There are certain acts that come to us by necessity, fate…
The need to write Childhood Amnesia came to me one evening on the way home from Chris Marker’s exhibition « Staring Back ». The desire of this giant of French cinema to look backwards, whilst other artists only turn to the future, to innovation, moved me profoundly.
In a world where old age and death are constantly brushed aside, obscured, I tried through this story to imagine what our lives would be like if we managed to achieve the absolute dream of immortality, eternal youth…
Other themes dear to me joined the fold : childhood, the regret and remorse of pas tacts, questions about the existence of God, life after death and above all the meaning of life. References to the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, hints at Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah and of course hommage to La Jetée too became intertwined with these themes.
And then, like an answer to this obsessive quest for meaning, everything fell in to place with ease, certainty. The elements of this project, like the pieces of a puzzle, came together.
There was also the meeting with Chris Marker in this improbable and fascinating world that is Second Life. And so came the decision to to use not only photo and video as media for the film but also Second Life and 3D. What could be more natural than a virtual world in the guise of the backdrop to memory ? Not to mention the very symbolism of Second Life : a world in which it is possible to be reborn as many times as one wishes, where you can stay forever young and live several lives.
Finally there was the choice of using a voice-over to tell the story together with a variety of music. Sound is an important pillar for the film. The trips in to memory happen due to sound and its also partly through the moan of one of the characters that the analogy between death and birth is illustrated.
Is the end in the beginning or the beginning in the end ?
Chris Marker- to whom this short film seeks to pay hommage- considered Childhood Amnesia to be a fine response to his cult film La Jétée and that it «completes the circle».