When you start to watch “Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World” you get a sense you are going to enter an unusual living space with a challenging story as well. It doesn’t come across as if it will be about unicorns and rainbows. It doesn’t come off completely negative as well. You sense some resides there that is comfortable with as aspects of life: the good and bad. He just prefers the dark over the light. Or maybe he had found light in the darkness. He says, “you get talent when you discover the ground of your pain.”
He picks up a skull his father gave him at a young age and seems still fascinated by it as he once was. Death seems to give him no fear. He says he believes once you die, there is nothing beyond it. You just cease to exist. He says it with a level of comfort which could offend many, but at the same time, he seems to enjoy living inside his mind and having his own opinions.
Birth and death seem to be common themes with Giger. He created a ride for children, which could be considered quite scary. The cart on the track goes by walls which appear to look like the birth canal, with baby heads perfectly placed side by side. It is as if he is saying well every person goes through this trauma of initial life. Every person goes through this singular event. There is nothing unique about it but the perception one has about it. He choose to see it as a way to embrace the dark.
This approach is unique in the way most people tend to avoid trying to discover the marrow of the darkest corners of the human soul. He likes dark music as well, helping fund a metal band which came from nothing to become something, thanks to his empathy and shared visions. He seems to be a giving person to those who relate to his understanding of life and death as something to not fear but rather be open with. I believe he has been sort of misunderstood in some ways but certain types of people. He is either loved or hated.
He has his own tragedy though which really shows through when he speaks of Li Tobler. It appears to be the classic story of the man who meets his love of his life at his/her prime, yet can have any woman he wants so he may have gotten sort of sidetracked from her. She was beautiful, intelligent, and seemed to relate to his vision. However, the lack of commitment it seems, created a nightmare in her head. Instead of realizing she was all the things a man could dream for, she focused perhaps too much on not having the man she really wanted, and consequently committed suicide. There were rumors she had seen a painting Giger painted of her and attempted to tear it apart. I think Giger had really tapped into her dark side, not realizing how unstable it could make her if he was not by her side, and for this I think he blamed himself. You can see it in his eyes, his regret in a way of not realizing what he had but to be fair he become very popular due to his work on Aliens and became career oriented. It makes sense he would have wanted to focus on his art and vision, and maybe thought she should as well. But depression can take a hold of a person, especially when they aren’t as successful as their partner and alone. Perhaps she felt as if he was bringing out her demons in his work. “Sometimes people only see horrible, terrible things in my paintings.” He was aware of this but choose his style.
The painting of Li Tobler could be interpreted in different ways depending on one’s current perceptions. The painting of her doesn’t portray her with a smile, but rather a very dull expression. There are skulls all around her and her head appears to be attached to a sort of dark force. If she did suffer from depression which usually does onset around the age of her suicide, it could explain why she felt even more alone and unloved. I could sit and try to figure it out but I can only try to be insightful.
I do know when he tries to explain what she meant to him, he becomes lost in words. He seems to communicate very well on disturbing subjects but cannot come to terms with the loss. He admits he went through a process of blaming himself but had to overcome it. He admits he didn’t think he could go on, but he just somehow did by painting. He cannot sit still or his brain seems to wander too much. Painting was the stress reliever, the companion, the dark which was his light, the memories of his lost love, and the way he will be remembered and not forgotten. He will be missed but he has left vision and inspiration for generations to come. Those after him will too paint, influenced by his style, and influenced by his ability to overcome the fear associated with birth and death.