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The Memory Thief (2007)

Mark Webber , Rachel Miner , Gil Kofman  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Webber, Rachel Miner
  • Directors: Gil Kofman
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 7th Art / Walking Shadows
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030H16VW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Memory Thief is a captivating tale from director Gil Kofman with a genius performance from Mark Webber and deft editing from Curtiss Clayton... Kofman s obsession with obsession is one of the more affecting films I have ever seen. --Sean Cronin, Denver Westword

This is yet another example of why I go to film festivals. I had no preconceived feelings about this film one way or another, no scuttlebutt. But the film simply blew me away. --Ken Rudolph, Seattle Film Festival Journal

A plethora of films about the Holocaust exists from Life is Beautiful to Schindler s List but Kofman s presents a unique point of view with The Memory Thief... Similar to Scorcese s Taxi Driver, Gil Kofman s The Memory Thief is a haunting tale in 94 tight minutes... --Stephen Sporer, Twin City Daily Planet

Product Description

THE MEMORY THIEF tells the story of Lukas - an aimless, haunted young man in contemporary L.A. who buries thoughts of his own past in the humdrum routine of a tollbooth clerk. A chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor suddenly brings into focus a world and an identity he embraces with frightening intensity - the victimized Jews of World War II. As he begins to enthusiastically act out his newfound obsession, Lukas discovers that survivor's guilt isn't just for the Jews anymore. THE MEMORY THIEF is a mesmerizing, audacious psychological thriller in the tradition of TAXI DRIVER.The film stars Mark Webber (The Hottest State, Broken Flowers, Storytelling), Rachel Miner (Black Dahlia, Bully, Alice) and Jerry Adler (In Her Shoes, The Sopranos, Manhattan Murder Mystery).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective, chilling, if flawed February 14, 2012
Format:DVD
Deeply disturbing and thought provoking, well-acted if not without serious flaws, this indie film asks some serious questions
about our relationship to the suffering of others.

Lukas, a young socially disconnected toll-booth clerk who lives in a sort of haze meets a holocaust survivor and becomes
obsessed with the man, and then the subject itself. He begins working for a group recording survivor testimony. Ever more
unhinged Lukas becomes driven to watch and recording the testimony, filling up his own empty life with the horrifying
memories of others. He starts to call himself a Jew, watches the tapes 24/7 and becomes increasingly delusional.

Ultimately, this borrows a bit too heavily from other films of lost souls becoming increasingly mad in messianic ways;
Taxi Driver, The Believer, etc. as well as some cliché concepts of 'going crazy' behavior. (Does every disturbed person tape
hundred of images to their walls?)

It also relies too much on hard to believe behavior by others. (e.g. the attraction the daughter of the 1st survivor, a bight young
doctor, to the pretty blatantly unstable Lukas is very hard to buy, as is the idea Lukas keeps his job long when he starts indulging
in behavior like video-taping every car that passes by his toll booth, asking the occupants 'are you a Jew'?).

But this has it's own understated nightmare quality, which makes it, like a train wreck, compulsively watchable. Which, in turn
implicates the viewer in the same kind of obsession with the suffering of others the main character thrives on.
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3.0 out of 5 stars cute but trivial April 21, 2013
By .fgd
Format:DVD
Lucas's descent into mental illnesss becomes quite comical at the end of the film. I bet that wasn't the intent either .In hindsight, there is something insulting about fixating on real misery when there is nothing wrong with Lucas except his imaginion. He is healthy, good-looking, personable. He has a home and freedom to do whatever he wants with his life.

A far more interesting, bolder film might have been if Lucas was a black guy, who takes the analogy of ghetto and Jews and unravels it by drawing correspondences to blacks, who live in ghettos. Supposedly jews had no choice but does a black kid growing up from birth surrounded by drug culture? The enviroment from birth is highly conditioned to choose drugs and end up end up in jail which is a wholly profitble corporate buisness in The U.S of A. Especially to Jim Crow in the South. So there is no incentive to clean up the ghettos or rehabilitate. America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world: it's a good buisness is why. The analogys are all there of how easy it is to make a victim and profit out of stigmatised people. ( pbs doc. The war on drugs) Instead this film indulges in navel-gazing by a kid with everything on a plate.

The saving grace is casting Mark Webber, who gives a great performance as a cute, sincere and serious geek. His empathy was funny and sad like a clown. Lucas vists his mother in the hospital, who is a vegetable. It is possible that fixating on the Holocaust is a projection in order to get a grip on the void inside him because of the void inside her.

Lucas is also a projection for the current generation, who wishes they could feel empathy but cannot phathom it so they fantasise it.It is inevitable.The Memory Thief is an example of if you have nothing to say, don't tweet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Memory Thief is a wow! November 7, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have every book and tape on the holocaust; I've lost family during the war and I won't ever want to forget or have the world forget what has happened. This movie was odd, very odd but it was also sheer genius. The story is explained above in another review so I won't go into all the particulars but it is amazing how this tale was weaved-turned upside down-and circled around to end up changing this boy's life. Now I don't believe this kid was all there but what he went through and what he became was heartwarming. Nobody has written a movie like this where so few characters held the whole show--if you are Jewish (as I am) and if you are not it doesn't matter--this is a piece of history that will bring tears to your eyes, heart to your heart and you will never forget it--it just lingers, it makes you think 'could I have survived?' and that's a good - no it is a GREAT thing for the more we know the more the more we will be sure this WILL NEVER EVER happen again -EVER!!!!!!!!!!
Sher Holtz
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theatrical Trailer February 3, 2010
Format:DVD
Length: 1:50 Mins
THE MEMORY THIEF is a mesmerizing, audacious psychological thriller in the tradition of TAXI DRIVER.

THE MEMORY THIEF tells the story of Lukas - an aimless, haunted young man in contemporary L.A. who buries thoughts of his own past in the humdrum routine of a tollbooth clerk. A chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor suddenly brings into focus a world and an identity he embraces with frightening intensity - the victimized Jews of World War II. As he begins to enthusiastically act out his newfound obsession, Lukas discovers that survivor's guilt isn't just a Jewish phenomenon.
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