Scott takes a look at Dark Star, a documentary on creative genius H.R. Giger.
|"Don't you mess with my mutant babies!"|
There are things that stick with you from the minute you experience them. Be it an image, a fear, or a thought, these are things that become a part of your fiber as a thinking and feeling person. The work of Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger is one of those experiences for me. I was first introduced to Giger’s work viewing the first (and easily finest) film in the Alien franchise. Without knowing it at the time, my young mind was permanently scarred by that film. Any horror film I watch to this day is always subconsciously compared to the nightmarish appearance of the Xenomorph.
My next revelation with Giger’s work was purchasing Celtic Frost’s “To Mega Therion” in 1987. The cover was dressed in Giger’s 1977 work named “Satan I”. I remember staring at this album cover for hours as a child. I don’t remember seeing anything more disturbing and thought provoking. It truly made me question my own beliefs at a young age. After that, I was hooked and gobbled up anything I could find on Giger. That's why I was thrilled to see a new documentary was being released in 2015 on the master.
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Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World, clocking in at a cozy 95 minutes, takes you to the heart of this artistic phenomenon, his home. Much of this documentary takes place in Giger’s dwelling, quite cramped, filled with his works, and thousands of books. There is a great deal of focus on Giger’s home in this documentary making it as much of a focal point as Giger is. It really drives home the idea of how important an artist’s dwelling can be, and even more so becoming an extension of the artist themselves. H.R. Giger’s home is just that, literally an artistic expression onto itself.
Dark Star goes into candid interviews with Giger’s business partners, managers, and family, which is the stuff us true nerds love out of a documentary. Discussions are had on Giger’s childhood and the possible paths taken to lead him to the work he had done for the last four decades. We are shown the psyche of the master in this film.
The real dealmaker for me though, was the inclusion and interviews with Thomas Gabriel Fischer (Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Apollyon Sun, Triptykon). Fischer, dives into his history and relationship with Giger that spanned over thirty years. Sadly, not long after the filming of Dark Star was complete, H.R. Giger passed on at the age of 74 after suffering injuries from a fall. It was good that there was another record completed of this artist's amazing work and vision to be enjoyed while helping educate people on one of the greatest surrealists of all time.
H.R Giger 1940 - 2014