Cinema’s finest ongoing autobiographer, Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March, Bright Leaves) returns with another wry rumination on family and memory, comparing his rebellious son at 21 with what he can recall of himself at the same age.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
Cinema’s finest ongoing autobiographer, Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March, Bright Leaves) returns with another wry, masterfully layered rumination on family and memory. His son Adrian is about to hit 21 and their relationship seems to have reached its lowest ebb. Ross is anxious about Adrian’s recklessness (he undertakes extreme skiing stunts, sometimes stoned), distraction (he’s an aspiring graphic designer/filmmaker/tycoon) and presumably corrupt values. Adrian’s response: a suite of variations on the exasperated eyeroll. So Ross decides to revisit the seminal event of his own young manhood – a sojourn in Brittany– to see if he can imaginatively project his 21-year-old sensibility onto that of his son. But what is, in fact, recoverable from his fading memory, callow journals and suddenly inadequate photographic record? This very personal journey into the past, in which McElwee confronts himself as child, man, son and father, doubles as a moving meditation on the vanishing materiality of film and the decay of memory in all its forms. — AL