- The main character of the film is played by Tilda Swinton, one of the most original actresses in the global film industry. Jessica is looking for the source of the noises bothering her. She embarks on a journey that turns out to be a way to get to know oneself
- Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a Thai director, winner of the Palme d’Or for the film “Uncle Boonmee, who can recall his previous lives”
- The film does not lend itself to easy interpretations until the surprising finale, and the director does not hide his cultural background
- Weerasethakula is one of the most mystical directors of our time, so the hermetic “Memoria” is not a film for everyone. It will surely become a deep experience for those who like to quiet down in the cinema
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In the first scene of the movie taking place during the quiet morning, we hear a bang. Loud and piercing impact coming from the very core of the Earth. Frightening and fascinating at the same time. Such a sound haunts the main character Jessica (Tilda Swinton), a Scottish immigrant living in Colombia. From that moment on, her story turns into a journey full of introspection, mysterious fixations that are rooted in memories. When a woman tries to identify the sources of the piercing sound, she faces many obstacles.
The film is set in Bogota and Medellín, an industrial city where Jessica runs her flower sales company. In one of the best sequences of the film, the heroine meets a young sound engineer to try to analyze the noise that haunts her. With no result. The conversation between the sister and her husband suggests that this is an omen from an ancient civilization. An unsettled situation forces Jessica to travel to a remote village and meet a stranger. This is the most characteristic scene of “Memoria” where the man lies in the meadow and the blades of grass are fluttering in the wind. There is everything that is characteristic of “slow cinema”, that is, long static frames, contemplation of nature, observation of human faces and behavior.
This movie wouldn’t exist without the compelling performance of Tilda Swinton, one of the film industry’s most original stars. Characteristic, intriguing actress and perfect for the role of Jessica. Swinton’s character interacts with both art and science. The film does not lend itself to easy interpretations until the surprising finale, and the director does not hide his cultural background. In “Memoria”, the old world of nature fights against modern technology. This is the first film by Weerasethakul made in Colombia, i.e. outside his homeland, Thailand. In my opinion, “Memoria” has a Buddhist, meditative overtone. Everything is recorded here in the sound waves which give the rhythm of the film’s narration. In this respect, “Memoria” is certainly one of the most conceptual works of the year.
The latest film by Apichatpong delves into individual and community stories, where memory plays a major role. The main character’s Odyssey begins with the acceptance of her mortality (the heroine initially suspects that she is ill). Few movies try to pose these kinds of deep questions about existence and at the same time answer them (I think of Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life and David Lowery’s Ghost Story). Moreover, “Memoria” refers to the previous works of Apichatpong. Suffice it to recall the most famous film, awarded with the Palme d’Or at Cannes, “Uncle Boonmee, who can remember his past lives”. It was about Uncle Boonmee dying of kidney failure. The whole movie took place on the verge of life and death. Some scenes were realistic and others became dreams, illusions and hallucinations.
“Memoria” is a film in which we interact with the on-screen world, where sudden events shape the protagonist’s life and influence thoughts about searching for meaning. Apichatponga Weerasethakula is one of the most mystical directors of our time, so the hermetic “Memoria” is not a film for everyone. It will surely become a deep experience for those who like to quiet down in the cinema.
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