Memory: A Cultural Dream from the Cauldron of Myth by Will Linn, Ph.D.
As a mythologist, it’s been an incredible journey to work with Alexandre O Phillipe on his film, Memory: Origins of Alien. This deep dive into the mythic underpinnings of our culture and its expressions in media takes me back to the kind of conversations on which we’d fixate in the Mythouse, between the four-to-eight myth students who lived together (depending on the week).
In a temenos defined by tobacco pipes, peated scotch, and a starry sky, we discussed the mythic patterns, archetypal characters, symbolic expressions, and depth psychology in sci-fi and fantasy films. The inner realities of Tron and Inception were especially big for us that year, for example, as evidenced by the Tron soundtrack blaring from our cars and the summer session charge to see Inception. Anyone reading this knows the special relationship between myth and film. For taking that conversation head on, Memory: Origins of Alien is a gem for mythologists. To join that conversation as an interviewee was a real honor, and to see myself on screen next to Diane O’Bannon and Roger Corman was a true treat.
Our field of Mythology is fortunate to count Alexandre among its representatives. His repeated success at the Sundance Film Festival and around the world has brought prestige; his interest in myth has brought depth; and his focus on media has brought attention to the impact of myth on popular culture.
Drawing from never before seen footage and an array of fresh interviews, Alexandre presents the film as a cultural dream from the cauldron of world mythology while navigating the synchronistic experiences of its central artists – Dan O’Bannon (writer), H.R. Geiger (artist) and Ridley Scott (director). References, symbols, themes, and characters—the film explores the timeless and timely resonance of Alien.
Memory: Origins of Alien premiered in the “Midnight Screening Series” at Sundance in 2019, following a Q&A session hosted by film and TV star Tom Skerrit. I was fortunate to participate in a panel when the film screened at Comic-Con, San Diego the month of its nation-wide theatrical release. Memory: Origins of Alien is available on demand through Amazon and will be distributed through a streaming service in the near future. The film has been reviewed and discussed by nearly every major voice and publication in the U.S., including Variety, Hollywood Reporter, NPR, The LA Times, New York Times, NBC, USA Today, and The Guardian.
Join us for a screening and panel with Alexandre O Phillipe at Coming Home, January 17-19, 2020. Glen Slater will moderate, and we will be accompanied on the panel by fellow alumni John Bucher, Devon Deimler, Patricia Danaher, Corinne Bordeaux, and Craig Titley.