Earlier, as I was waiting for the train to leave the Gare du Nord, a middle-aged couple had passed down the carriage in which I was sitting.
Something in woman’s face brought to mind an image from a film. The previous night, seeking distraction from work, I had switched on the television. The channel I selected was passing in cursory review of films to be broadcasted in weeks to come: a title and a few seconds of footage from each. No doubt there was commentary voix-off but I had the mute on. A young woman, seen from behind, executes a perfect dive into swimming pool; cut to the face of a middle-aged woman who (the edit tells me) has witnessed this. I read something like anxiety in her expression.
The woman who had passed down the carriage had an anxious look.
Extract from the book The remembered film
by Victor Burgin
We all have been in a situation in our lives where we felt like we were in a film. Perhaps the moment we walk down the stairs in the middle of the night, drive a car in the remote area on a summer evening, when we are in the shower, or climbing up a hill and looking out at the view.Sometimes this feeling might remind us of a certain film we have seen.,
With this work, I want to address viewers attention towards memory. We often think that our memories are constructed from the events which have happened to us personally throughout our lives, however in my research I was fascinated to discover that sometimes we remember events which did not actually happen to us directly, but rather we have borrowed this memory from an image we have seen somewhere; an image from film. It made me wonder how powerful images seen somewhere can be. Due to the complex way in which we store memories of the images we have seen before, we are inclined to misremember them. Our brain interprets everything we look at, whether it as an event in real life or an event in the film.
The first films were made more than a century ago since then the movie industry has greatly expanded. Now we grow up by watching films, however, everything we see is somehow stored in our memory. Sometimes what we have actually experienced and the memories of images we have seen on screen become mixed up in our brain causing us to recall images from films as an event that has happened to us.