our memories, we wouldn’t have our guilt, jealousy, and resentments—all the
stuff that makes us human. It would seem the messy combination above also
contributed to the death of noted memory specialist Dr. Gordon Dunn. Unfortunately,
Dunn’s new game-changing invention is also missing, prompting the mysterious
Sam Bloom to conduct his own investigation in Mark Palansky’s Rememory (trailer here), which screens
during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
is not clear whether Bloom really was a friend of Dunn’s or if he simply hoping
the Macguffin device would help him process his emotional issues. Clearly,
Bloom blames himself for the death of his rock-star brother, because he was
behind the wheel at the time of the fatal accident. This looks like a perfect
case for Dunn’s treatment. His invention records and plays back memory with flawless
accuracy, stripping away the distortions we layer on over the years. According
to Dunn, viewing painful memories in this fashion is cathartic, but at least
one disgruntled patient vehemently begs to differ. As a further complication,
Dunn had begun tweaking his device after documenting a number of unfortunate
course, the agitated Todd is seen furtively leaving Dunn’s office on the
fateful night in question. So is his spurned lover Wendy, who is also rather
disappointed Dunn used a number of her emotionally charged memories in his Steve
Jobs-style product launch, without prior permission. Tracking down the memory
VCR would certainly help Bloom crack the case, but it might not necessarily
cure what ails him.
is hard to explain why, but Rememory does
not feel like a Sundance film. It is built around an intriguing premise, but
Palansky never delves too deeply into issues of memory and identity.
Nevertheless, the noir style is quite appealing. Game of Thrones fans will also be happy to hear Peter Dinklage is
terrific as Bloom. It is a moody but understated turn that proves he can carry
a film. His scenes with Julia Ormond playing Dunn’s slightly estranged widow
are especially rich and laden with complicated chemistry. The late Anton
Yelchin (who had two films at Sundance this year) is also twitchy and jangly,
like a raw nerve ending, as poor desperate Todd. Plus, Martin Donovan is
perfectly cast as the smooth-talking Dunn, but unfortunately there is no
opportunity for a proper scene with him and Dinklage together.
is a reasonably entertaining film, but it is
nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is. Regardless, it is a pleasure to
watch pros like Dinklage and Ormond do their thing. Sadly, it also takes on
additional irony as one of Yelchin’s final films that happens to be all about
memory and grief. Recommended overall for fans of social-psychological science
fiction, Rememory screens again
tomorrow (1/28) at Sundance Mountain Resort and Sunday (1/29) in Salt Lake, as
part of this year’s Sundance.
Labels: Anton Yelchin, Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Peter Dinklage, Sundance '17