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Loving Memory (1971)

Posted By: Someonelse
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Loving Memory (1971)

Loving Memory (1971)
DVD5 | VIDEO_TS | PAL 16:9 | 00:49:43 | 3,55 Gb
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 @ 1536 Kbps | Subs: English
Genre: Drama

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Rosamund Greenwood, Roy Evans, David Pugh

An extraordinary debut from one of Hollywood’s most bankable UK expats, Tony Scott’s Loving Memory (1970) follows an isolated brother and sister who live with their memories and a grisly secret. Critically acclaimed on its release, Loving Memory was beautifully photographed by celebrated cinematographer Chris Menges – who captures perfectly the misty mystery of the Yorkshire moors – and features a stunning, sinister performance from Rosamund Greenwood (Village of the Damned, The Witches) as a haunted innocent.


At a scant 50 minutes, LOVING MEMORY (1971) can barely be called Tony Scott’s first feature-length film. As a quiet, pastoral character film, it’s quite the anomaly within his action-oriented canon.

Loving Memory (1971)

The film follows an old couple in midcentury England who accidentally run over a young man on his bicycle. They proceed to take the body back to their home in the country and store it in the attic. While the husband spends his days building a mine (seemingly by himself), the wife cultivates a one-sided friendship with the carcass, telling it stories of her youth and her dreams. It’s a very creepy story that raises more questions than it answers.

Loving Memory (1971)

Shot in Academy ratio 16mm black and white film, Scott builds off the visual language that he established in his earlier short, ONE OF THE MISSING (1969). He locks off his camera on a tripod and limits his movements to pans and zooms. He also employs a recurring visual motif, where he starts close up on a subject from an overhead angle, and then slowly zooms out to reveal them as a speck against a wider landscape. This is repeated several times throughout the movie to dramatic effect. For the firs time, Scott utilizes cinematographers outside himself. With LOVING MEMORY, he employs the services of Chris Menges and John Metcalf.

Loving Memory (1971)

On an audio level, Scott maintains a naturalistic atmosphere of heightened background noise, and whispered dialogue. Indeed, what little dialogue there is in this nearly-wordless film is barely intelligible. We have to strain to hear the words before they dissipate in the air like breath vapor on a cold day. The only music is non-diagetic, played from a creaky gramophone in the couple’s rustic house.

Loving Memory (1971)

LOVING MEMORY is the slightest strand of a story, but it’s strangely compelling in a morbid way. Scott gives us just enough visual information to create a sense of curiosity and mystery to the proceedings. Why does this woman dress up the dead boy as a soldier? Why is this man building a massive mine all by himself? Why did they never alert the authorities as to the accident? These questions coalesce to form an incredibly enigmatic film. It’s a far cry from the types of film that Scott would very soon be making his name on.
The Directors Series

Loving Memory (1971)

I’ve never seen anything else quite like Loving Memory. One wonders what might have happened if the British film industry had been healthy enough to engage the talent which made it. But, after some festival success, the film was too strange and too awkward in length to gain any real distribution. Scott spent the next decade working with Ridley at their production company, making commercials, before he finally directed his first mainstream feature, The Hunger (1983). This, his first American movie, is saturated in artiness rather than art, all flashy surfaces reflecting those years of directing commercials. But I think, having seen Loving Memory and glimpsed the roots of Tony Scott’s filmmaking, I can understand better now what’s going on in so many of his movies, his background in painting and visual arts adding a surface gloss to the highly commercial projects he has focused on in his three decades of Hollywood thriller making.

Loving Memory (1971)

Scott has never again made a film in England, and he has never again written his own scripts. I can’t help feeling that a genuine talent got diverted and, in some sense, has just made do with whatever has been offered to him by circumstance.

Loving Memory (1971)

Special Features:
- One of the Missing (Tony Scott, 1968, 27 min): taut psychological short about the lonely fate of a confederate soldier in the American Civil War.
- Boy and Bicycle (Ridley Scott, 1965, 28 min): follows the adventures of a truant schoolboy - played by the young Tony Scott - as he cycles round Hartlepool.

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