In the sci-fi short Lost in Memory, writer-director Hindole H-Shihan contemplates the function of memory and technology, opening with a close-up of a computer chip lodged in somebody’s neck.
That somebody is revealed to be Raphael (Ishtvan Nekrasov), a dejected young man grieving the loss of his girlfriend, Carly (Fiona Arena). He listens to a voice message from somebody who is worried about him and who sent Raphael a birthday gift that would supposedly allow him to talk to Carly again. This gift is a state-of-the-art piece of eyewear capable of bringing memories to life through voice and 3-D memory reconstruction. The advanced eyewear is a ubiquitous product sold at a steep price. How much would you pay to see a loved one again?
When Raphael puts on the glasses, he sees Carly sitting in front of him. Both subjects are framed in medium close-ups while surrounded by dim lighting. Their reunion is unnatural, with the camera ever so slightly unfixed. Raphael is fidgety as he stares at the program’s reconstruction of Carly. She looks and sounds just as he remembers her. Ishtvan Nekrasov intensifies his breathing and anxiety to show that Raphael is overcome by emotion. Raphael gets up from his chair and drops the glasses. This happens too quickly without enough emphasis on Raphael’s placement in the bustling environment. But the following scenes feel much more detailed, with production designer Leda Meintani upholding an ultra-modern apartment space with sleek curtains and shelves.
“…eyewear capable of bringing memories to life through voice and 3-D memory reconstruction.”
When Raphael tries the process again, he is bombarded by memories. The filmmaker cuts between memories utilizing whip pans and delicate lighting to distinguish reality from fantasy. When Raphael wears the glasses, the world is brighter than reality’s dreary yellow hues.
Our memories aren’t always accurate, but they’re rooted in emotion. These specific moments that we remember can be rooted in positivity or negativity. Either way, memory can function as a device to chew over past experiences. But H-Shihan is more concerned about commenting on the deceptive nature of technology and how it can cause emotional hurdles for those struggling to heal. For Raphael, remembering is not enough; therefore, he seeks solace in an artificial program. But Raphael likely won’t be able to move on if he continues to rely on the program. So, there is a gnawing fear concerning how companies and consumers respond to advances in technology and how far corporations will go for profit.
Only spanning eight minutes, you won’t be lost in memory for long, but your time spent in this strange virtual world alongside a grieving protagonist is enough to have you question whether you would do the same.
"…contemplates the function of memory and technology..."