Friday, 26 February 2016

REVIEW - INNOCENCE OF MEMORIES (GRANT GEE)


Remembering and recounting: one story in one city becomes a universal experience in Innocence of Memories, which turns the art of storytelling into a story in itself. The film is an exquisite collage of sound and image, each interwoven in several strands whose precise combination triggers a precise, yet infinitely variable, response in the viewer; it is the very definition of 'multi-layered'. Grant Gee is assembling his interpretation with those of his fellow storytellers - we hear a man's account of his experiences in love told to a writer, that writer's account absorbed and reacted to by a related party, her opinions filtered through a filmmaker's vision. Intense, empathetic connections are established within these accounts, and suggested by the specificity of Gee's mise-en-scene, meandering through the streets of Istanbul, collecting sights and sounds of tangible intimacy. The process of taking in these different viewpoints on the same matters, each referring directly to another account on said matters, is not as reductive as it might easily have been - as one interpretation is superimposed onto another, it becomes an expansive process, one whose reach is limitless in the supposition that the viewer too will contribute to it. As such, Gee recognises his position as a secondary subject within the narrative of his film, and Innocence of Memories becomes a work about itself, and all other works of art. An author, a photographer, an actor: all creators, and all reactors. Their subject is their inspiration, their work is their tribute, their produce helps to define its identity. Innocence of Memories is Istanbul as it is remembered, and, in the recounting, it is Istanbul as it will be remembered.