Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Celluloid Dreams (short): Preserving Memory on Film
Nolan and his colleagues saved film production, at least as long as their films
stay popular. Much to the relief of Rochester, New York (home of the last
surviving Kodak film factory), the practice of threading film stock will not
completely disappear from everyday life. It is an act that takes on significant
meaning in Jonathan Dillon’s short film Celluloid
which screens for three Academy-qualifying days this week in Los Angeles.
decades, Robert Thompson has lived alone with his memories and regrets. He was
once an avid A-V hobbyist happily married to his wife Deanna, but their wedded
bliss was short lived. One day, he impulsively fixes his long broken projector,
allowing him to visit their early good times together, as well as the events
leading up to tragedy. As Thompson watches the flickering black-and-white home
movies, he seems to be physically transported back into the past.
brings to mind films like Somewhere in
Time and Peggy Sue Got Married,
but it maintains a sense of ambiguity regarding its nature, whether it is an
excursion into magical realism-time travel or a simple memory play. Either way,
it is an effective calling card for Dillon, who nicely manages the two separate
timelines taking place simultaneously within the same location.
the dialogue is masked by a highly sentimental soundtrack, Greg Lucey’s
powerful performance as the contemporary Thompson is still eloquent without
words. Cinematographer Hanuman Brown-Eagle’s black-and-white sequences look
spot and perfect, while his color work has an appropriately nostalgic sheen.
Dreams is a great looking film and its romantic portrayal of moving
pictures ought to appeal to the Academy’s sensibilities. Recommended for short
film fans, it screens this Tuesday through Thursday (8/5-8/7) at the Laemmle NoHo 7.
Labels: Short Films