“Raising a teenage son is a lot harder than making a documentary, but trying to do both at the same time is crazy”, says Ross McElwee. And that crazy thing is the starting point for Photographic Memory, an intimate journal in which McElwee starts by portraying the changes his teenage son goes through, trying to understand how that adorable child became this apathetic teenager, and transforming back into a Proust-like shift the past. Later, McElwee decides to take a trip to the small French town where he worked as a wedding photographer 38 years ago. Armed with old photos, all kinds of recordings, and small hand-written notebooks, he tries to reconstruct that time (which includes an old lost love affair) when he had the same age his son has now. When faced with reality, memory proves to be rather unreliable. And the passing of time demonstrates that the less dependable materials are not the digital or the analogical, but the one in which memories which are kept.
English, French, 2011
84´ / HD / Color
Directed by: Ross McElwee
Production Companies: St. Quay Films, French ConnectionFilms, La Lucarne
Born in North Carolina, USA, in 1947, she studied at Brown University in Rhode Island, and majored in Filmmaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She directed the documentaries Space Coast (1979), Charleen (1980), Backyard (1984), Sherman´s March (1986), Bright Leaves (2003) and In Paraguay (2008), among others.