By: Vernon Nickerson
The Acclaimed documentary on H.R. Giger, “DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD” will open nationally in theaters beginning May 15. Writer – Director Brenda Sallin’s exquisitely produced documentary of the life and art of surrealist artist H. R. Giger (1940–2014) is a rich tapestry of black, white and grayscale images created by Giger during, before and after his “discovery” and Oscar win for the Ridley Scott’s classic horror film “Alien”. There is a brief appearance by Scott in the film, but for the most part, Sallin lets Giger’s (pronounced “gee-ger”) work and the artist speak for themselves.
Dark Star is a virtual feast of the drawings, animatronic models and sculpture created by Giger over a lifetime. Thankfully, the artist’s parents recognized, supported and encouraged their only child to pursue his creative talents. For example, Giger’s father gave him his first skull at the age of six. They appear in the film along with an stellar supporting cast of archivists, ex-wives, art dealers and curators whose commentary helps move the story along. In particular, a portion of the film highlights the role that former model Li Tobler played as Giger’s muse prior to her tragic suicide.
Even Hansreudi Giger’s Zurich home is featured throughout the film as an “incubator” of sorts- his early Ghost-Ride train was built-in-and-outside of his house for the amusement of the neighborhood children and the artist. In one segment of the documentary, large pieces designed inside the artist’s studio are carefully eased out of the windows of his home and installed as part of the infrastructure of the H.R. Giger Museum Restaurant and Bar. The beauty and elegance of Giger’s take on otherwise macabre images of life and death create a compelling story of Giger’s personal universe. Overall, a thoroughly entertaining movie expereience and absolutely worth your time and attention.
DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD 95 min