Traces of Time: New American Nonfiction
Tip of My Tongue
Lynne Sachs, US, 2017, 80 min.
Yorkers born in the early 1960s across several continents “visit” every year of
their lives in a brash, self-reflexive experiment about what it’s meant to live
in America over the last half century. Director and participant Lynne Sachs,
who wrote her own series of 50 poems for every year of her life, guides her
collaborators across the landscape of their memories. She gives each person the
same historical timeline as a catalyst for an exploration of the relationship
between their personal lives and the times in which they have lived. Initially
strangers with nothing in common but their age, the group works together writing,
performing and filming. Using the backdrop of the horizon as it meets the water
in each of NYC’s five boroughs as well as abstracted archival material, Sachs’
project becomes an activator in the resurrection of complex, sometimes
paradoxical reflections. In the dreamscape of the movie, each participant
embraces shards of the past, knowing that his or her connection to a historical
moment may be tenuous but allowing for that ambiguity and mystery. In this way,
traditional timelines are replaced by a multi-layered, cinematic architecture
that both speaks to and visualizes the nature of historical expression.
Followed by a conversation with Lynne Sachs, John Muse (Haverford College) and Wazhmah Osman (Temple University).