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  • Photographic Memory
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Photographic Memory

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1-Disc Version

Frequently Bought Together

Photographic Memory + The Ross McElwee DVD Collection (Sherman's March / Time Indefinite / Six O'Clock News / Bright Leaves / Backyard / Charleen) (Five-Disc Collector's Edition) + Something to Do With the Wall
Price for all three: $80.62

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ross McElwee, Adrian McElwee
  • Directors: Ross McElwee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2013
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,850 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, Bright Leaves) finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet. To understand his fractured love for his son, McElwee travels back to St. Quay-Portrieux in Brittany for the first time in decades to retrace his own journey into adulthood. A meditation on the passing of time, the praxis of photography and film, and the digital versus analog divide.


The most Proustian of Mr. McElwee's documentaries. --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Ross McElwee adds another wonderful personal memoir, a film that is both forward-looking and elegiac. Grade: A --Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

With droll wit and fearless instinct for turning an unblinking lens on his life's minutiae, Ross McElwee continues his Socratic mandate of living a fully examined life with the assured and insightful "Photographic Memory," in which the inevitable sojourn into his past once again helps him understand the present and brace for the future. The pic's pleasures are subtle yet resonant. --Eddie Cockrell, Variety

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Award winning director uses vintage and new home movies to support a monologue about relationships with his 21-yr-old son and his own life at that age

This is the ninth documentary film from director Ross McElwee - the best-known one is "Sherman's March" - and was produced in 2011 with a theatrical release in 2012. Like the others I've seen , McElwee narrates the film with his low-key, easy going voice.
This film is both a self-examination of his life as well as his trying to explain, and understand (to both the viewer and himself) the relationship between he and his (now 21-year-old) son, Adrian. McElwee's daughter appears early on - and his wife is never seen - but it is Adrian that McElwee is trying to understand. Using early home movies showing how father and son would work on making films with a camcorder, and bringing us up to date with Adrian's total immersion in things digital and the social networks - not to mention his use of "recreational drugs", McElwee tries to close the "generation gap". At the same time he presents a different story - one that I found more interesting. In the 1970s, when he was Adrian's age he moved to a small town in France, hoping to be either a photographer or a street musician. The former won out when he met a French portrait photographer, who later fired him - though he doesn't know why. He decides to revisit the town and find his mentor - as well as a woman who he had a relationship with. At this point the film drags you in as you join him in his search. I won't reveal much more as that would spoil it for you.

Don't expect fast and exciting. This is not that type of film. It's a very personal one; basically a monologue with multimedia images to illustrate the narration.
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