Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Memory Lane

Memory Lane: Short Screens Paper
by Andi Schwartz

Memory Lane is an immersive, multi-projection screening site for telling linear autobiographical narratives. Memoir or autobiography is typically a linear narrative that consists of selected stories from the author/filmmaker’s life that are considered significant to who the author has become. Memory Lane reflects this linearity in a literal way. Spectators enter Memory Lane at one end of a long straight hallway. Each side of the hallway is lined with large scale screens. Each screen plays a loop of video representing a memory or story within the narrative. The video is accompanied by an aural account of the story in the filmmaker’s voice. The audio runs longer than the video, but both run on a loop.

As the spectator moves forward through Memory Lane, they encounter new screens playing new videos telling new stories that shape the autobiographical narrative. These stories are linked and build in significance. As the spectator moves past a screen, the audio and visual story does not stop but continues playing on the loop. This means the audio from each memory overlaps at times and some audio grows faint as the spectator moves further away from it. Spectators can return to a section of Memory Lane to revisit a story and it will still be playing, much like how real memory functions. When spectators are finished moving through Memory Lane, they exit at the opposite end of the hallway.

Though the screening site is immersive and there is some room for spectators to move at their own pace or move backwards and forwards, the filmmaker ultimately has control over the story being told. Memory Lane offers a conceptualization of moving through memory. It provides an opportunity for spectators to be fully immersed and engaged in memoir in a way that differs from other forms like books or more traditional films. This immersive and engaging nature of Memory Lane has the potential to increase the impact on the spectator, hopefully leading to higher levels of empathy and understanding of other human experiences.

Wed, September 23 2015 » Future Cinema, future cinema 2015, screen assignment