Saturday, June 26, 2010

Beginnings and Endings: Déjà vu in Remember Me

Our talented guest blogger Jessegirl is back again and this time has written a very comprehensive and interesting article on "book-ending" in Remember Me.

The film Remember Me is a complex layered knit. Elements are mirrored, or recur or bookend in such a way that the viewer is always reminded of the other side. Using this device, the filmmakers criss-cross back and forth through the story, entwining the beginning with the end constantly, pulling every thread together with the others. When we watch, we are always being drawn back, always remembering. If you see the film only once, you will be aware of only a few of these instances, but they will all be working on you. This undercurrent hitting our subconscious minds in a kind of eternal recurrence is genius.

Bookending brings us back to the beginning. It contains the whole. It creates a package, a contained unit. The film folds back on itself over and over many times with different bookended moments. It draws parallels and similarities between them.

What do I mean? Okay, here are examples, some of which are obvious and some not so much.

1) The Twin Towers are clearly visible in the subway scene at the beginning, and there they are at the end when we see Tyler standing inside one of them.

2) The death of Ally's Mom at the beginning and of Tyler at the end bookend the film. At the beginning Ally watches her mother get killed and at the end she looks up at the towers, ashes falling around her, as Tyler has been killed. Grief to begin and end.

3) Of course there's the obvious mirroring of Alley at the subway in the first scene, and her braving it at the same station in the last scene, indicating the impact Tyler made on her life.

4) The first time we see Neil and Ally together—subway, at the killing spot—he picks her up and holds her tight. Last time we see them together, right after he gets home on 9/11, they hold each other tight. Again, they are all each other have.

5) Tyler has Michael’s name tattooed over his heart. Later, Aiden has Tyler’s name tattooed on his arm. [thanks Verlinda for noticing, Brevet post]

6) Tyler finds his brother’s hung body and Ally sees her mother killed. This is back story mirroring, not visual.

7) The Hawkins family at Michael’s grave at the beginning and then at Tyler’s at the end.

8) Neil slaps Ally. Later, Ally slaps Tyler.

9) We know Michael hung himself, which is a choking death. Then Tyler allows an incensed Neil to beat him up and almost choke him to death.

10) Ally’s Mom memorizes the mugger’s face and we memorize Tyler’s face when he stands in the tower—yes, we do; beginning and end.

There are numerical coincidences too.
11) Ally was 11 yrs. when her Mom was shot and Caroline was the same age when Tyler died.

12) Michael and Tyler were both 22 when they died. (Anyone watching a second time notices that was obvious from the get-go and Tyler blowing out the candles is, of course, basic foreshadowing.)

There are, I’m sure, more of these instances of this device in Remember Me.
But for me, the most significant and meaningful ‘bookend’ was when we meet Tyler and when he leaves us.

(I developed it on the comments of the “Framing and Mirroring” post at the Unofficial Remember Me site: Quoting the post: “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... The first time we see him—Tyler—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.) Thank you, everyone on the site, for getting me started. I will analyze this amazing bookend.

Uh-oh, unlucky thirteen.
13) 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.)

And, at the beginning, when he’s looking into the apartment, from our vantage point, the apt. is black, a black frame for him, so he is looking inside the darkness within himself. And, at the end, when he’s looking outside the window, his face is illuminated, but the background and the window area is either black/dark, or striped like bars of a jail. He is paradoxically free—the illumination—and yet captured, a prisoner of fate

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.

To take the ideas further:
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. 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 birth date 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.

What is the purpose of ‘bookending’? Why use the device? And why use it so much?
To show the circle of life? Well, it demonstrates the circularity of life. To show us cycles, repeating, recurring patterns.
But you’ll notice they don’t all repeat exactly. I will let you think of each instance and draw your own conclusions. But I’ll use one to show you how they change. At the very beginning, our eye follows the blurry subway as it travels. And there are Ally and her Mom on the platform, waiting. Then, at the very end of the film, we see Ally’s serene face, then the blurring as she sits on the subway [thanks, Kat].

The purpose of the bookends is more complex than just drawing us back to the beginning, over and over. The recurrences become resurrection. Because the interesting and significant thing is really this: The film ends, not with grief, not with the circle, not with repetition. It ends with the spiral towards the next level, with something new. It ends with hope and healing. Much as I, in my grief, died with Tyler when the screen went black and blank, that was not the end. Nor were the first shocks and sorrows from his loved ones which were depicted in the beginning of the final montage.

No, the end was when Zarvos’ score changes during that sequence. The music, a piano cutting in, slides seamlessly into a crescendo of triumph. You go from the bell-toll and violin sorrow which tears your insides, into a sadness which allows you to remember lovingly. The music and the montage shows us that with this everlasting grief comes everlasting change within. You are never the same after Tyler dies. Because he mattered. Because he made a difference. Because he loved, and so do you. Forgave, and so do you.
You heal. How? Well, your sadness allows you to hold and keep your loved one in your heart, yet go on to face the world. He has become a part of you and you never forget. Never. You keep his memory alive. You make him part of you. You speak his name. Speaking the name is a magical resurrection, do you see?
You tattoo it on your body. Make him yours. You write about him, to him. You tell him the secrets of your soul. Make him yours. You heal by carrying him inside you when you meet the world. But you meet it with a depth you hadn’t had before, before his death and your grief, before you knew.
And so the circles, the symbolic recurrences the filmmakers used to bookend the film, all dissolve as Ally smiles in that last close-up. He had made love to her in life. Tyler had come inside her. And he is there still, inside, smiling the same last serene smile he did on the day he died. Through her. And she’s made him hers. Forever. And that cannot be contained.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tate's been quite busy with interviews that he has been doing in conjunction with the Remember Me DVD release. And that is good for us! In this interview, he talked to Christina Radish of via telephone.

Tate Ellington Talks Remember Me
by Christina Radish

Now out on DVD, Remember Me is an unforgettable story about the power of love, the strength of family, and the importance of living passionately and treasuring every day of one’s life.

Tyler (Robert Pattinson) is a rebellious young man in New York City, who has had a strained relationship with his father ever since tragedy separated their family. At the encouragement of his best friend, Aidan (Tate Ellington), Tyler meets Ally (Emilie de Ravin), who understands everything that he’s going through. As her spirit unexpectedly heals and inspires him, he begins to fall for her and, through their love, he begins to find happiness and meaning in his life, until the events of 9/11 change their lives forever.

During a recent exclusive phone interview with IESB, actor Tate Ellington spoke about playing Rob Pattinson’s best friend, identifying with his character and the behind the scenes features that are included on the DVD.

IESB: How did you get into acting? Did something guide you down that path?

Tate: We didn’t really have any sort of acting thing at high school. I grew up in a town in Mississippi, and there was one theater in Jackson that was the only place to go see anything. I was originally painting. That was my thing. That’s what I still do, and that was my initial plan to go to college for. I got a scholarship for it and was supposed to be heading there. I had always wanted to try acting, and the one theater in Jackson had this summer program for two weeks, so I decided to give it a go and try it there. It turned out to be almost like a daycare. I was 17, at the time, and there was one other 16-year-old, but everybody else was eight. I felt really weird and out of place. But, the instructors ran the theater too and they asked me to audition for “The Diary of Anne Frank” for their coming season, and I did and got the job.

That was where I was sold on it. We started rehearsals and I had just never felt more at home. I was like, “This just feels right. This is exactly what I want to do.” There was one night on stage that we were doing the show, and we were already about a week in or so, and it was just some random scene that we were doing, but I just had one of those moments where I was like, “I want to do this for the rest of my life. This is what I want to do.” So, I had to turn down the art scholarship and that’s when it all started. After that, I ended up going to the University of Mississippi and tried to double major in art and theater there, but it just became too much, so I had to pick one. I knew I could always do art on my own, but I didn’t know anything about theater and wanted to learn, so that’s how it started.

To read the rest of the interview, please click here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Movie Mike's Interview with Tate Ellington

Mike Gencarelli from Movie Mike's Blog had the opportunity to interview Remember Me's Tate Ellington for his site.

Interview with Tate Ellington
by Mike Gencarelli

Tate Ellington co-starred in this spring’s drama “Remember Me” opposite Robert Pattinson (“Twilight Saga”) and Emilie de Ravin (“Lost”). Movie Mikes had the chance to talk to Tate about his role in “Remember Me”, what it was like working with his cast and what’s in store for the future.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you first think when you were going to audition for “Remember Me”?

Tate Ellington: I wasn’t aware of what the project was at first. I didn’t know it was a studio picture. I went in and didn’t feel I was right for it at first. I said “There is no way, they are going to cast me in this”. A few days later, they told me I did well but they were going to go to LA to look more and they would let me know. I said to myself that they are never going to call again. So a month goes by and they called and said the director wants to meet you. When I met Allen (Coulter), I thought i did awful. I left the room and thought this is definitely done now. I get another call a few days later and they wanted me to meet Rob (Pattinson). I never thought originally it was going to lead to me getting the job but it ended up being great.

For the rest of the interview, please click here:

Tate Ellington talks Remember Me

Tate Ellington talked with about what it was like working on the Remember Me set with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin.

by Laura Schreffler

When you think Robert Pattinson, you think of his dark and brooding Twilight Saga character, Edward Cullen. You don’t think: ‘Hey, R-Patz could totes be the next Russell Brand.’ But guess what? According to his Remember Me co-star Tate Ellington, Rob has all the makings of a seriously hilarious stand-up comic!

“He’d be a great [comedic actor],” the star, who played Rob’s BFF Aidan Hall in the film, which is released on DVD today, June 22, told exclusively during a phone chat June 21. “He would say these great and wonderful things that make you go ‘What?’ He would just crack you up the whole time. All the time, on set, he was always smiling. I think he’s hilarious. He could do straight-up comedy.”

To read the rest of the article, please click here:

Remember Me Poster Mail In

Summit Entertainment is offering a Remember Me poster via mail in for those who have purchased either the Remember Me DVD or Blu-ray.

To receive your poster:
1. Complete this claim form (in pdf file on site)

2. Enclose the cash register receipt (photocopy ok)
with the eligible purchase date and price circled

3. Enclose the original UPC bar code symbol from
the product purchased (yes, you have to cut your DVD box)

4. Mail Claim Form and enclosures to: (address on site)

Form must be postmarked by 10/1/2010, received by 10/15/2010, and purchase must be made from 6/22/2010 through 9/30/2010.

Here is the link to the site with all the necessary information and the claim form and address:

Three Remember Me Articles that Everyone Should Read

I first posted these articles when Remember Me first came out in March. They contain huge spoilers, and I advised people who did not want to be spoiled not to read them then, but to come back to them after the film. I want to re-post them again because I feel that they are must read articles that deal with the controversy that surrounded Remember Me upon it's release.

Please make sure to read this article if you have seen the film. I am so glad that Brad Brevet of Ropes of Silicon took the time to get in touch with Will and to write this article. There are spoilers, so in Brad's words, If you have not seen it (Remember Me) yet, not only do I urge you to head to the theater, but you also may want to skip reading this interview until you have.

Reacting to 'Remember Me': An Interview with Screenwriter Will Fetters

by Brad Brevet

Anyone that read my review of Remember Me already knows I enjoyed it, and was one of the select few. In fact, I have strong opinions of the film, not from the perspective of how great the acting is or whether director Allen Coulter turned in a tour de force bit of filmmaking navigation, but merely at the idea behind the film and its intentions. However, it's intentions, it seems, have been largely lost on the critical community.

Remember Me has been painted as a romance story by the majority, but is it? I saw it as something entirely different. As a result, it became a case of reading review after review and saying to myself those most cliche and pompous of all phrases, "They just don't get it." But instead of writing some all-encompassing editorial of how I thought I was right and everyone else was wrong I decided to go to the source. I contacted Summit Entertainment and requested interviews with first-time screenwriter Will Fetters and director Allen Coulter. Coulter, as it turns out, is on vacation for a week, but Fetters was available for a conversation and our discussion ended up being more than enough when it came to realizing my intentions of the piece.

For the rest of this must read article, please click here:
Ropes of Interview

To read Brad Brevet's review, please click here:
Ropes of Review

Bryan Reesman writes a must read article that takes a look at the controversy swirling around Remember Me.

“Remember Me”: Stirring Up Controversy And Emotions

by Bryan Reesman

Yesterday I submitted an essay to Moviefone about the ... new film Remember Me, directed by Allen Coulter, written by Will Fetters and starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight) and Emilie de Ravin (Lost). A topical Moviefone story can often pull in one or two dozen comments. Some have topped 100. This one reached 300 within 12 hours of being posted. At one point last night, I was literally receiving one comment per minute, and during one hour alone, the post received 78,000 views, easily making it the post of the night and landing it a top spot on AOL’s main page.

To read the essay, please click here:
Attention Deficit

In this Newsweek article, the author discusses why Remember Me is important in helping people, especially those who are younger, remember what happened.

Does ‘Remember Me’ Exploit a National Tragedy?
The new Robert Pattinson movie has an unexpected plot twist. Is it exploitative, or historically important?
From the ads on TV, Remember Me looks like your everyday college dramedy. (Spoiler alert: Surprise plot points discussed ahead!) It stars Robert Pattinson making goo-goo eyes at his college girlfriend (Emilie de Ravin). The film's poster shows the sweethearts clutched in a passionate embrace with the cryptic tagline: "Live in the moments."

What it doesn't tell you: the moments this movie is living in is the summer of 2001, and September 11 figures prominently in the final scenes. The end is so controversial, a number of blogs—from New York Magazineto Gawker to even Perez Hilton—gave every detail of it away. This isn't a story for the faint of heart. A junior-high-school-aged girl at my screening left the room weeping. Adults had tears in their eyes. The movie is poised to be one of the biggest tear-jerkers to come out of Hollywood since Titanic.

To read the rest of the article, please click here:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DVD Release #Tyler Tuesday

In honor of today's DVD release in the United States and Canada, we are re-posting all the Tyler Tuesday's from the past year! Enjoy!

Fighting Tyler!

Tyler at college!

Tyler running through Central Park!

Pink Sleeping Bag Tyler!

Thanks to IloveTwilightBR for her pink sleeping bag #TylerTuesday contribution!

Tyler at the beach!

Tyler at the Alice in Wonderland Statue

Tyler and Ally at the Fair