Worth watching: Remainder – how to survive without memory

Imagine waking up one morning and not being able to remember your previous life. Who would you trust? How to go on living? Would you dare a new beginning or try to regain the memory? In Remainder, an adaptation of the cult novel of the same name by Tom McCarthy, director Omer Fast creates an aesthetically captivating and at the same time nightmarish scenario.

TOM STURRIDGE SHINES AS A MAN WITHOUT MEMORY

The nameless hero, brilliantly played by Sienna Miller’s boyfriend Tom Sturridge, loses his memory in an accident. He uses a compensation in the millions to reconstruct the shadowy images he has left of his old house and a few neighbours in a film set, true to detail and with Cubrian perfectionism. But the undertaking culminates in an obsession with a tragic outcome.

TOM STURRIDGE SHINES AS A MAN WITHOUT MEMORY

The nameless hero, brilliantly played by Sienna Miller’s boyfriend Tom Sturridge, loses his memory in an accident. He uses a compensation in the millions to reconstruct the shadowy images he has left of his old house and a few neighbours in a film set, true to detail and with Cubrian perfectionism. But the undertaking culminates in an obsession with a tragic outcome.

OMER FAST PLAYS WITH OUR MEMORY

With compelling intensity, Omer Fast tells in “Remainder” about the desperate attempt to regain control over one’s own life with the help of memory. The film, a test arrangement that is both oppressive and fascinating at the same time, forces us to follow his surreal experiment, with which he pursues important questions in passing. How important are our memories? What part of us do they make up? How much do they contribute to our ability to take control of our lives?

Who do we trust when we have no memory of our past life? Photo: Omer Fast

It is not the first time that Omer Fast has dealt with the theme of “memory” in his work. In his film “Continuity”, which is based on a video work by the artist, he also deals with similar questions – although here he takes a completely different starting scenario as a basis. “Continuity” is about the story of a married couple whose son, believed dead, returns from Afghanistan. But the young soldier whom the parents greet in their child’s room at home is not the son. Instead, the couple has hired a lay actor with whom they reinact the return of the child, a desperate attempt to come to terms with the loss and regain control of their life that has gone off the rails.

Ein Leben ohne Erinnerung. Foto: Omer Fast

In “Remainder” director Omer Fast plays with our memory. Tom Sturridge. Photo: Omer Fast

Both films have one thing in common: protagonists who have survived drastic events and who try to deal with the circumstances with their own means and in a unique language in a kind of “Do it yourself” therapy, in the hope of being able to counteract blows of fate that they find difficult to accept.

In contrast to Continuity, however, Remainder is a glossy production, a lavish thriller, whose financing was partly achieved with the help of art collectors who purchased video works based on the film in advance, thereby enabling Omer Fast to bring a vision to the screen that can certainly compete with Hollywood productions.

THE BOX IN A SUITCASE CONCLUSION: OMER FAST’S FILM VERSION OF THE MC CARTHY CLASSIC IS WORTH SEEING!

Omer Fast: Israeli director Omar Fast has caused a sensation up to now, especially as a video artist. His works have already been shown at the Venice Biennale and Documenta. His first two feature films “Remainder” and “Continuity” celebrated their premieres at the Berlinale in 2016.

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