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Photographic Memory (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 12 October 2012 (USA)
Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the ... See full summary »

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Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet. To understand his fractured love for his son, McElwee travels back to St. Quay-Portrieux in Brittany for the first time in decades to retrace his own journey into adulthood. A meditation on the passing of time, the praxis of photography and film, and the digital versus analog divide. Written by Anonymous

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12 October 2012 (USA)  »

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$3,006 (USA) (12 October 2012)

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$7,711 (USA) (16 November 2012)
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A critical message for Netflix subscribers
21 May 2013 | by (UWS, NYC, USA) – See all my reviews

Now that McElwee's comic masterpiece, "Sherman's March," is available again on streaming Netflix, I'd definitely go for that one first if you haven't seen it. "Sherman" is a one-of-a-kind mockumentary (and not a documentary about Sherman or his march, btw, in the conventional, Ken Burns sense), and if it resonates with you at all, I suspect you'll be a fan for life. "Photographic Memory" is a watchable but distinctly lesser work—a modest, autumnal meditation on aging, parenting and memory. A brief prologue fills us in on McElwee's tense relationship with his talented but unfocused teenage son, Adrian, then, with the help of funding from a couple of regional film boards, McE returns to the little town in Brittany where, as a VW-bus-driving college dropout, he worked as an apprentice wedding photog in the early 70s. Suffice it to say that the trip is uneventful (Adrian refused to go along b/c it sounded too boring), and McElwee's deadpan patter isn't up to his usual standard. He does better in his native North Carolina, where he doesn't have to try to speak French. "Bright Leaves," a rambling but entertaining doc about the tobacco culture in NC, is also available on streaming.


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