This semester’s theme “Remembering and Forgetting” is a particularly fertile topic for films. This week we’re sharing a list of films available on popular streaming services. If you are still on campus, take a look at our list of films available to borrow from the Herman B Wells Library Media Browsing Collection.
Black Mirror, Season 1, Episode 3 “The Entire History of You” (2011, directed by Brian Welsh) – Netflix
We admit our first suggestion is not a feature film, but you don’t have to commit to the British anthology series to enjoy this exploration of memory. In this episode’s alternative reality, most people have a “Grain” implant that records their memories and allows them to re-watch them, but the technology wreaks havoc on one family’s life.
Coco (2018, directed by Lee Unkrich) – Netflix
Inspired by the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, Pixar’s animated film depicts a world where life after death depends on the loved ones left behind and how they remember you. Young Miguel wants to be a musician, despite the wishes of his family. His misadventures in the Land of the Dead put to rest a legacy of family misunderstanding and enmity. A song key to the plot, "Remember Me," won an Oscar for best original song.
The Manchurian Candidate (2004, directed by Jonathan Demme) – HBO Now
A remake of the 1962 classic, this political thriller, starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, imagines a near-future dystopian United States. When a group of former war heroes begin to experience confusing memories and dreams, the world around them— and who controls it— comes into question.
Memory Games (2019, directed by Janet Tobias and Claus Wehlisch) – Netflix
Did you know memory is a sport? This documentary about a competition features four memory athletes explaining techniques for remembering and offering insights into how the brain works.
Marjorie Prime (2017, directed by Michael Almereyda) – Amazon Prime
Octogenarian Marjorie (Lois Smith) is fading into Alzheimer’s disease, but a figure from her past (Jon Hamm) – an AI hologram of her late husband – is brought in to be her companion and help her remember. Adapted from Jordan Harrison’s off-Broadway play, the film explores the nature of memory and human existence.
OtherLife (2017, directed by Ben C. Lucas) – Netflix
In this sci-fi thriller, a new kind of virtual reality called “OtherLife” can construct realistic false memories for people to experience. When the product’s creator is imprisoned in her own technology, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the difference between real life and virtual reality.
P.S. I Love You (2007, directed by Richard LaGravenese) – Netflix
Get your tissues ready for this 2007 film based on a novel of the same name, in which a recently-widowed woman receives a string of letters from her late husband. This film explores the ways in which memory can keep us tied to the past and help us move forward.
Rememory (2017, directed by Mark Palansky) – Amazon Prime
In this sci-fi film starring Peter Dinklage, a scientist mysteriously dies after unveiling a “Rememory” machine that can extract, record, and play a person’s memories, but the device has unintended consequences.
Twelve Monkeys (1995, directed by Terry Gilliam) – Amazon Prime
Based on the celebrated short film La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962), a convict (Bruce Willis), haunted by a memory, is sent back in time to investigate the origin of an epidemic that wipes out most of humanity.
The Woman in Question (1950, directed by Anthony Asquith) – Criterion Channel
This classic mystery offers a variety of perspectives on a murdered woman. If you missed The Woman in Question at IU Cinema in October, you can watch it with the Criterion Channel, a streaming service that focuses on culturally significant films. (Pro tip: If you aren’t subscribed, there’s a 14-day free trial available.)
Other memory-themed films on the Criterion Channel include Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959, Alain Resnais), Wild Strawberries (1957, Ingmar Bergman), and the influential short film La Jetée (1962, Chris Marker).