Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Review Research // part 3

Memory in Film

Sans Soleil a documentary that questions our ideas of appearance, memory, and history. “the first part of the film, Krasna’s collection of visual memories, prepares us for the second, which examines the value of those memories, the ability of memory to plumb appearances and write history. Marker’s creation of an invisible character becomes a profound examination of how we store the past.
symbols as the shrine for cats where a couple prays for its lost cat so that when it does die it will find its way to the afterlife [crossing space and time]

“can you completely forget a memory or it is always there somewhere”
William discovers that Maria has been taken to another institution to have her memory of the episode erased. He goes there and talks to Maria, but finds her memory of him has been erased. He succeeds in getting the clinic to release Maria into his care by telling them she is a witness in his fraud investigation. After she is released William proves to Maria that she knows him by his intimate knowledge of her and by showing her the memory recording of when she gave Damian the papele, which includes a shot of William. Williams tells her about the memory erasure, and about how he didn't report her for fraud. Maria is disturbed by this information and becomes very distressed. William gives her a sleeping pill and while she is sleeping, he cuts some hair from her head and takes it to a facility which provides instant DNA analysis. There he discovers that Maria is fifty percent genetically related to him, and that she is a biological clone of his mother, who was one of a set of twenty four in-vitro fertilised clones. This knowledge does not affect William's feelings, but instead of going back to Maria he decides to go home to his family. However when he tries to leave he is not allowed to do so as his cover is now expired.
Afterward, Maria enters a somnambulistic state also caused by the virus which forces her to report the further Code 46 violation to the authorities. She is unconscious of this though William is aware of the virus's reaction. They then rent an old car and travel away to escape the authorities who are tracking them. William crashes the car while avoiding a collision with camels and pedestrians and they are both knocked unconscious.
When William awakes he finds himself in Seattle with his wife and child. He has no memory of Maria or the Code 46 violation, as all memories of her and their time together have been completely flushed from his mind. The authorities had brought William before a tribunal, but decided the empathy virus had affected his judgment. He attempts to use the empathy virus to read his son's thoughts on the drive back from the hospital, but is unable to. Maria is more severely punished by having her memories of William loving her un-erased, essentially forced to remember him and exiled to the place she hated the most, the desert.“can you completely forget a memory or it is always there somewhere”

passage through various time periods Despite the almost inevitable longueurs, not to mention mumbling melancholy offscreen comments that sometimes verge on the self-parodic, this is certainly a superior Sokurov feature, and not only for its extraordinarily virtuoso mise-en-scène. Digitally shot in a single continuous take, it wanders around St Petersburg's State Hermitage, taking in the building, its furnishings and objets d'art, and a host of characters, historical and contemporary, both named (Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Nicholas, Alexandra, Anastasia) and anonymous, while pondering the Russian soul and its ambivalent relationship with Europe. As the unseen film-maker and a 19th century French diplomat guide us on our journey through space and time, it's hard not to be distracted by thoughts of how it was all choreographed, but a magnificent ball scene and the final poignant departure manage to work their magic.

The film is structured as a series of interrogations of the city, where our only window into that world is opened to us through the eyes of individuals, through the recapitulation of their own memories. They become a metonymy for the entire city. Having zoomed out, Havana then, is understood as a city made up of thousands of fragments, which can each be extracted and extrapolated into their own individual worlds. Intermittently, the city as a cloud of complex systems, is pushed to the background, and the characters are brought forth in order to rectify those fragments in the construction of a new place.

access of time capsules/ creates a wormhole from one time and palce to another
passage through scales of time [flashbacks to history]beginning and end superimposition/ situations connectedvastness of historical time / creates a labyrinth

No comments:

Post a Comment