Found Memories DVD Review
Filmmaker Julia Murat has crafted an
introspective film with her debut narrative feature, Fond
Memories. The film focuses upon an old, ghost-like town that
is inhabited by several elderly individuals who seem to be living in a
community that is standing still in time: unhinged, unmoving, or
immortal to the world that surrounds their community.
film begins by introducing us to
Madalena (Sonia Guedes) and Antonio (Luiz Serra), working to make
coffee in an old coffee shop owned by Antonio. They are solemnly moving
their business in a way that is typical and routine for them at this
stage in their lives. There are no customers. The coffee and bread was
story takes particular interest
in Madalena. She is the focal point of the film. She is a fascinating
she makes most of the food eaten by the community, she cleans the
and routinely helps keep everything in order. She writes letters in a
seemingly letters written to some unnamed individual (perhaps herself)
memories remembered about time spent with Antonio and quiet community
in which she
this point in the story, a young
woman named Rita (Lisa
enters the picture as someone
unaccustomed to their slow-moving world. She's vibrant, full of life,
someone who comes from someplace she won't share and who seems to want
an interesting photograph at each turn.
rest of the film plays out
essentially as a slow-paced (sometimes glacially
placed) introspective look at Madalena cleaning, cooking, and walking
Rita. They share conversations occasionally and there are a few moments
insight into Madalena too.
about it... there are a few
minor character revelations and a conclusion that may conceivably be a
to The Twlight Zone (depending upon your interpretation). However,
really all there is to this film. It's a quiet, slow-paced, and
production. The reason the film works at all is because it has a
warmly-nostalgic idea surrounding it. The film considers the way
used and the importance in photography for society and people in
heart of the film is based in
nostalgia, and the film works wonders when it does focus on this
it takes us all journeying alongside it on a nostalgic route. The
photography is also quietly exquisite. Unfortunately, I felt as though
characters were not anywhere near as well developed as they could have
and many scenes are so slow and uninvolving that it takes you out of
experience. I don't know about everyone, but I really wouldn't
watching someone dusting off shelves for several minutes a totally
cinematic experience. At least, I wouldn't consider it as such without
Murat displays a lot of talent
but her filmmaking has a way to go before a story with so little plot
character development can play out in such a fashion. Found
Memories works sometimes but it also drags on a bit in parts.
I enjoyed the film because I found warmth from Murat's style of
I was also sometimes bored and disinterested. This film is a mixed bag
variable results. Found Memories is
still a film worth seeing for a photography lover who doesn't mind the
moments playing out solemnly and slowly (much like the actual art of
features another impressive
transfer from Film Movement. The colors don't exactly pop but the
cinematography feels largely appropriately for this kind of quiet film.
clarity is good, and the transfer feels cinematic and avoids
and other problems sometimes encountered on indie-film releases. The
framing is true to Murat's original theatrical aspect ratio. The
presented in anamorphic widescreen.
Dolby Digital surround sound audio isn't that impressive for Found Memories. The film is so quiet. There is so little
dialogue and music that is used that a better presentation wouldn't
made much of a difference in impacting the film presentation as a
experience. There are many indoor scenes
and that inhibits
the use of natural environmental elements in the sound design. The
audible, clean, and dialogue is easy to understand. Nothing stands out
poor or excellent in design. It's a serviceable sound presentation.
presented with its original Portuguese audio. English
subtitles are provided.
supplement included on this release is a short
film entitled Land of the Heroes,
from director Sahim Omar Kalifa. The piece centers upon young siblings
and a girl) who are bored while wanting to watch cartoons on TV (when
propaganda is playing) and who are bullied by a neighbor kid before
the tables on him and bully him back.
actually an underwhelming short film and one that doesn't present
original bully or the sibling children all that favorably. I'm sure it
a lot of political undertones that I am overlooking but I won't claim
to be an
expert on the process behind the making of this short feature. (19 min.)
includes a short biography on filmmaker Julia
Murat, the theatrical trailer, and trailers
other releases by Film Movement.
a quietly introspective film. It is a sometimes moving and occasionally
pacing was too glacial sometimes). It is a film that looks into
the art of photography and a quiet town that is ghost-like and without
vibrancy. I enjoyed the film as a whole but I wouldn't necessarily
consider this particular
film something that is worth purchasing before checking it out first.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.