Screening programme presented at Baltic Analog Lab
Baltic Analog Lab presents a film programme curated by Canadian born Latvian curator and writer from London Erik Martinson who brings three films by three filmmakers: Lydia Nsiah, Sarah Forrest, and Sky Hopinka, dealing with the subject of memory and remembering through a cinematic perspective.
In the short story ‘Almost No Memory’ by Lydia Davis an unnamed women is reckoning with her diminished grasp on her memory while still retaining “a very sharp consciousness.” She turns to the mnemonic device of recording events and details in notebooks, creating a substantial library. At times she would re-read these memories with interest, the entries would “seem all new to her, and indeed most of it would be new to her.” She would contemplate making further notes on them, sometimes doing so, and “(o)ther times she would want to make a note but choose not to, since she did not think it quite right to make a note of what was already a note, though she did not fully understand what was not right about it.” From this uncertainty comes an inescapable tension between remembering and forgetting and the difficulty of being aware of this process happening.
The plight of the protagonist in Davis’ story feels much like a film flowing forward, each frame overtaking the last; building toward something while the past is taken up on a separate reel. Sometimes what you’ve seen and heard feels like a distant thought in a library of notebooks, though you are pretty certain it happened. Perhaps it wasn’t that experience or film, but another one, but it happened, you might think. It’s a problem of cognition, of our interaction with playback, not playback itself.
Sometimes there is a need to make films to recall other films, to recall past selves, and so many fleeting thoughts/feelings/impressions. Sometimes we also need films to help our own entropy along, to be ok with not remembering.
Supported by Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation.
to forget, Lydia Nsiah, 2019, 17:00
April, Sarah Forrest, 2018, 21:30
Lore, Sky Hopinka, 2019, 10:16
*Programme notes available here.