it came from and how it was made.

I was lucky enough to get to speak with Philippe at the festival and discuss why he chose the “Chestburster” scene, the role that myth plays in film, what sparked him to include some of the more emotional moments with his interviewees, and why making the film accessible to non-fans was important. Exploring the history of a film through one scene is not only an innovative take, but an important one to open it up to new audiences.

About the Director

Alexandre Philippe holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is Creative Director at Exhibit A Pictures. Most of his films take on the role of unpacking the most influential works of master filmmakers and dissecting seminal screen moments. Past works include 78/52 (Sundance ’17), Doc of the Dead, and The People vs. George Lucas. He is currently working on a film about The Exorcist with William Friedkin.

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