screen memory

Escaping her disgust with herself, she walks out into the night to haunt a familiar tea room—to meet a familiar stranger. An encounter with the stranger, her lover, who asks her to stay here in Hiroshima is the beginning of a slow walk through the empty streets of the night city.

He’s going to kiss me. He’s going to kiss me and I’ll be lost.

She walks on, passing two strolling guitarists, lovers embracing in back seat of a parked car, another car slowing, almost stopping as it passes her, a lone lady in the night. The flickering of Japanese neon is cut with day-lit memories of the sober street signs marking the corner walls of her small French village. Her thoughts drift between both places she must eventually leave, between doomed love affairs. The filmmakers create these flashes of memory through cuts which link tracking shots that seem to keep the camera at the same up-turned angle, creating for the viewer the experience of walking the streets in two different places simultaneously, eyes turned slightly upward to read the signs.

I met you. (Hiroshima)
I remember you. (French village)
This city was tailor-made for love. (Hiroshima)

The walk through post-Nuclear-holocaust Hiroshima at night is full of memories of war-time France. A neon Eiffel Tower flashes on and off like a beacon atop a Japanese bar. One place often bleeds into another—this sort of time travel is possible at night on an aimless stroll, away from oneself.  Both places are bound by war. This walk is evidence of the inevitability and impossibility of love across cultures.

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