• film

Traces of Time: New American Nonfiction

Tip of My Tongue

Lynne Sachs, US, 2017, 80 min.

Twelve New 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).