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Flaherty Seminar Part II: Film As Memory; MoMA Programs Flaherty Films

Flaherty Seminar Part II: Film As Memory; MoMA Programs Flaherty Films

Flaherty Seminar Part II: Film As Memory; MoMA Programs
Flaherty Films

by Maya Churi

The Flaherty Seminar continued today with some new arrivals: filmmaker
Su Friedrich (“Hide and Seek“) who will be showing a film later this
week and Bill Morrison who helped start off the day with his short film
The Film of Her.” The film is a testament to how mortal and
forgettable a film and a life can be. Using archival footage and
voice-over he tells the very real story of a forgotten clerk at the
Library of Congress who discovers old paper films and saves them from
being destroyed. The film brought up questions of the filmmakers own
mortality causing him to make the point that one day he will be
forgotten and so will his films…until they are re-discovered in some

Also in attendance, and possibly the highlight of the seminar, is
Kore-eda Hirokazu, whose first fiction film “Maborosi” was awarded the
Ozella D’oro prize at the 1995 Venice Film Festival. Kore-eda screened
his 1996 documentary “Without Memory” yesterday to an audience of
critics who left the theater deeply moved. The film documents three
years in the life of Hiroshi, a young Japanese man who suffers severe
memory loss as the result of negligent hospital care. He remembers
everything about his life prior to the hospital but since can only
remember an hour at a time. Unable to retain memory of his home, his
work or even the film crew, Hiroshi experiences the same story over and
over again. Each day he awakes, confused, having to come to terms
again, with the situation he is in. Frustrated and anxious Hiroshi
videotapes the time he spends with his wife and two sons, but the tapes do
not help him remember, they only calm him for an hour. In Kore-eda’s
Director’s Statement he says, “I had believed that a documentary
records changes and growth in its subject. As I look back at the
completed film, I wonder if a documentary is in fact a record of how a
subject challenges and affects the filmmaker.”

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