Sunday, May 24, 2020

Yesteryear (2020)

With this year's Covid 19 outbreak causing a desire for a lost simpler time, director Chris Esper takes a look at how we view our past through home movies. The result is film which will hit you like a ton of bricks as it  sends ripples of nostalgia through you.

Made up of home video and film footage from his family as well as from other sources Esper replays moments in our lives, from getting the camera, to birthdays, Christmas, vacations, Fourth of July and other events. There is a no narration we only hear the words from the films or the gentle score. The result is a connection to that part of our memories where we connect to to these seemingly simpler times.

Was the world ever this simple? Probably not. But it is how we tend to remember it, the good times shorn of the bad stuff. A decade or so on how we remember today will be via the funny videos we made and not the uncertainty we never record. Esper's film reminds us that years from now we will remember the good and not the bad.

Esper's film is a quiet stunner. It is a film of it's time. It is a cry into the  night that we will get through these difficult times and remember them fondly on the other end. It is a lovesong to the memories that give us hope for tomorrow.

Were the whole Covid 19 thing not happening I would be almost certain that Esper's film might end up in the running for an Oscar, but then again it it isn't big and showy rather it is quiet and reflective. It's more the thing that makes the hair stand up on your neck and you take into your heart forever instead of making you go wow before you move on to the next thing.

Oscar likes the big wow films.  Personally I prefer the small ones which is why I loved YESTERYEAR.

YESTERYEAR is part of the Stories In Motion series and will be released sometime this week.

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