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Memories Look At Me

Ji Yi Wang Zhe Wo

A young woman (played by director Song Fang) visits her ageing parents in Nanjing and reflects for the first time on what it means to grow old.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.

Memories Look At Me

  • Director-Screenwriter Song Fang
  • Producer Jia Zhangke, Song Fang
  • With Ye Yuzhu, Song Dijin, Song Fang
  • China 2012
  • 87 mins
  • Sales Xstream Pictures

Remember Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Flight of the Red Balloon? The young woman who played Juliette Binoche’s childminder was Song Fang, at the time a film student in Paris. Song is now back in China and this is her remarkable debut feature, a quasi-autobiographical account of a young woman visiting her ageing parents in Nanjing and reflecting for the first time – through encounters with relatives, neighbours and friends – on what it means to grow old. And on how those left behind cope with losing someone, loved or resented, with whom they’ve spent much of their lives. Song herself plays the young woman and everyone else plays themselves, but Memories Look at Me is not at all a documentary. On the contrary, it’s a very precise, very carefully calibrated account of family ties, binds and losses. Piercingly moving, too.
Tony Rayns

Director statement

I am fascinated by the time, fascinated by what it gives to us, what it takes away and what it changes. Memories often come to us without any expectation. In people’s talk, half may relate to the past. I don’t want to reproduce the past. I just want to illustrate it through conversations, by words, as it often happens in daily life. I try to make a film that consists mainly of conversations. And the relations between the events are not progressive. The events are placed on a flat surface, like the pieces on the chessboard. I also want to show the life attitude of my parents’ generation, which I cherish. Time is invisible. Apart from the alternation of day and night, and the cycle of the four seasons, what else can make us feel the passing of time? Perhaps the changes of ourselves.
Song Fang

Director biography

Born in Jiangsu, China, she studied film directing at INSAS in Belgium from 2002 to 2003, and received her MA in Film Directing from Beijing Film Academy in 2008. In 2006, she acted in Hou Hsiao-Hsien's film The Flight of the Red Balloon, and in 2009 her graduation short Goodbye received the Second Prize of the Cinefondation at Cannes. In 2010, she co-directed the documentary Yulu with five other directors, under producer Zhangke Jia.

Filmography

2009 Goodbye [s]
2010 Yulu [doc; co-d]
2012 Ji Yi Wang Zhe Wo (Memories Look at Me)


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