Photographic Memory (2012)
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 568
Filmmaker Ross McElwee finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a defiant young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet. To understand the growing distance between himself and his son, McElwee travels back to St. Quay-Portrieux in Brittany for the first time in decades to retrace his own journey into adulthood. He also hopes to track down his first employer, a photographer named Maurice, and Maud, a woman with whom he was romantically involved.
Oct 12, 2012 Limited
First Run Features - Official Site
Watch It Now
Filmmaker Ross McElee continues his obsessive self-reflection in this entertaining meditation on aging and memory.
I would like to think that one day Adrian might look at this documentary and see it as a supreme act of paternal love.
The most vivid strand of "Photographic Memory" is Mr. McElwee's changing relationship with his son, Adrian, now in his 20s.
Some might characterize what filmmaker Ross McElwee does as navel-gazing. But in the hands of this veteran documentarian, that which might be self-indulgent egomania from a lesser artist is often the stuff of quiet revelation.
It's a personal journey, but one that speaks to universal ideas about aging, fatherhood and the way, as Maurice once put it, that "time wears on a photograph, erodes it, until all of its context is gone."
The film gets more interesting after McElwee sets off on a quest to retrace his experiences in a St. Quay-Portrieux, Brittany, where he spent a formative summer in his 20s.
Hoping to unlock not only the mysteries of his own past, but also to better understand the alienation he feels from his son, McElwee has forged another triumph in this portrait of fractured love.
Beguiling and homespun -- full of both answers and questions, feelings and wonder. A great little travelogue mystery that also delicately assays the human condition.
Bittersweet though it may be, "Photographic Memory" reminds us that time is fleeting and all memories fade - even those captured on film.
This modest coda to Ross McElwee's autobiographical trilogy will interest fans of this eccentric documentarian but bore those less familiar with his work.
Like Harvey Pekar and Spalding Gray, Ross McElwee makes art out of the often sad and desperate moments of his life. And like them, he is damned good at it.
McElwee is a homespun philosopher who finds exceptional moments in everyday life and records it all through his camera lens.
Ross McElwee is less anxious of death itself than of finally comprehending the vast faultiness of the life he's lived.
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