Friday, October 8, 2010

A Very Special look back at 'Remember Me' by our own @RememberMeFans

Thank you Deanna ( @sagesse223  AKA the face behind the @RememberMeFans Twitter ) for sharing your Trailer (see under the cut) as well as your experience working with Remember Me as a fan and as the owner of  @RememberMeFans. You gave us, the fans, a place to come together. I for one will always be grateful for the amazing friends I have made because of your commitment 
and belief in this project.  

So I was asked this week if I would write something about my experience working with Remember Me, and I first thought, "My goodness! I spent over a year talking about that movie. What else could I possibly have to say?"

But that sounded so ingratiating, considering how the film touched so many people. So I resolved to take a thorough glance back over my year, and what crystallized so completely for me was how the story brought so many people, from different backgrounds, together.

I confess, I have a real fascination with this fandom. I have never before experienced such passion, loyalty, camaraderie, and acerbity, all in one place.  Every single day was another drama. It was a little strange. It was a little disconcerting at times. Every person who cared about this movie, in one way or another, seemed to feel as though they had a god-given right to either criticize or defend it. OK, it was a movie, so that's probably true. But with every declaration that "Pattinson can't act" or "the ending was disrespectful", a whole army of vigilants would amass to speak on its behalf, myself included.

 See the rest including Deanna's Trailer under the cut!

The film we eventually saw on screen, inevitably, was different from story we read in the original screenplay, "Memoirs" by Will Fetters. But only inasmuch as films tend to be different on celluloid than they are in print. Certain changes were made that prevented ideas that came across neatly in a textual sense from seeming contrived when translated visually. Collectively, we mourned those changes. In a way, knowing what was intended, was part of the whole experience of appreciating the story. Anyone outside of the fandom would have a hard time understanding, being deficient from not having taken the whole journey. But you can't sell a movie by having to explain where this idea or that line really came from, how it evolved. Either you were in the know, or you were outside the boundaries of the indoctrinated.

Since the fandom, as a whole, generally encompassed Robert Pattinson fans, and this blog is in fact dedicated to him, I suppose I should take pause to give him some props. I came into this not really thinking a whole lot about the guy. Cute, sure. Young. Probably a bright future ahead of him. But I had no overwhelming attachment--I had come for the story. I had some concerns over how he was going to play Tyler, whether he could manage the depth of emotion and the complexity of the relationships that were required. And I'd have been the first person to complain if he'd failed. I was surprised and pleased at his performance. It was good. Not perfect--it's a little soon for him to peak already. Yet still very good. He held his own among some truly great actors. Not too many kids could go toe to toe with Chris Cooper and actually deepen the richness of the scene. I have to give him a lot of credit, and that can definitely be considered a compliment given the scrutiny under which I put his talent.

But the fans didn't just come out to support Pattinson. It seemed that just by considering this one film and every person who came in contact with this one actor, many other lives were brought into focus. Ruby Jerins... yeah, she clearly stole the show and our hearts. She has become a rising star to watch. Allen Coulter--a respectable director in his own right, gained a broader fanbase as we look to his future projects. Marcelo Zarvos, Greg Jbara, Martha Plimpton, Emilie DeRavin, Tate Ellington, Peyton List, Andy Mondshein--what are they working on now? The fans are richer for being introduced to them and their craft.

And Will. Who else could truly appreciate the journey but the one who breathed life into it and walked through the fire, each and every step of the way. I am humbled and honored by the overwhelmingly protective spirit we showed any time a misguided critic dared to suggest that the ending was in some way the shortcoming of a lazy writer intent on pulling at heartstrings using any cheap shot he could. It was as if we would proverbially grab that punk by the shirt-collar and say, "Hey! Let me tell you a thing or two about this WRITER!!!" We walked with Will. We knew. We interacted with him on Twitter. And what an amazing honor to do so, to be so intimately involved in the whole process.

And here I am, having once again started this essay by talking about the fandom, as if it was an entity that existed outside of myself. As if I could remove myself from membership at will. It seems to me, that part of the human condition is the tendency to isolate, to think that we are, somehow, all alone in the world. It's not true. "Our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we touch." We have more in common than we can possibly know.

When you look at a movie like Remember Me, you see a drawing together of collective experience. No matter how old we were in 2001, we have a sense of living through it. No matter what background we come from, what profession, what age, race, gender, or income, we found a common ground to discuss, to debate, to feel... together.  There is a CS Lewis quote that I invoke quite often: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.' ”  We are more alike than we think. And less alone.

Looking back on Remember Me, I can honestly say I have made a great number of new friends. I am truly, truly blessed.

I would like to end with that sentiment. But I do have to take a moment to thank the two people who made this all possible for me--Trevor Engleson and Nick Osborne from Underground Films. I don't think filmmakers generally make a habit of interacting with fans. But these guys knew this movie was special. They had the foresight to realize that it was going to reach people. And they cared. Nick still contacts me from time to time, and he still notices when people have something to say about the movie. It's has clearly touched him too. And Trevor--well, he was just crazy enough to give me a chance and answer my initial email. For that he still owes me a drink!

And on THAT note....!

Here is the Remember Me Fan Trailer that  Deanna made. Enjoy!!!


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