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Movie Review
By Ángel Jesús Hurtado Palencia

A scream inside the bathtub

Michael Lasserre is the artist responsible for the film 'Memory of Water', a film that reflects absolute dedication. In addition, it presents a very decent visual proposal that, as the minutes go by, manages to beautifully hypnotize the viewer. This French production is a passive adventure, which invites one to contemplate the photographic skill of its creator. This experience is built around a dark atmosphere where time is constantly stretched, to such an extent that it sustains its entire existence based on photographic beauty.

This film was a process that took approximately 6 years to develop, a complete work of Michael, who not only wrote but also produced, directed, and edited this poetic film, which is also his debut feature. We must also highlight the courage of its creator, because, with money from his pocket, he managed to make the film. He also highlighted his work team who supported his vision in every element of the film, and that means a lot to an independent filmmaker.

The film is a passive adventure that cries out for contemplation and analysis. The whole concept is interesting and adult, with a correct execution, a well thought out editing and a creative work well carried out, so much so that we appreciate moments of well-achieved photographic proposition. The first part takes us into the unhealthy obsession of the photographer Loïc, an unfriendly, withdrawn, and sad man, in search of the perfect creation. The photographer, moreover, wants an answer within his art that is capable of exorcising the demons of his childhood. The film immediately generates mystery, and in essence, the universe we travel through with the character is depressing and very intimate. The film devolves slowly, with a very slow pace that at times gets lost in the visual search, and indeed the level and quality of Michael are noticeable, the photographic craft of this filmmaker speaks for itself, an exercise of photographic power that does not need any voice, and thus complements its narrative. The direction is exemplary, and the narrative is profound outside the story, but seen from the guts of the film it is just poetry about the obsession of a depressing artist.


PERFECT BLUE 1997 - Satoshi Kon

It is impossible not to mention the spectacular bathtub scene, a visually dazzling moment, the face of that young woman disfigured in slow motion by the mobility of the water was sublime, her face was poetry as she drowned and screamed in despair. That precise moment reminded me of the mythical scene in the Japanese animated classic 'Perfect Blue' (1997) when Mima's character screams inside her bathtub. Michael's film fails to confront chaos directly, as it does in the passionate cinema of Satoshi Kon, 'Memory of Water' is a film that seems to maintain a constant conversation with sadness, and just as its protagonist reaches a point where it forgets its original objective, it loses its scarce narrative north, to give us an adventure of beautiful European landscapes full of cloying beauty.

The independent filmmaker doesn't mind self-criticizing, doesn't mind reviewing his behavior, and doesn't mind asking uncomfortable questions. The filmmaker is a creature who experiments in unconventional ways and uses the narrative that circulates in his blood to draw on the screen. That narrative that is defined by upbringing, the same narrative that the artist recognizes as his own and from which his search starts, is responsible for the result of his work. The genetics shown by Michael Lasserre is visually daring at times, but the blood of the film runs very slowly, it is a leisurely pace that can easily bore the mainstream companion who loves the classic language imposed by Hollywood, but if you love cinematic art, you will find in this film an intimate odyssey with surreal touches and a great experimental essence spread throughout its existence.

Techno elegance in a European city, where the most depressing part of the artist is exposed, the voice emerges in French and the written conversations emerge in English, and this ratifies the unbreakable Anglo-Saxon link that floods every production of the 21st century. From the first act, the intention regarding the cinematographic language is clear, the director decides to present the dispute between the narrative and the experiment, to make us wonder, how far will the irreverence of this film go, are we appreciating a circular exercise, or is it all about an audiovisual experiment, and I refer to a funny phrase that comes to life in the film "Loud music to clear your mind", and that is precisely what this film is, an opportunity to confront the depressed, rebellious and nonconformist artist that we all carry inside. Silence for an artist without direction is asphyxiating, all this leads me to the idea that I enjoy the most in this production, and that is the direct or indirect criticism of the experimental art scene, such as the isolation of these groups, the apathy of their actions, the repetitive rhetoric, the nonconformity within the system and I could go on until I run out of words, and I believe, deep in my creative thinking, that the best thing for an artist who is constantly experimenting is to express without remorse, therefore the final journey of this film confirms the importance of moving away from the darkness to find your light.

To conclude, I will recall the powerful passion that the immortal medium-length film 'La jetée' (1962) by the legendary Chris Marker aroused in me, that unique wit, typical of French anti-industrial cinema, is impregnated in Michael's work. Thank you for such a pleasant experience.

Screenshot 2024-03-04 at 07-52-17 MOW Press Kit 2022 English V2.pdf.png
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