Monday, April 12, 2010

Looking at Remember Me - Framing and Mirroring

This post contains spoilers!!

A reviewer said that Remember Me could be used as a film study, and study the film, we have been. Allen Coulter's amazing attention to detail has provided us, not just with a truly amazing film, but a film rich in details and symbolism. Some of the ladies on both Rob's and the Remember Me IMDb message boards have been discussing the film in great detail. Mils1234 compiled a detailed post of some of the observations and insights and I am going to bring them to you in a few posts here.

All the thanks goes to Mils1234, Nautiluswirl, Tedracat, AZ, Calendos, VAgirl and everyone else who took part in the discussions for these fabulous insights into the artwork and the significance.


Today's post looks at framing and mirroring.



FRAMING:
EVERYONE is shot by door frames/windows - from the muggers, to Chris C's cop, to Caroline leaving school, to vulnerable Ally pre-sex scene, to Aiden by the bathroom or coming to Ally's door...it happens throughout.






MIRRORING:
Did you guys also notice the mirroring of Tyler's shots? The first time we see him he is framed in a window, on the outside looking in. The last time we see him, he is framed in a window, on the inside looking out. I find this to be such a perfect symbol of his journey. Love Allen Coulter.



They also mirror Chris & Rob's characters throughout - both drink, prone to violence, are protective of Ally. There is one shot of Neil Craig and one of Tyler that are almost perfect matches of the other, right down to the colour of shirt and pants they are wearing. Neil's is after he microwaves dinner, grabs a beer and then is framed by a doorway walking away from the back. They use the exact same shot for Tyler after Ally leaves him and he gets up off of the sofa where Aiden is eating Chinese and then walks to the bedroom, framed by the hallway.

And the mirroring of the montage of the last scenes at the very end of the film, with those at the beginning. Of course the film ending with Ally face blurring with the subway movement and the beginning the subway movement blurring into Ally and her mother. Ally on the subway platform, the Hawkings family at the cemetery and the scenes with Caroline and her father interacting....at the beginning at Eddie's Sweet Shoppe with the way Charles would ignore her and the ending with them at the museum.

6 comments:

Katie said...

Wow, it's so crazy how I didn't even notice these things when I saw it in the theater---three times! Thanks for pointing them out! This just makes me love the movie even more, if that's even possible. They really need to make more movies like this, filled with real signifigance!

LTavares2010 said...

WOW!! Brilliant! This film is really great. I always thought in Sgt. Craig as similar to Tyler, as if we could see Tyler in the future, how he should or could be. I love them both.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

This is really brilliant. Every little thing, every single detail has a meaning in this film and it can be studied as you would study a book. Next time I see it I'm going to keep my eyes wide open for more symbolism. Thanks for this great post!

Autumn said...

I cannot wait to get the DVD on June 22nd so that I can look for all these little details that I didn't notice in the theaters. What a great post, thanks for pointing out all these details many of us probably didn't notice before.

jessegirl said...

Wow, I'd actually thought of some of this myself and 'Rum' pointed me in the direction of this site. Thanks, Rum *waves* (and skip this if you've already read it).

I thought about the mirroring--hey, I used the same word for it--of Tyler at the beginning and the end, and this is where my thoughts led me:

We meet Tyler when he is outside on the fire escape, looking inside when he hears the phone ring. We leave Tyler when he is inside the North Tower, looking out. I think this significance was built into the film deliberately. Tyler, at the beginning and throughout the film, is tortured and looking inside himself, looking in. At the end he is at peace and looking outside himself, greeting the day. (Ironically.)


Meeting and leaving Tyler: The most wrenching thing. We meet him: we look out his apartment to see Tyler safe outside, on the fire escape, smoking. When we last see him he is inside the tower and he is trapped, with no fire escape. From his position in the tower and our knowledge of where the plane struck, he would have been engulfed in the first firestorm, gone in an instant.

He is physically safe outside on the fire escape at the beginning, but is in grave emotional peril, which is illustrated by him stumbling into the room, as he stumbles through life.
And the end he skips in the hall towards his father's office, insouciant, like a carefree kid, and he calmly occupies that room with every little graceful movement. The way he lovingly smiles at the family photos, becoming more and more tranquil. (I love when he gently touches Janine's arm as he passes by her. She's sorry she doesn't remember Michael's birthdate but Tyler knows she cares. This was a very touching moment.) He now inhabits a serene emotional place. And that's the point the camera chooses to tell us where he is.

For me the shock was not so much 9/11, when he stands there. For me it was that his internal journey, from floundering to forgiving, had taken him to a beautiful soulful spot and he would die there. He would be taken away at just that point. The breath-taking beauty of his promise to the world was taken away just when it was unfurling. His voice-over when we see his journal lying in the rubble -'and I forgive you'- is the clincher really.
It's as if this is what his spirit is telling us all, in Robert's beautiful voice. But we will never see him again.

Oh yes, the final montage with that heartbreaking Zarvos score shows us Tyler's impact on the world, how each life has been changed by him. How he is remembered. And that's the uplifting part. But it is still so heartbreaking. Why? Because he is gone and all we have left are memories.

It haunts because that is the thing we, the survivors, cannot come to terms with. A young and--let's face it, physically beautiful--life is taken from us at just that turning point of his life. The promise of his new understanding and of his breakthrough shines like a beacon for one glorious moment. And then--at that exact point--Tyler is murdered, taken away. And we have to go it alone. And it is hard to bear.

And, I suppose, the death of Ally's mom at the beginning and of Tyler at the end bookend the film. Grief to begin and end.

LTavares2010 said...

@jessegirl

"For me the shock was not so much 9/11, when he stands there. For me it was that his internal journey, from floundering to forgiving, had taken him to a beautiful soulful spot and he would die there. He would be taken away at just that point. The breath-taking beauty of his promise to the world was taken away just when it was unfurling. His voice-over when we see his journal lying in the rubble -'and I forgive you'- is the clincher really.
It's as if this is what his spirit is telling us all, in Robert's beautiful voice. But we will never see him again."

It is great, Jessegirl! Tyler. Internal journey - forgiving - promise - spirit - Rob`s beautiful voice. I am very touched again just of remember. It is thrilling!

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