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Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Filmmaker Ross McElwee finds himself in frequent conflict with his son, a young adult who seems addicted to and distracted by the virtual worlds of the internet. To understand his fractured love for his son, McElwee travels back to St. Quay-Portrieux in Brittany for the first time in decades to retrace his own journey into adulthood. A meditation on the passing of time, the praxis of photography and film, and the digital versus analog divide. (First Run Features) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 12, 2012
    100
    Photographic Memory is about the permanence and impermanence of what we choose to preserve: on film and in our heads (which is often the same thing). I would like to think that one day Adrian might look at this documentary and see it as a supreme act of paternal love.
  2. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Oct 10, 2012
    91
    Photographic Memory is less wry and more melancholy than McElwee's earlier documentaries; it's a lot like his superb 2003 film "Bright Leaves," which was also concerned with family history and the shifting meaning of images.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 11, 2012
    88
    Utterly delightful.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Singer
    Oct 9, 2012
    80
    McElwee's quietly reassuring voice dominates the film, but that doesn't mean he can't craft a magnificently eloquent image when he wants to, as in the moment when he frames Adrian, seated in a coffee shop, inside his own reflection in the shop's front window.
  5. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Oct 9, 2012
    80
    Alternating between time periods and geographic locations, all of it connected by McElwee's narrated thoughts, the film proves a bracing and sometimes uncomfortable peek into private fears and regrets about mortality and missed opportunities. It's also, in its portrait of wayward Adrian, further proof that there's nothing more difficult, frustrating, messy, and insufferable than teenagerdom.
  6. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Oct 16, 2012
    70
    The resulting journey of self-discovery is not exactly profound in its revelations, but as usual with McElwee's efforts the proceedings are enlivened by his droll, witty narration, delivered in a sonorous tone.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Oct 12, 2012
    60
    The connections made in Photographic Memory are more tentative than those found in Mr. McElwee's earlier films, which also seek answers in roundabout ways while maintaining an acute eye for light, color, space and atmosphere.

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Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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