Memory is a very complex idea that has been theorized many times in the past, by theorists such as Maurice Halbwachs and Paul Connerton. These deal with the themes of ‘collective memory’ and ‘social memory’ respectively. Collective memory refers to the shared information and memories held by a group of people, where as social memory is more the relation between where individuals see themselves in terms of social identity against historical memory. However, one thing that is common in the theory of ‘memory’ is that no matter if it is collective or social, it still retains an infinitely person quality to the individual. Even if a group of individuals were to witness the same event, each person’s memory of that incident would be different, no matter how slight it may be.
As such, I want to make a Memory artefact that is personal to me to ensure a greater level of emotion is put into the piece which will hopefully translate to the viewer as well. The best kind of stories are the ones that can reach and speak to as many people as possible and so a narrative will be employed that many if not all of us go through or will go through at some point in our lives. This will be the event of moving out of one’s original home in order to build a new future. The effect of this should stir some recollection or collective memory among the audience which should hopefully allow the emotion to come through from the memory as “it is in society that people normally acquire their memories.” (Halbwachs, 1992: 38)
I am a great believer in the cinematic practice of ‘show, don’t tell’ in terms of visual storytelling, and some of the things I have watched for inspiration in terms of pace and emotion is the television series Lost as well as the 2012 film Cloud Atlas. Both of these deal with memory and collective memory in very personal ways; with Lost being very self-reflective through the use of flashbacks, flashforwards and flashsideways which adds to the emotional resonance of the themes in the episode; whilst Cloud Atlas deals with collective memory spanning generations through all different stages of life.
Although my piece will not be on such an extensive scale as this, it will nevertheless be a very personal and true emotion based upon the memories of place, family and the past.
Halbwachs, M. (1992) On collective memory. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Unknown. 2010. Plane Landing at LAX. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Kg4J_4W4_0 [Accessed: 15 Nov 2013].
Unknown. 2012. The Ending to Cloud Atlas. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAKLzaFYCOY [Accessed: 15 Nov 2013].