Review: Memoria

You would not be right to claim that slow cinema, as it is often called, is a trap for arthouse films in which little happens and not enough time is spent to make things happen. Bad movies? However, this isn’t always the case. In a jet-lagged state, I went to a film screening many years back. Silent LightThe Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas is a famous devotee of slow cinematic pace. The picture’s first shots showed slowly spreading daylight sunlight for approximately six minutes. I then realized that our story would take place in a colony German-speaking Mennonite Farmers in northern Mexico. It was like a massive nap.

The movie had an unanticipated effect. A happily married farmer fell for another woman and decided in a moment of candor to tell his wife. The cast of actors was able to negotiate the spiritual complexities. The film ended and all thought of napping was gone. Silent LightIt might seem slow and obscure but it’s worth a second look.

This desire won’t arise when it comes to the latest film by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a Thai director-writer. Over the last 20 years, this much-hailed filmmaker has accrued an abundance frequent-flier miles flying to Cannes and other film festivals in order to take pictures. Uncle Boonmee Can Remember His Past Lives. However, his new one is much better. Memoria—while already a hit with excitable reviewers—is virtually a parody of an awful arthouse movie. The movie is all you need: it has no humor or action and no story. Like other bad art films—David Lynch’s Inland EmpireJim Jarmusch The Limits of Control leap to mind—MemoriaThis seems made to make us bored.

Tilda Swiftinton is Tilda, who’s a brave actor and has a love for exotic characters. Tilda Swinton could have saved the movie. She can’t. Jessica Holland is a character who plays Jessica Holland. She lives in Colombia because she loves orchid growing. Jessica suffers from mysterious explosion sounds that could be caused by an explosive device in a dumpster. Although this plot device is not very interesting, it keeps Jessica awake at night with the mysterious explosions.

Jessica walks around Bogotá, and we watch. We watch as she sits down at a desk, doing nothing. We watch as she flips through a book. The camera of the director rarely moves. People use terms like “molecular spectacle” or “the fragrance of decay.” One of her questions is “Do you speak monkey language?” (The answer: “Sí.”) In a sudden outbreak of…not action, but at least sustained movement, she is given a tour of a warehouse filled with refrigeration units. Jessica asks an engineer to create the sound that she is hearing in the section where humor begins to creep.

It was a moment I longed to be there.