The captivating and otherworldly artwork of Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger has, for years, influenced, terrified, and enthralled the world around him with his dark and often erotic paintings and designs. Bursting (sans chest in this case) into the global spotlight with his Academy Award-winning work on the sci-fi horror classic, Alien, in 1979, Giger himself has remained a mysterious and intriguing figure to his fans for some time, but with the upcoming release of Icarus Films’ definitive documentary, Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World, director Belinda Sallin invites audiences into the personal home and artistic soul of Giger like never before.
Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World is an intimate and intense look at one of the darkest, most intense, and influential artists of our time, and it is easily a must-watch film for anyone who has had their breath taken away and mind blown by one of Giger’s visceral and primal works of art. Sallin’s film is a somber, reflective, and artistic piece that deftly conveys the bizarre normalcy of Giger’s world by juxtaposing his vivid work and personal eccentricities with the mundane moments of his everyday life. Stories of Giger’s receiving his first human skull from his father and chilling paintings of bio-mechanoids are weaved between scenes of meals with Giger’s family and friends, the endless autographing of books, watching vampire movies with loved ones, and the universal pain-in-the-ass that is air travel. It’s a unique and well-rounded look behind an artist whose dark persona often overshadows the very relatable man behind it.
While Sallin’s film does pull back the curtain in regards to Giger’s personal home life, it in no way skimps in examining the artist’s impressive work, the origins of his unique style, and how both it and he evolved artistically over the years of his life. Touching on everything from Giger’s ability to exercise his nightmarish fears through his airbrush, to the source of Giger’s Egyptian influence, to the impactful and painful suicide of a loved one, Sallin’s film tackles every side of the subject, allowing viewers to understand the artist behind Alien and his work in an insightful and all-encompassing manner.
Dark Star also manages to capture its subject at a very singular and introspective moment in his life. Content with his creations and looking back on his legacy, we watch Giger (or Hansruedi, to those who know him personally) approach the pitch-black darkness of his own mortality with the same intensity and boldness he has always displayed in his work. While Giger did pass away shortly after the filming of Dark Star, the film is a testament to the immortality Giger’s artwork and talent have granted him.
The theatrical release date for Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World is May 15, 2015, in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francsico and will then roll out to cities across the U.S. and Canada. Keep an eye out for a screening taking place in your area, because this is one documentary that is not to be missed.
Also, be sure to check out the trailer for Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World below.