Home > 360MC Research & Development > Theme 3 – Memory (360MC – 18/11/10)

Theme 3 – Memory (360MC – 18/11/10)

In this weeks lecture we were introduced to our next theme – ‘Memory’.

As with the last two themes of ‘Power’ and ‘Spectacle’, this theme has a very broad meaning that can have a different purpose and meaning for different people.

We first looked at a very recent memorable event which was of course the 2 mintue silence and the proceeding memorial service for the soliders killed/injured in war.  The idea of remembering and looking back always seems to take place in silence, as if words can distract us away from this even if it talks about the subject matter we are remembering itself.

(Photo courtesy of http://harveydesigns.com/memorial-day-wear-your-poppy-harvey-designs-event-and-floral-design-savannah-ga/ )

The main two aspects of memory is our own personal memory; whether this relates to family, friends or anything that has a particular significance to us that we always look back on and remember; happy or sad.

A wider/social memory; such as 9/11 or any other such event that has had an impact on us as a whole country or even world, is one of the broader senses of memory.

Nick then talked about how media uses particular techniques and technologies and also styles of ‘remembering’ and ‘re-visiting things for a second time’, using film, audio, photography and many other things besides to look back on many memorable events. Referencing back to 9/11, an event that is the most recorded and viewable historical event, has a vast range of thousands of clips that either people have recorded on their mobile phones and news broadcasts from worldwide that have recorded and captured this event.

Media can be used to escape the here and now; and as Nick describes: “The technologies give us the means by which to escape the present and consider and reflect on the past outside of the time in which the events happened themselves”.

Lecture Material

Nick showed us in the lecture some examples of how different film-makers use the theme of memory in their own pieces.

‘Alice’ by Jan Svankmajer

I really liked how this piece uses a fairytale for the basis for memory.  The way it has a dark look and feel to it which retracts away from the original children’s story of ‘Alice In Wonderland’.

‘Solaris’ by Andrei Tarkvosky

This piece really puzzled me with the actual narrative for the film but i did like how the ‘otherworldly’ elements really came out at you.

‘Sans Soleil’ by Chris Marker

Out of all the lecture material we were shown i really liked Chris Marker’s in particular.  The way he uses a narration over the top of images that don’t have any intended element that comes across with memory using any strange camerawork or any intention of trying to make it look strange like the previous two pieces.

My take on ‘Memory’

My first initial take on this theme relates to more of a personal memory angle and looking back through photographs and reminiscing about the time within the picture. 


The range of different films and their creators that have used memory as the focal point for their work comes in many different guises.  Old or new, memory has always been a subject matter which has had a significant effect on us as a viewer and influence us to look back on our own memories.

Some of the films that i indentify the theme of Memory with includes these examples:

This Michael Gondry directed film called ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ (2004) starring Jim Carey and Kate Winslet, looks at memory in a personal way with the a company that can erase memories which you would rather forget. The style of of Gondry comes across very broadly. 

This Christopher Nolan film called ‘Memento’ (2000) looks at memory in a very unique style, with the main character trying to discover the killer of his wife with the problem of having no short term memory.  He instead goes through the film (which is edited backwards so the end is at the beginning and vice versa.) following the tattoos he has all over his body to find his wife’s killer.

Both of these films have had a lasting effect on my memory with remembering certain scenes and even music within the films.  They are both very powerful with putting the theme of memory across.  They also both relate to personal memory which is the take i want to pursue for my artefact.

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