Scoop Review: Memories Of Tomorrow, Darkness Lurks Behind Every Smile
Review By Selwyn Manning – Scoop Co-Editor.
I see a future but I do not see a past. The line cloaks the mysterious background of John a man who seemingly attracts more attention from intelligence and counter-terrorist agents than an Islamic fundamentalist party convention in Newtown.
The past hangs over this movie like a pendulum suspended out there somewhere but forever promising to bring time and place, effect and cause, consequence and reason back into sync.
Writer, director and producer Amit Tripuraneni creates a surrealistic theme by drawing the viewer into a tight world of strong central characters who each live cocooned within layers of secrets entwined, inter-related somehow by the assassination of a prominent political figure abroad.
Amit Tripuraneni presents a Vincent Ward style movie where darkness lurks behind every smile, turn, embrace. This psychological thriller accentuates a realisation that we all have to take ourselves with us wherever we may seek to hide. Certainly, in Memories of Tomorrow peace and solitude fast give way to pain and collapse when the establishment seeks recourse for passed wrongs.
Tripuraneni demands much from his lead actors John (Richard Thompson) and Tanya (Rachel Gilchrist) - a happily married couple living an idyllic life in New Zealand.
On the surface everything seems normal but John is a man, haunted by his nightmares and has no recollection of his past. Tanya is a woman who lives in the present and finds no use for the past.
Thompson and Gilchrist dig deep using unrushed dialogue to display an intimate timelessness in the telling of this story of love on the edge and how one’s past can revisit to destroy the facades of simplicity that we create.
Rachel Gilchrist is pure class in this movie her character Tanya is the hand that suspends the pendulum… for a time.
As Unkreative Artists’ promo says: the arrival of a mysterious stranger - Roger (Ray Trickitt) in New Zealand, triggers off an unstoppable chain of events, which culminate in the collision of two worlds. The past and the future unveils the secrets that time and distance had so easily forgotten.
This story culminates in an all revealing climax - gripping to its conclusion.
'Memories of Tomorrow' is the debut directorial effort by Amit Tripuraneni (who also wrote and produced it) and also the debut feature for co-producer and DOP, Lance Wordsworth. The principal cast of 6 and a rotating crew of 31, devoted their time and energies, for 20 days spread over a period of 5 months, to produce a visually stunning film.
The movie boasts of locations spread all across New Zealand’s North Island ranging from Bethells sand dunes on Waitakere City’s west coast, to ignimbrite rock formations at south Waikato’s Te Awamutu to various locations around Auckland’s central city. The movie was made possible with generous help and support from individuals and organizations alike - thus making it possible to shoot an ambitious 'no-budget' project.
Production was assisted by a total budget of $15,000 - Tripuraneni’s uncle had advanced $8000 in exchange for 25% of any future profits. Tripuraneni and co-producer Lance Wordsworth managed to find another $7000 from their own savings.
Lead actor Rachel Gilchrist’s uncle and aunt also provided location help, as did others detailed in the credits list.
Rachel Gilchrist began life in front of the camera as a model in her younger years during which time she clocked up 25 national and international TV commercials from leads to featured, advertising anything from mobile phones, cars, chocolates, ice cream, paint, to digital cameras, beer and KFC. Rachel has also been involved in 3 music videos. Rachel grew more and more passionate about the craft and studied acting under Maggie Maxwell and also did a year at South Seas Film & TV School doing the on-screen acting course in 2003. At the end of her training she joined Auckland Actors. Rachel shot a further 4 commercials in 2004 - Ford Focus, Instant Kiwi, Millers Beer and Dove chocolate and debuted in her first feature, 'Memories of Tomorrow'.
Richard Thompson studied at London Centre for Theatre Studies in 1998-1999 and has since appeared in numerous plays in London and Auckland. He has studied under Michael Saccente's Meisner class since 2001 and is focused on film as his ideal medium. Its collaborative nature is especially appealing and he has relished the pressure and rewards of various short films, including finalist entries in the 2003 and 2004 '48 hour' short film competitions.
Ray Trickitt has been working here in NZ for 3 years, where he now lives. Ray worked in the TV and theatre in London with work in TV series like 'Eastenders'; 'Ruth Rendell Mysteries' among others, before shifting over to New Zealand.
The movie was shot on Panasonic DVX100a, utilizing the 25p technology available on the camera. 85% of the movie was shot with available sources of location lighting and natural light to retain the energy of the location. Most of the movie was shot on a glidecam or plain handheld, to produce a fluid visual flow and an organic feel to it. It also reduced set up time even for a major scene to less than 15 minutes, which along with minimal lighting setups kicked up the average shooting ratio up to an average 15 minutes a day .
If Memories of Tomorrow is an indication of what graduates of South Seas Film & TV School can achieve with zero budget, then Creative New Zealand, the New Zealand Film Commission, and New Zealand On Air ought to sign this talent up before someone offshore does.
Memories of Tomorrow has been selected for screening at Asian Film Festival www.anzfft.org.nz to be screened at the Academy Cinema, Auckland at 5:30pm on Friday May 20 and again at midday Sunday May 29.
Amit Tripuraneni, Lance Wordsworth
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