Residue (2020)

Residue (2020)

A profound and technically sharp experiment in depicting memory on screen

7.5

Movie

United States of America
English
Drama
2020
MERAWI GERIMA
Dennis Lindsey, Derron "Rizo" Scott, Jacari Dye
90 min

TLDR

Always fun when a film about filmmaking acknowledges how full of themselves artists are sometimes.

What it's about

Seeking inspiration, a young filmmaker comes home to his childhood neighborhood and finds that things have changed vastly since he's been away.

The take

A great example that you don't necessarily need millions of dollars to deliver something technically brilliant, Residue takes a simple story of a man coming home and layers its images and sound design together until it becomes something else entirely. And even with its aesthetic sophistication, the performances behind it still come off as nothing less than genuine—as if writer/director Merawi Gerima was filming a documentary or just a bunch of people hanging out in their neighborhood. The film's experimental nature does, unfortunately, somewhat get in the way of the protagonist having a more well-defined worldview or philosophy to his own filmmaking. But overall the film remains an entirely unique gem for anybody willing to tru something different.

What stands out

The ways in which Residue uses editing to blur reality and memory aren't exactly novel, but they're done with such clarity of vision that they feel new anyway. And Gerima doesn't only do these little filmmaking tricks for the sake of empty style, but to make us think about what memory reallt means to different characters. For some, it may be a way to compensate for the loss that one has yet to come to terms with in their lives; and for others, it could serve as their lifeline to a time and place that they hope to return to.

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