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Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World

A new documentary looks at the work of the Swiss artist

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The best part of Belinda Sallin's loose bio-pic about H.R. Giger is all the wandering around viewers do in the Swiss artist's home. It's as murky and cluttered and packed with weird artifacts as one would expect from the master of darkly themed, sort of erotic, sort of sci-fi-ish surrealist art. (Bonus: It sits in an otherwise bland modern neighborhood, even as its garden features a "perinatal ghost ride.") And for fans, this film provides rare access to Giger (and his various helpmates and cat, M├╝ggie III) and some elucidation of his artistic process and philosophies.

But it's not much of a primer: Giger's best-known work was on the 1979 film Alien, and though production scenes are shown, I'm pretty sure the word "Alien" isn't even mentioned. Too many people appear rather randomly in the film. Giger seems in poor health (he died shortly after the film was completed), and his contributions are clearly a struggle for him. Still, a must for fans.

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