Wednesday, November 26, 2014
"Photographic Memory": a filmmaker connects with his own teenage son by revisiting his own past in France
“Photographic Memory” is a touching film by director Ross Mclwee about how he repairs his relationship with his rebellious teenage son Adrian (apparently in North Carolina, near the Wilmington studios) by going back to France alone to retrace an important formative period in his own young manhood when he went through the same process. But the greater availability of social media and technology has allowed Adrian to bypass learning why some things in life have to be earned.
Much of the film intersects three layers: past shots of Ross’ raising Adrian as a young boy along with Adrian’s more recent interest in extreme winter sports (does that happen in Quebec?); past shots of the older technology he used in France and earlier in his own career as a filmmaker, and present progress of his trip to Brittany, where he interviews people locating the rogue man Maurice who had hired him three decades before as a wedding photographer. He says he was eventually fired for some reason never explained.
Adrian finally gets his act together and, at age 21, is ready to make his first film about “free fish”. He still probably will ski or snowsled backwards and videotape selfies.
The official site is here (First Run Features). I watched it on Netflix Instant Play.
I did wonder if the film as going to be about true "photographic memory" (a coworker in the 1980s had one) or "eidetic memory". In a sense it is about the latter.
I almost got to Brittany in May 1999, when I visited Bayeux.