Memory, a documentary film
directed by Ross McElwee
Photographic Memory is the latest road movie by renowned filmmaker Ross McElwee—director of
Sherman’s March and Bright Leaves—in which he returns to the
roots of his involvement with the camera.
The story line...
filmmaker finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, who is no
longer the delightful child the father loved, and seems to be addicted to and
permanently distracted by virtual worlds, social technology and dreams of
hitting it big. As his son goes about “finding himself”, so does McElwee look
into his own past for answers: how was he “finding himself” in 1972? And so,
camera in hand, he undertakes a journey to the coastal town of St.
Quay-Portrieux in Brittany where he worked as a wedding photographer’s
assistant at age 24 –about the same age his son is now. He also hopes to
elucidate some of the mystery around his former employer, the photographer
Maurice, who also cast himself as renaissance man and womanizer. And then
there is Maud: Ross’ first muse, and with whom he had a fleeting romance nearly
40 years ago…
This film is rich
with emotion, confrontation and revelation. During this bold investigative
process, he discovers the parallel lives of Maurice, the tribulations of Maud
and creative ways of reaching out to his son. Photographic Memory is a
meditation on the praxis of photography and film, selective remembrances of
mentors and lovers, and the fractured love of a father for his son.
The film has been
entirely shot, edited and mixed. And it has premiered: at the 2011 Venice Film
Festival, no less. And it was very well-received… Since then, we have been
snowed under by emails of people asking “Where can we see this film?” So, in
order to push for theatrical release and distribution, we must provide costly
digital formats of the film, organize screenings, send promotional materials
and travel to festivals to promote the film…
Kickstarter’s platform, those of you who wish to engage in dialog with Ross
McElwee, or those who love documentary filmmaking in general, or those who just
want to be involved in the screening of a great movie project, will contribute.
So this movie must be made accessible to a mainstream audience!
Where will the
- Creation of HD Cam master video tape and dubs
- DVDs, packaging,...
- Travel to film festivals and other screenings
- Creation of a Poster
And so you know,
should we surpass our goal of $12,000, the quality of the products will simply
go up and up. In other words: the more backers we get, the more beautiful and
shiny the packaging and the poster printing will be, and the more screenings we will set up!
Raising a teenage son is
far more difficult than making a documentary film, but to attempt to do both
simultaneously is madness. In Photographic Memory, I try doing both. At first,
I imagined my film, shot in a French village where I had found work as a wedding
photographer 38 years ago, might be a kind of Proustian meditation on lost
love, the accuracy and fallacy of memory, and what it means to take a
photograph. My son would have none of this. “That’s so boring, Dad!“ So I
placed scenes of him throughout the film, and now it is not so boring. In fact
some moments in the film are fairly outrageous. But if I may say so, it’s still
stubbornly Proustian. - Ross McElwee