In Memory of Me (2006) – By Duane L. Martin

 In Memory of Me has been doing the rounds around the film festival circuit and has won several awards including awards for best performer and best female director. Before I get into why it won awards though, let’s go through what the film was about.

This is a short film about a woman name Eva (Maryfrances Careccia) who fell in love with another girl named Jolie (Tasha Ames) when they were in high school. After an intimate encounter between the two, Eva was supposed to meet Jolie on the night of the prom so they could go to it together. Instead of meeting her though, she started thinking about all the difficulties having a lesbian relationship would cause in her life and how much she would have to give up to be with the girl she loved. It was all too much for her and she ended up leaving.

Now it’s eight years later and she’s come back to town with her fiancee Jon (Alberto Zeni) to attend the wedding of another friend she went to high school with. After they arrive and start talking to some old friends, someone mentions that Jolie’s mother died of cancer. Eva hadn’t heard that and splits off from everyone so she can head out to find Jolie and talk to her. She wants to straighten things out and explain what happened back on that night and why she stood her up. They do end up talking and make their peace with the past, but to tell anymore would be to give away the ending, which I don’t want to do here.

Now to say this whole production was highly professional would be an understatement. Everything from the camera work, the sound, the editing and even the music were all expertly crafted together into a highly professional piece that was a pleasure to watch. Every single member of the cast was highly professional, playing their parts with an obvious understanding of what writer/director Samantha Lavin was trying to achieve. It’s always a pleasure for me to watch work like this because you can really see the care and talent that went into making it. Everyone involved in this production is a credit to the industry and they should all be proud of the final product. It’s not surprising this film has won awards and has been accepted to a large number of festivals.

There’s only one point I’ll fault this film on, and that’s the plot / ending. While it was well written and very well played out, it’s been done before. Many, many times before. I was really hoping for some little extra twist at the end that would make it stand out amongst the other stories of this type, but it never happened. The "surprise" ending wasn’t really much of a surprise, and it was a little disappointing to me because I knew that with just a little extra twist or an ending that wasn’t so cliche, it would have left the viewer with a feeling as though they had just watched something great. As it was, when the movie was over, I left it feeling like I had just watched a whole lot of talent that could have used just a little bit more imagination.

This is a short film, coming in at just over twenty minutes. Samantha Lavin is using it to raise funds for a feature length version. Honestly, I don’t really see the need for a feature length version of this particular film. The story is told perfectly in this one, and to lengthen it out and add filler all over the place just to stretch it out doesn’t seem overly necessary. Then again, I don’t know what she has planned for the feature. I would imagine it would go back and show what happened with the two girls in high school with the build up of their relationship and what happened after. I’m sure if there’s a way to work this film into a feature length version, Samantha Lavin has the talent and the skills to do it.

Before I wrap this up, I mentioned that the music in this film was really good. If you’d like to find out more about the people that did the songs for this film, you’ll find links to them on the film’s website in the links section. Be sure to check them out. It’s well worth your time if you’re a music lover.

You can check out the film’s website to get all the latest news plus tons of other great info.