Memories Of Shiqi

An experimental film. Exploring the different textures between film and digital video. The film was shot on a Super 8 clockwork 1960s vintage camera and the archival footage was shot on a variety of mobile phones from over the preceding 2 decades.

Prosthetic memory, The conclusion (Draft)

Prosthetic Memory

Prosthetic Memory, one of the most important concepts of memory is the acceptance that memory is mediated, we construct memories rather than recall a past event inexactitude. These memories are constructed from our senses, like looking back to the past by watching a blurred and silent Super 8 movie. As Sprengnether the poet, memoirist, and literary critic quotes Freud by arguing that memory is constructed. In reference to Freud’s “Screen Memories “, “Memory, according to both Freud and Schacter, Is a shapeshifter, constantly revising itself under the pressures of self-censorship (Freud) and/or the changing ground of life experience (Schacter)”. (Sprengnether, 2012: 232)

As my research progresses deeper into the conceptualisation of memory in film, I explored the idea of prosthetic memories as memories of events not directly experienced by the individual but obtained using mass media. I determined that there were many forms of mass media that could create prosthetic memories for example novels and photographs, but primarily concentrated my research on the mass media, cinema, and film. Considering the case studies, across different film genres it becomes apparent that the terminology used for memory was insufficient and needed to be expanded upon to define the variances of memory conceptualisation in films. For example, the term false memories definition was expanded upon to integrate the concept for the imprinting of memories using brainwashing techniques. Genetic memory while still, an open point of debate in the medical world appeared to perfectly describe the transfer and eventual emergence of memories from a human host to a bioengineered lifeform that is cloned.

Prosthetic Memory - Clones

Examples of bioengineered lifeforms becoming functionally aware with memories of the genetic material donor, developing abilities to do things without knowing where these memories and life experiences were coming from. Then the term synthetic memories seemed to appropriately describe manufactured memories used to imprint the memories in replicants as in the films Blade Runner, and prosthetic memories of life experiences not lived, for example, a memory of a vacation on Mars in Total Recall. The discussion around prosthetic memories then introduced second-order memories where the protagonist wore two sets of memories and therefore two separate identities. The spy with the second set of memories could be triggered by a key phrase switching to the second level memories and the false identity created through brainwashing.

There’s still an unresolved issue with the use of audio and visual images of the protagonist who is revealed engaged in events set in the past but who has no memory of. This event from the past is shown through a visual recording of the protagonist talking to a future version of themselves. The term visual memories do not truly define this concept, however, the term visual recorded memories appear closer to a true description of this form of memory recall.

Prosthetic Memory - Videos from the past informing the future

The concept of prosthetic memory feeds directly into the next chapter on collective memory. The use of mass media to form memories in a collective audience, while not all will have the same experience or memory they will acquire memories, the collective memory of events delivered through the uniqueness and privileged environment of the cinema.

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D. (2006) The Way Hollywood Tells It. University of California Press.
Burgoyne, R. (2003) ‘Memory, history and digital imagery in contemporary film’, in Grainge, P. (ed.) Memory and popular film.
‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb (no date). Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0572236/?ref_=ttep_ep10 (Accessed: 7 March 2021).
Evans, J. (2011) Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies About Cloning. Available at: https://sciencefiction.com/2011/12/08/top-5-sci-fi-movies-about-cloning/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Gateward, F. (2004) Genders OnLine Journal – Presenting innovative theories in art, literature, history, music, TV and film., Genders Online Journal. Available at: https://cdn.atria.nl/ezines/IAV_606661/IAV_606661_2010_51/g40_gateward.html (Accessed: 17 February 2021).
Grainge, P. (2018) ‘Memory and popular film’, in Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Hiatt, B. (2003) Answers to ‘“Matrix Reloaded”’ burning questions | EW.com. Available at: https://ew.com/article/2003/05/23/answers-matrix-reloaded-burning-questions/ (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lopes, M. M., Ncc, I. and Bastos, P. B. (2019) ‘Memory ( Enhancement ) and Cinema : an exploratory creative overview’.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. (2010) ‘Cinema and memory’, in Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press, pp. 325–342.
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, Sussanah and Schwarz, B. (2010) ‘Memory’, in Radstone, Susannah and Shwarz, B. (eds), pp. 325–342.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Rife, S. (2014) Oblivion: Trouble with Cinematic Memory – Offscreen, Offscreen. Available at: https://offscreen.com/view/oblivion-cinematic-memory (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom (no date). Available at: https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Ripley_8 (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Schwab, G. (1987) ‘Cyborgs. Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind’, Discourse, 9, pp. 64–84. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41389089.
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Sprengnether, M. (2012) ‘Freud as memoirist: A reading of “Screen Memories”’, American Imago, 69(2), pp. 215–239. doi: 10.1353/aim.2012.0008.
Treffert, D. (2015) Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American Blog Network. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/ (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Prosthetic memories and Visual Memory – Chapter 2 draft

Prosthetic Memory Chapter 2 draft Pt4

Spy Films and Brainwashing

Spy Films and Brainwashing

Brainwashing

The Ipcress File (1965) Directed by Sidney J. Furie and beautifully shot by Otto Heller, is a spy film with brainwashing as the central theme. Harry Palmer is tasked to recover a highly valued British scientist that has been kidnapped. Otto Heller makes extensive use of framing, filming through the windows of a telephone box, car windows, and doors a reflection in a car mirror alternating with Dutch angles. Bordwell in the context of film style in the 1960s and comparing with French New Wave films by Jean Luc Goddard was prompted to say that, in “[t]he Ipcress File (1965), Sidney J. Furie filmed through telephone booths and hanging lampshades, prompting Michael Caine to call him a member of the “Look, Ma, I’m directing” school”. (Bordwell, 2006: 182). These framing techniques add together to disorientate the spectator. The cinematography seemingly prepares the spectator for the disorientation that comes in the brainwashing scenes.

Brainwashing dutch angle
The Ipcress File wasn’t the first time anyone had used Dutch angles or foregrounded objects in the frame, but it’s the brilliant way Furie does it, marrying technique to atmosphere and storytelling that elevates it to such a degree . . . “ (Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond, no date)

The kidnapped scientist is recovered but appears to have lost the ability to recall his research, the memories have gone, a victim of the brainwashing techniques known as IPCRESS. Harry following up on a lead calls for a raid on a warehouse where he thinks the scientist may have been held and also the location of the people responsible for the kidnapping. But the warehouse is empty except for a metal frame hanging from the ceiling and a small length of audiotape marked IPCRESS. The audiotape has the words IPCRESS printed on it, it is partially burnt where the people from the warehouse were in a hurry to leave, burning everything that could be used to identify them. The audiotape recovered in the search of the warehouse is investigated and when played back in a continuous loop a recurring sound is heard, not music but a sequence of sounds appearing to be meaningless. Harry after the murder of his associate thinks he is the next target and decides to run. Harry is abducted and incarcerated in a jail seemingly situated somewhere in the Eastern Bloc, presumably behind the Iron Curtain, his only physical contact being the guards wearing Eastern European uniforms and speaking a non-English language and his interrogator speaking English but with an accent. The guards are later identified as being Albanian by one of the main protagonists and the suggestion is that Palmer is now incarcerated in Albania. Palmer after days of solitary confinement, cold and starved is removed from his cell and placed into a cube suspended from a frame above the floor similar to the one found in the empty warehouse.

The cube is formed from a translucent cinema screen type of material onto which moving images, zooming in and out are projected on the sides of the cube. This combined with a disorientating soundtrack, the same sound heard on the IPCRESS audiotapes. The effect of this audio-visual confusion is to imprint false memories, brainwashing. Harry uses pain from repeatedly forcing a nail into the palm of his hand to concentrate his mind, focussing on the pain while deceiving his interrogator, responding as if the brainwashing had been successful. Lopes considers the effect of substituting memories and states, “ . . . [f]ilms directly address the threshold of reality and fiction; a memory from first-hand experience or construction from another mediated memory. (Lopes, Ncc, and Bastos, 2019: 2).

This also ties in with the idea of prosthetic memories. The false prosthetic memories that are imprinted through the brainwashing, essentially these are that Harry has betrayed his country, he is a traitor, that he has killed agents allied to his country. That he has stolen the IPCRESS file and sold it to an enemy of his country. These false memories, that is his prosthetic memories, combined with the trigger phrase words ‘now listen to me’ are used by the real traitor and double agent to control Harry’s actions, by forcing him to attempt to kill his boss. Harry who had resisted the brainwashing using pain as a distraction, shoots the real traitor instead. Other films with a similar trope are the Manchurian Candidate (1962) directed by John Frankenheimer and the remake of the same name Manchurian Candidate (2014) directed by Jonathan Demme.

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D. (2006) The Way Hollywood Tells It. University of California Press.
Burgoyne, R. (2003) ‘Memory, history and digital imagery in contemporary film’, in Grainge, P. (ed.) Memory and popular film.
‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb (no date). Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0572236/?ref_=ttep_ep10 (Accessed: 7 March 2021).
Evans, J. (2011) Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies About Cloning. Available at: https://sciencefiction.com/2011/12/08/top-5-sci-fi-movies-about-cloning/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Gateward, F. (2004) Genders OnLine Journal – Presenting innovative theories in art, literature, history, music, TV and film., Genders Online Journal. Available at: https://cdn.atria.nl/ezines/IAV_606661/IAV_606661_2010_51/g40_gateward.html (Accessed: 17 February 2021).
Grainge, P. (2018) ‘Memory and popular film’, in Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Hiatt, B. (2003) Answers to ‘“Matrix Reloaded”’ burning questions | EW.com. Available at: https://ew.com/article/2003/05/23/answers-matrix-reloaded-burning-questions/ (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lopes, M. M., Ncc, I. and Bastos, P. B. (2019) ‘Memory ( Enhancement ) and Cinema : an exploratory creative overview’.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. (2010) ‘Cinema and memory’, in Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press, pp. 325–342.
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, Sussanah and Schwarz, B. (2010) ‘Memory’, in Radstone, Susannah and Shwarz, B. (eds), pp. 325–342.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Rife, S. (2014) Oblivion: Trouble with Cinematic Memory – Offscreen, Offscreen. Available at: https://offscreen.com/view/oblivion-cinematic-memory (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom (no date). Available at: https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Ripley_8 (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Schwab, G. (1987) ‘Cyborgs. Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind’, Discourse, 9, pp. 64–84. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41389089.
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Sprengnether, M. (2012) ‘Freud as memoirist: A reading of “Screen Memories”’, American Imago, 69(2), pp. 215–239. doi: 10.1353/aim.2012.0008.
Treffert, D. (2015) Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American Blog Network. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/ (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

 

Chapter 2 (Draft) Second order memory

Second order memory

Electronic or audio-visual ‘lieux de memoire’ (sites of memory) have
created a kind of second order memory system that is fast becoming
a second order reality. (Grainge, 2018: 225)

This is an interesting statement a slight deviation from the prosthetic memory argument, but somewhat aligned, the idea of a second order memory system.

One individual with two memories, one real memory one not, possibly prosthetic this suggests that such an individual would also have dual identities too. When considering films with brainwashing as a central theme, false memories are imprinted into the protagonist’s brain through the use of audio and visual methods, these prosthetic memories form a ‘second order memory’ for the subject. In effect a second identity, a dual identity this second identity usually a significant departure from the protagonist’s true identity and reality.

For example, in the film Ghost in the Shell (2017) Major’s short-term memories are prosthetic, upon activation her consciousness was derived from these memories, her imprinted memories and the role as a Sector 9 operative dominates her life and creates a false identity. This false identity created by the scientists to weaponize her, to use her abilities to uphold the law against terrorists, just like the ones that caused the drowning of her parents and almost her own death. Gradually her real memories (her genetic memory) and identity leak through the prosthetic memory imprint, her second order memories revealed in flashbacks up to now begin to take over. Her second order memories become first order memories as the memory leak takes over and Major realises her life since actuation as a cyborg is a lie.

This argument offers possibilities to expand the terminology for this type of memory in films. I would suggest that prosthetic memories are interchangeable with false memories in this case but with the caveat that not all prosthetic memories are false memories. When the protagonist is imprinted with false memories then as Radstone argues the link between false and prosthetic memories can be argued.

In problematising oppositions between authentic and false memories, and between real and virtual experience, theories of cinema and prosthetic memory usher in a world in which prosthetic memories can enhance understanding of others . . . “ (Radstone and Schwarz, 2016: 355)

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D. (2006) The Way Hollywood Tells It. University of California Press.
Burgoyne, R. (2003) ‘Memory, history and digital imagery in contemporary film’, in Grainge, P. (ed.) Memory and popular film.
‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb (no date). Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0572236/?ref_=ttep_ep10 (Accessed: 7 March 2021).
Evans, J. (2011) Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies About Cloning. Available at: https://sciencefiction.com/2011/12/08/top-5-sci-fi-movies-about-cloning/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Gateward, F. (2004) Genders OnLine Journal – Presenting innovative theories in art, literature, history, music, TV and film., Genders Online Journal. Available at: https://cdn.atria.nl/ezines/IAV_606661/IAV_606661_2010_51/g40_gateward.html (Accessed: 17 February 2021).
Grainge, P. (2018) ‘Memory and popular film’, in Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Hiatt, B. (2003) Answers to ‘“Matrix Reloaded”’ burning questions | EW.com. Available at: https://ew.com/article/2003/05/23/answers-matrix-reloaded-burning-questions/ (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lopes, M. M., Ncc, I. and Bastos, P. B. (2019) ‘Memory ( Enhancement ) and Cinema : an exploratory creative overview’.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. (2010) ‘Cinema and memory’, in Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press, pp. 325–342.
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, Sussanah and Schwarz, B. (2010) ‘Memory’, in Radstone, Susannah and Shwarz, B. (eds), pp. 325–342.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Rife, S. (2014) Oblivion: Trouble with Cinematic Memory – Offscreen, Offscreen. Available at: https://offscreen.com/view/oblivion-cinematic-memory (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom (no date). Available at: https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Ripley_8 (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Schwab, G. (1987) ‘Cyborgs. Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind’, Discourse, 9, pp. 64–84. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41389089.
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Sprengnether, M. (2012) ‘Freud as memoirist: A reading of “Screen Memories”’, American Imago, 69(2), pp. 215–239. doi: 10.1353/aim.2012.0008.
Treffert, D. (2015) Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American Blog Network. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/ (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Chapter 2 (Draft) Vampires. Memories, it’s in the blood

Blade

Vampires – Memories, it’s in the Blood

Horror film sub-genre – Vampire Films

As Gateward, Professor of Media Theory argues “[t]here are so many vampire films in fact, with so many shared conventions of iconography, theme, and character, that the vampire film has become a genre in itself. And as film studies have illustrated, no genre is stagnant – they are reshaped and re-articulated by cultural circumstance”. (Gateward, 2004).

DraculaForming part of my earlier discussion on the concept of memories contained in the genetics of a human or bioengineered human such as Cyborgs and Clones, memory is in the DNA. This concept is also readily accepted in the assumption of the power of Blood memory in vampire films. There are examples in the Horror film genre in particular the myths and film conventions surrounding Dracula and Vampires. Conventions like the aversion to religious iconology, the cross, holy water a wooden stake, and more recently a wooden arrow to the heart as in Van Helsing (2004) Directed by Stephen Summers. As the Dracula myth is constantly reinvented and expanded upon one of the still true constants is Dracula’s fatal aversion to exposure to the sun, Dracula turns to ash as do all Vampires with just a few seconds of exposure.

Vampire – Blade

Blade originalBlade (1998) is different as Blade is a Daywalker, immune from the terror of the Sun’s exposure. But this is a unique example of a vampire narrative where the vampire does not burn to ash upon exposure to the Sun. Blade isn’t a pure vampire he sits somewhere between vampire and human, he has all the strengths without the weaknesses. As Gateward states in her journal, “Blade, unlike the other vampires, who must rely on sunscreen to move about in the daylight, has no such sensitivity. The vampires in the film even use the term “Daywalker” as an epithet – analogous to half-breed throughout the film”. (Gateward, 2004).

Vampire – Dracula

The myth of Dracula remains true, Dracula on exposure to full daylight turns to dust but he is able to regenerate from his ashes using blood. Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966) Directed by Terence Fisher. In the resurrection scene, Dracula’s ashes are poured into an open stone coffin. Swinging above the open coffin is the body of the blood sacrifice, with a scalpel the throat is cut and the blood flows into the coffin. Dracula reforms from his ashes under the cover of smoke until finally he climbs fully reformed, clothed complete with cape and everything down to the ring on his finger. Dracula regenerates with his memories intact. This theme is explored in alternative vampire films without Dracula central to the narrative.

Selene UnderworldIn films like Underworld (2003) the Vampire elders are able to extract memories from their victims by forcefully drinking their blood. They are also able to pass their memories down through the centuries through the sharing of blood, blood sorting.

Conan The BarbarianConan the Barbarian (2011) Directed by Marcus Nispel. While not in the theme of vampire films the link to tasting blood to access memories is explored in the protagonist, Zyms daughter, Marique who inherited her mother’s witch-like powers and can extract memories of her victims by scratching them with her extended fingernails and tasting the extracted blood to see memories as visions in the quest to track down Tamara the last surviving pure blood descendent of the sorcerers of Acheron. The memory is in the blood, the genetic memory. To clarify the vampire retains the memories of the victim through the taking of the blood yet rejuvenates as themselves.

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D. (2006) The Way Hollywood Tells It. University of California Press.
Burgoyne, R. (2003) ‘Memory, history and digital imagery in contemporary film’, in Grainge, P. (ed.) Memory and popular film.
‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb (no date). Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0572236/?ref_=ttep_ep10 (Accessed: 7 March 2021).
Evans, J. (2011) Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies About Cloning. Available at: https://sciencefiction.com/2011/12/08/top-5-sci-fi-movies-about-cloning/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Gateward, F. (2004) Genders OnLine Journal – Presenting innovative theories in art, literature, history, music, TV and film., Genders Online Journal. Available at: https://cdn.atria.nl/ezines/IAV_606661/IAV_606661_2010_51/g40_gateward.html (Accessed: 17 February 2021).
Grainge, P. (2018) ‘Memory and popular film’, in Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Hiatt, B. (2003) Answers to ‘“Matrix Reloaded”’ burning questions | EW.com. Available at: https://ew.com/article/2003/05/23/answers-matrix-reloaded-burning-questions/ (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lopes, M. M., Ncc, I. and Bastos, P. B. (2019) ‘Memory ( Enhancement ) and Cinema : an exploratory creative overview’.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. (2010) ‘Cinema and memory’, in Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press, pp. 325–342.
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, Sussanah and Schwarz, B. (2010) ‘Memory’, in Radstone, Susannah and Shwarz, B. (eds), pp. 325–342.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Rife, S. (2014) Oblivion: Trouble with Cinematic Memory – Offscreen, Offscreen. Available at: https://offscreen.com/view/oblivion-cinematic-memory (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom (no date). Available at: https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Ripley_8 (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Schwab, G. (1987) ‘Cyborgs. Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind’, Discourse, 9, pp. 64–84. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41389089.
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Sprengnether, M. (2012) ‘Freud as memoirist: A reading of “Screen Memories”’, American Imago, 69(2), pp. 215–239. doi: 10.1353/aim.2012.0008.
Treffert, D. (2015) Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American Blog Network. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/ (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

 

Prosthetic memories and Visual Memory – Chapter 2 draft

Clones and Genetic Memories – Chapter 2 draft

Prosthetic memories and Visual Memory – Chapter 2 draft

Visual Recordings - Maze Runner

Prosthetic memories and Visual Memory

Visual Recordings - Maze Runner wide imageThe Maze Runner (2014) a science fiction sub-genre of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic science fiction, is an example of how a prosthetic memory can change the direction of the narrative. How a false memory created through the use of a visual recording, a message from a past that the main protagonists did not live reveals and enlightens both the protagonists and spectators. The film opens with the main protagonist transferring to the surface from a subterranean location. The main protagonist, Thomas arrives with no memory alluding to his identity which in a few days he partially regains some memories limited to his name only. His memory has been wiped selectively, his name the only memory and identity that he knows, just like all the others. They do not know where they are in the world or the reason for their incarceration in this artificial environment, the Glade. They are determined to escape and so each day a team (the runners) explores the maze outside of the Glade, the aim to identify a route out of The Glade and escape back to the real world. Eventually, they escape only to find themselves in the laboratory, everyone appears to be dead, and the laboratory shows damage from a battle between the scientists and an unknown armed group. It is at this point when a visual recording starts to play. In the visual recording the scientist reveals that they have been the subjects of an experiment, the world is a ruin, destroyed by Sun flares and an unknown plague called the Flare, as the visual recording plays an armed battle is revealed playing out in the background. As the battle reaches a climax the scientist commits suicide in front of the camera rather than be captured.

But the visual recording is a falsehood its intention to create prosthetic memories in the small group of survivors. As the survivors are seemingly rescued from the laboratory the next scene reveals the scientist who killed herself in the visual recording is still alive and extorting to the other scientists that they are to prepare for stage 2 of the experiment. The staging of the armed assault in the laboratory and the formulation of memories of past events in the real world are essential in preparing the survivors for the next stage of the experiment. The visual recording is intended to manipulate the memories of the survivors. These survivors who because of what we have assumed to be selective memory wipes or the loss of short-term memory as they remember their names after a few days. They are not able to make a comparison between the real and prosthetic memories that they have been told through the scientist’s visual recording. For example, Burgoyne quotes Landsberg, “Landsberg argues that prosthetic memories, especially those afforded by the cinema, ‘become part of one’s personal archive of experience’.” (Burgoyne, 2003: 224). The visual recording achieves on several levels the effects of prosthetic memory. Firstly, it influences the actions of the protagonists and secondly the understanding of the spectator, as this is the only explanation of what happened to the real world. I have problems with prosthetic memory and visual recordings which include the main protagonist, as this would conflict with the definition of prosthetic memories, but this example does not.

However, in the following two examples I do have trouble coinciding the introduction and of the use of visual recording featuring the protagonist to represent memories that they have forgotten as prosthetic memories. In each case the protagonists have actually lived these memories, that is memories of events that they have forgotten and even though they are delivered by a form of mass media, that is visual recording they still believe do not reside within the definition of prosthetic memories. I featured both films in the Flashback section as they are recordings set in the past. Total Recall (1990) directed by Paul Verhoeven. In the scene where Douglas Quaid watches a visual recording of himself telling him that all of his memories are false, he is not married and not a construction worker but instead an agent actively working against Mars’s administrator Cohaagen. My problem with this visual recording revelation is that the main protagonist Douglas lived this event as he featured in the visual recording therefore it can be argued that these memories are not prosthetic memories even though he has no memory of them. This is an area that deserves to be expanded upon as the definition of prosthetic memory advanced by Landsberg seems limited.

Visual Memory - Still AliceThe other example appears in the film Still Alice (2014) Directed by Richard Glatzer. My problem with this film is the suicide visual recording that Alice records for her future self. This visual recording is created for Alice to follow when her memory deteriorates to a set point determined by her daily memory questionnaire that she checks herself against on her mobile phone.

Visual Memory

My problem with this visual recording has the same issue I have for Total Recall as the protagonist features in the visual recording of this event, a memory that she has lived and therefore does not accommodate itself within the definition of prosthetic memory. This visual recording conflicts directly with one of the key elements of the prosthetic memory definition “ ( . . . ) a memory of events they did not live ( . . . . ) “ (Landsberg, 2016). This is another example of the difficulty of defining or of even finding the exact words to describe memory in film. In this case, another name and definition should be considered for this type of memory, perhaps Visual Memory?

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D. (2006) The Way Hollywood Tells It. University of California Press.
Burgoyne, R. (2003) ‘Memory, history and digital imagery in contemporary film’, in Grainge, P. (ed.) Memory and popular film.
‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb (no date). Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0572236/?ref_=ttep_ep10 (Accessed: 7 March 2021).
Evans, J. (2011) Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies About Cloning. Available at: https://sciencefiction.com/2011/12/08/top-5-sci-fi-movies-about-cloning/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Gateward, F. (2004) Genders OnLine Journal – Presenting innovative theories in art, literature, history, music, TV and film., Genders Online Journal. Available at: https://cdn.atria.nl/ezines/IAV_606661/IAV_606661_2010_51/g40_gateward.html (Accessed: 17 February 2021).
Grainge, P. (2018) ‘Memory and popular film’, in Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Hiatt, B. (2003) Answers to ‘“Matrix Reloaded”’ burning questions | EW.com. Available at: https://ew.com/article/2003/05/23/answers-matrix-reloaded-burning-questions/ (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lopes, M. M., Ncc, I. and Bastos, P. B. (2019) ‘Memory ( Enhancement ) and Cinema : an exploratory creative overview’.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. (2010) ‘Cinema and memory’, in Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press, pp. 325–342.
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, Sussanah and Schwarz, B. (2010) ‘Memory’, in Radstone, Susannah and Shwarz, B. (eds), pp. 325–342.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Rife, S. (2014) Oblivion: Trouble with Cinematic Memory – Offscreen, Offscreen. Available at: https://offscreen.com/view/oblivion-cinematic-memory (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom (no date). Available at: https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Ripley_8 (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Schwab, G. (1987) ‘Cyborgs. Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind’, Discourse, 9, pp. 64–84. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41389089.
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Sprengnether, M. (2012) ‘Freud as memoirist: A reading of “Screen Memories”’, American Imago, 69(2), pp. 215–239. doi: 10.1353/aim.2012.0008.
Treffert, D. (2015) Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American Blog Network. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/ (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Clones and Genetic Memories – Chapter 2 draft

Moon

Genetics

Clones and geneticS memories continued

Many other films use a similar trope, the clone that does not know it is a clone Moon (2009) Directed by Duncan Jones. Sam is a clone that is not aware that it is a clone until it meets another clone, as in the film Oblivion. This film also shares similarities with Blade Runner in regard to cloning life expectancy (3 years).

Genetics and cloning in The Island
The Island – inside the facility

The Island (2005) Directed by Michael Bay. The big secret is that everyone working in the facility is supposedly a survivor in a Dystopian future and is in fact a clone. They are unaware that they are clones and that their sole purpose is to provide spare parts to their owners should their owners become sick or injured. While they do not have a complete memory of their true lives and identities and no memory of the very much safe and undamaged World outside, they have genetic memories in order to be able to function and additional prosthetic memories of why they should stay in the facility.
Genetic memories while still, an area of research in the scientific world appears to offer a solution for cinema to explain how newly created and bioengineered beings that is clones can function almost immediately and complete with memories of the original subject up to the moment of activation. Just like human babies they are born with the abilities to do things, memories that control autonomous functions, for example learning to walk, do they learn this, or is it programmed into the DNA and they just remember how to do it, genetic memory?

Genetic memories

Genetic memory, simply put, is complex abilities and actual sophisticated knowledge inherited along with other more typical and commonly accepted physical and behavioral characteristics. (Treffert, 2015)

In Science Fiction films the trope of genetic memory creates the possibility for a way of defining how clones are able to remember the original subjects’ memories. Genetic memories are memories that are encoded in genetics and may be passed on through the generations. Explicitly in the film examples, I have chosen, genetic memories are passed on from the original subject and embedded within the clone’s genetics, as part of its very DNA. The general belief is that while cloning has been proven, creating a clone with complete memories of the original would not be so easily achieved. As Evans writes “[f]or most cloning depicted in the film, there is no cloning of memories. Only the biology is duplicated ( . . . ) Duplicating a person’s memories and learning is many orders of magnitude more difficult to accomplish than copying the genetics ( . . . )“ (Evans, 2011)

Genetics and cloning of Ripley
Alien Ressurection

Another many-time replicated trope is the idea of the clone who remembers their past life. Alien Resurrection (1997) Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. This film depicts a form of genetic memory remembered in a clone, Ripley 8, although in this film it is the xenomorph that is credited with the ability to retain memories across the generations. In the final scenes of Alien3 (1992) Directed by David Fincher, Ripley’s character is shown falling into a furnace clutching the xenomorph to her chest, almost certainly to her death. Alien Resurrection opens on the premise that the scientists are attempting to recreate the xenomorph Queen from Ripley’s clone created through the recovered genetic material. By surgically removing it from the body of a fully grown clone of Ripley. We see Ripley 8 (clone number 8) who exhibits a combination of human and xenomorph genetics combined with Ripleys DNA beginning to remember her past life in the canteen scene, which surprises the scientists who despite the initial desire to terminate Ripley’s clone, ending experiment because of this, but decide not to, to see what happens. While not an authoritative source of information the consensus among fans contributing to the Alien Anthology Wiki , which states that “[t]he Xenomorphs possesses the ability to pass on their memories genetically, and because of this Ripley 8 has “inherited” vague memories that belonged to the original Ellen Ripley as well as the Xenomorph”. (Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom, no date)
Another example of the clone remembering their past life through genetic memories.

Genetics Leloo
Fifth Element – Multipass

The Fifth Element (1997) Directed by Luc Besson is another excellent example of a film where genetics DNA and genetic memory are key to the progress of the narrative. When the Fifth Element is transported back to the Earth in a spaceship and is destroyed on route by the Mangalores, there is only one survivor. The only survivor turns out to be just a severed hand holding a case. The scientists use the DNA material from the hand to create a clone. Leeloo is fully grown and complete with all her memories, grown in a machine, we see the cloning method as each layer is formed, the bones, muscles, and veins with the final process, exposure to ultraviolet rays to form the skin. Leeloo is complete both in mind and body, the genetic memories encoded into her DNA. The memories are not complete, a scene shows her watching television, rapidly scrolling through images to catch up on recent Earth’s history, martial arts, and society.

Genetics
Star Trek: Enterprise – Similitude

A final example of this trope, the clone remembering the donor’s life’s memories can be watched in a science fiction television series Enterprise (2001 – 2005), in Series 3 episode 10 Similitude (2003). Trip is injured when the engines malfunction and the only solution offered by the ship’s doctor is to grow a clone from Trip’s DNA using an alien larva. This rapidly growing clone with Trips genetics and with a lifespan of just 15 days will have its organs harvested to heal a dying Trip. As the episode progresses the clone grows to adulthood with all of Trips memories complete. As in Alien Resurrection, it is the xenomorph that is credited with being able to recreate the memories from the donor’s DNA. (‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb, no date)

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D. (2006) The Way Hollywood Tells It. University of California Press.
Burgoyne, R. (2003) ‘Memory, history and digital imagery in contemporary film’, in Grainge, P. (ed.) Memory and popular film.
‘Enterprise’ Similitude (TV Episode 2003) – IMDb (no date). Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0572236/?ref_=ttep_ep10 (Accessed: 7 March 2021).
Evans, J. (2011) Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies About Cloning. Available at: https://sciencefiction.com/2011/12/08/top-5-sci-fi-movies-about-cloning/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Gateward, F. (2004) Genders OnLine Journal – Presenting innovative theories in art, literature, history, music, TV and film., Genders Online Journal. Available at: https://cdn.atria.nl/ezines/IAV_606661/IAV_606661_2010_51/g40_gateward.html (Accessed: 17 February 2021).
Grainge, P. (2018) ‘Memory and popular film’, in Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Hiatt, B. (2003) Answers to ‘“Matrix Reloaded”’ burning questions | EW.com. Available at: https://ew.com/article/2003/05/23/answers-matrix-reloaded-burning-questions/ (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lopes, M. M., Ncc, I. and Bastos, P. B. (2019) ‘Memory ( Enhancement ) and Cinema : an exploratory creative overview’.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. (2010) ‘Cinema and memory’, in Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press, pp. 325–342.
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, Sussanah and Schwarz, B. (2010) ‘Memory’, in Radstone, Susannah and Shwarz, B. (eds), pp. 325–342.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Rife, S. (2014) Oblivion: Trouble with Cinematic Memory – Offscreen, Offscreen. Available at: https://offscreen.com/view/oblivion-cinematic-memory (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Ripley 8 | Alien Anthology Wiki | Fandom (no date). Available at: https://alienanthology.fandom.com/wiki/Ripley_8 (Accessed: 6 February 2021).
Schwab, G. (1987) ‘Cyborgs. Postmodern Phantasms of Body and Mind’, Discourse, 9, pp. 64–84. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41389089.
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Sprengnether, M. (2012) ‘Freud as memoirist: A reading of “Screen Memories”’, American Imago, 69(2), pp. 215–239. doi: 10.1353/aim.2012.0008.
Treffert, D. (2015) Genetic Memory: How We Know Things We Never Learned – Scientific American Blog Network. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/genetic-memory-how-we-know-things-we-never-learned/ (Accessed: 4 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Prosthetic Memory Chapter 2 draft Pt4

Prosthetic memory
Oblivion (2013) Jack is a clone, number 49, but he does not know this because his memories are not his own. His prosthetic memory is of the Earth’s triumph and the defeat of an Alien invasion. That his role now as a Drone repair technician is helping to protect a desolate Earth from the few remaining Alien survivors. But in truth the opposite is true, the Alien Invasion was victorious, and Jack is unknowingly carrying out the Alien’s Avatar directions, by assisting Sally to strip the Earth of its few remaining resources. In truth, the aliens he is fighting are actually Earth’s real survivors, Scavengers or Scav’s as they are referred to.

As events unfold, he begins to break through the artificial and false prosthetic memories and begin to remember the reality of what happened, eventually overriding the prosthetic memories in the process. One of the key events in understanding his true situation and identity is the chance meeting of his clone, duplicating his role in a different zone. As in the film Ghost in the Shell, the false memories begin to break down. Jack is a clone, yet he appears to retain the memories of the original Jack, hidden behind the false prosthetic memories imprinted on his brain by Sally. As Lury argues in a culture created through the use of prosthetic memory that this culture that is a [p]rosthetic culture thus provides a novel context for understandings of the person and of self-identity”. (Lury, 2013: 11). What I would argue and as Lury appears to suggest in her argument, is that Jack’s identity up to this point does not include the possibility that he is a clone, that he is uniquely Jack, not a clone and his prosthetic memories are real and inform his identity and purpose, which only changes as Jack learns his true identity.

The Maze Runner (2014) The film opens with the main protagonist transferring to the surface from a subterranean location. The main protagonist, Thomas arrives with no memory except in a few days he remembers his name. His memory has been wiped selectively, his name the only memory and identity that he knows, just like all the others. They do not know where they are in the world or the reason for their incarceration in the Glade. They are determined to escape and so each day a team (runners) explores the maze outside of the Glade, the aim to identify a route out of the false habitat The Glade and escape back to the real world.

Eventually, they escape only to find themselves in a laboratory, everyone appears to be dead, and the laboratory shows damage from a battle between the scientists and an unknown armed group. It is at this point a video starts to play. In the video the scientist reveals that they have been the subjects of an experiment, the world is a ruin destroyed by Sun flares and an unknown plague called the Flare, as the video plays an armed battle is revealed in the background. As the battle reaches a climax the scientist commits suicide in front of the camera rather than be captured. But the video is a lie its intention to create false memories, prosthetic memories in the group of survivors. As the survivors are seemingly rescued from the laboratory the next scene reveals the scientist who killed herself in the video alive and explaining to the other scientists to prepare for stage 2 of the experiment. The staging set in the laboratory and false memories of past events are essential in preparing the survivors for the next stage of the experiment. The video manipulating the memories of the survivors who because of their memory wipes cannot make any comparison between what they know and what they have been told

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D., Thompson, K. and Smith, J. (2016) Film Art: Creativity, Technology, and Business, Film Art: An Introduction.
Grainge, P. (2018) Memory and popular film, Memory and popular film. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-4726.2004.141_16.x.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2009) ‘Memory, empathy, and the politics of identification’, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 22(2), pp. 221–229. doi: 10.1007/s10767-009-9056-x.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
Radstone, S. and Schwarz, B. (2016) ‘Chapter Title : Introduction : Mapping Memory Chapter Author ( s ): Susannah Radstone and Bill Schwarz Book Title : Memory Book Subtitle : Histories , Theories , Debates’, pp. 0–10.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Spies Like Us: Harry Palmer, the Everyday Hero of ‘The Ipcress File’ • Cinephilia & Beyond (no date). Available at: https://cinephiliabeyond.org/spies-like-us-harry-palmer-everyday-hero-ipcress-file/ (Accessed: 1 February 2021).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Prosthetic Memory Chapter 2 draft Pt3

The Matrix

Prosthetic Memory

Prosthetic memory in The MatrixProsthetic Memory in Science Fiction

Because the mass media fundamentally alter our notion of what counts as experience, they might be a privileged arena for the production and circulation of prosthetic memories. The cinema, in particular, as an institution which makes available images for mass consumption, has long been aware of its ability to generate experiences and to install memories of them – memories which become experiences that film consumers both possess and feel possessed by. (Landsberg, 2016: 176)

Landsberg appears to be referring in this quote to unique environment of cinema and film which are consumed through the mass media, that is film and the privileged arena that is the cinema and its ability to create prosthetic memories. By Cinema I mean the privileged environment that is designed purposely to present film as reality. The spectator engages with films of events and life experiences of others that the spectator did not directly experience yet now has memories of, that is prosthetic memories. Film itself is a form of memory, a historical visual record of events and experiences. Science fiction genre films elevate this discourse through the central theme of prosthetic memory. Yet with some caution as Landsberg argues people may have a different experience and prosthetic memory from watching the same film. She argues “[t]wo people watching a film may each develop a prosthetic memory, but their prosthetic memories may not be identical. For each, the memories are inflected by the specificities of his or her other experiences and place in the world”. (Landsberg, 2004: 21).

Prosthetic memory in The Matrix
The Matrix

The Matrix (1999) is an example of such a film. The Matrix’s central theme is that the world is a virtual simulation. Kilbourn argues that “[t]he Matrix itself is the dream world, the false Utopia of a simulated reality”. (Kilbourn, 2019: 11). Humans are born and live their entire lives without physical interaction with the real world in this virtually simulated world, while their bodies are cocooned and used to generate essential electric power for their machine overlords. It could be argued that as all their life experiences and memories are created through interaction with a virtual simulation that these human’s memories are entirely prosthetic. They have not actually lived thier lives and events in the real world but have accumulated prosthetic memories through the use of mass technology. Landsberg states “…films gradually undermine the value of the distinction between real and simulation, between authentic and prosthetic memory” (Landsberg, 2016: 186). Appropriately in this example The Matrix reveals a world where the human populations experience and indeed memories are entirely consumed through the use of mass technology, they believe that the virtual world is real. If we consider that the entire world revealed in The Matrix is virtual with prosthetic memories implanted, this would tie in with a quote by Radstone who states “[t]he term ‘prosthetic memory’ is usually associated with postmodernist theory, with the impact of technology on memory and with the possibility that film and, more recently, digital technology, might enable the ‘implantation’ of memories of unexperienced events”. (Radstone and Hodgkin, 2003: 59). Thomas Anderson (Neo) believes his life is real, yet he lives entirely in this virtual world. Neo, a computer hacker lives on the fringes of society in this virtual world until he is contacted by the woman Trinity. Through her he meets Morpheus who reveals the true nature of world to Neo. The real world is of a devastated earth, the Sun blocked from reaching the Earth’s surface through the actions of a group of humans, a last-ditch attempt to stop the intelligent machines from world domination. Neo’s memories to this point are accrued entirely in the virtual world, his memories all prosthetic memories.

Prosthetic memory in The Matrix
The Matrix Virtual World

After Neo’s awakening and transition to the real world, Neo is introduced to the training programs. Through this Neo obtains more prosthetic memories directly input through the access port situated in the base of his skull. As Kilbourn states that, “…in the 22nd-century world of The Matrix, people do not learn by reading books or computer screens,- they simply download the information directly into their brains, as if they were themselves machines”. (Kilbourn, 2019: 3). For Neo these training programs are uploaded directly into his brain “I know Kung Fu” Neo states following the upload of not only the knowledge of martial arts but the experience of using these prosthetic memories into his brain. Armed with his new prosthetic memories of martial arts skills and experience Neo returns to the virtual world to battle with the agents who are programmed to protect the simulated world from those who wish to destroy it.

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D., Thompson, K. and Smith, J. (2016) Film Art: Creativity, Technology, and Business, Film Art: An Introduction.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Kilbourn, R. (2019) ‘RE-WRITING ” REALITY “: READING ” THE MATRIX ” Author ( s ): RUSSELL J . A . KILBOURN Source : Revue Canadienne d ’ Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies , Published by : University of Toronto Press Stable URL : https://www.jstor.or’, 9(2), pp. 43–54.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2009) ‘Memory, empathy, and the politics of identification’, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 22(2), pp. 221–229. doi: 10.1007/s10767-009-9056-x.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Prosthetic memory Chapter 2 draft 1.2 pt2

Prosthetic memory Chapter 2 draft 1.2 pt2

ghost in the shell skinny man

prosthetic memory

Prosthetic memory in Science Fiction genre films, continued.

Ghost in the Shell
Ghost In The Shell (2017)

Ghost in the Shell (2017) The live action version of the anime film of the same name, Ghost in the Shell (1995) and shared similarities with the film, Alita: Battle Angel (2019) analysed in chapter one. Consider for example the main protagonist, like Alita, Major Mira Killian is also a cyborg with no memory of her previous life. She only has memories from the time that she was first activated as a cyborg, her previous life as a human is blank with the exception of the false memories that is the prosthetic memories created by the Hanka Corporations scientists. These prosthetic memories were inserted to create a past she never experienced. The prosthetic memory of losing her parents in a terrorist attack on a refugee boat which left her body badly injured with only her brain salvageable following the attack. The brain living on in a mechanical body, which is called a shell, hence the title of the film Ghost in the Shell. In a future where the enhancement of the human body and brain is embraced and normalised, a prosthetic culture as described by Celia Lury in her book of the same name, she states “[h]owever, in post plural society or prosthetic culture, stable or reproducible context has disappeared and is no longer a natural part of every experience, but an artefact that can be altered at will” (Lury, 2013: 31). Major experiences random memories as flashbacks which are described by the Hanka scientists as glitches in her program, for which she takes drugs to repress these memories, in effect Major is the artefact that can be altered at will by her programmers, the Hanka scientists. Major sees images of locations and objects flash into and out of existence, but rather than glitches in her program these are her true memories from her past that are leaking through the chemically induced memory blocks and prosthetic memories created by the Hanka scientists, these are memory flashbacks preceding events before Major became a cyborg.

prosthetic memory ghost in the shell geisha
ghost in the shell geisha

The flashbacks appear randomly throughout the film and unlike other films using flashbacks conventions there appears to be no obvious triggers, for the spectator the identification of the flashback sequences are the visuals, that is the glitching images, image pixellation and colour shifts to indicate these are flashback memories. Major is captured by Kuze who connects her to his cyber network to access her memories and control her but then releases her. At this point she sees the image of the shrine, the identical one from her memories revealed in flashbacks blazoned on his chest, visually linking Kuze to Major’s past. Kuze reveals he is also a product of the project 2571 to create a living, functioning Cyborg, his experiment a failure, one of 98 such failures and he is now seeking revenge for what they did to him by killing all of those involved. Major begins to question her prosthetic memories, her only memories of a past life as a human, which as Landsberg states “[p]rosthetic memories originate outside a person’s lived experience and yet are taken on and worn by that person through mass cultural technologies of memory.” (Landsberg, 2004: 19).

ghost in the shell
Ghost in the Shell skinny man interrogation

The prosthetic memories of the captured assassin is revealed In the interrogation scene with the driver of the refuse truck, sent to assassinate one of those involved in Project 2571, Dr Oulet. The driver is revealed to have prosthetic memories of a life he never had. A family and daughter that do not exist. His memories replaced by the prosthetic memories inserted into his mind by Kuze, who activated him while seated in his truck and directed to crash into Dr Oulet’s car and assassinate her. After the failed assignation attempt and Kuze’s revealing his direct involvement by speaking through the body of the truck driver. Major confronts Dr Oulet about her past life, Project 2571 and the false memories, Dr Oulet who is now under orders from Cutter to terminate Major who he now considers to be a danger to his project. However, she disobeys Cutters orders and assists in her escape and giving Major an address to go to in the attempt to regain her true memories and overriding the prosthetic memories inserted by the corporation. However, Dr Oulet pays for this disloyalty and is killed by Cutter. Major breaks free from the laboratory, steals a motorcycle to the address where she finds the shrine that appears in her flashbacks. This location also triggers a flashback to the events before the prosthetic memories were inserted, back to before the start of it all. The images of Cutter and his men attacking and dragging away the children, for use in their experiments to create the perfect weapon, a cyborg, the conjoining of the human brain to a bio mechanical body. This is Major’s true origin, not a survivor of a terrorist attack but abducted by Cutter for his experiments through the Hanka Corporation. Kuze joins her at the shrine and he reveals her real name as Motoko Kusanagi, that they were friends and abducted together. (Opam, 2017). The truth is revealed in flashbacks not using conventional triggers (see chapter one) to initiate the flashback scenes. However, the spectator is aware that they are watching a flashback as visually the images are fragmented like a corrupted data file with some of the data missing, creating an imperfect image that eventually breaks up and disappears. Identity and memory are called into question as Major narrates in the final scenes “My mind is human. My body is manufactured. I am the first of my kind, but I won’t be the last. We cling to memories as if they define us, but what we do defines us. My ghost survived to remind the next of us that humanity is our virtue. I know who I am, and what I’m here to do.” (Anon, 2017).

Bibliography

Anon (2017) Ghost in the Shell (2017) – Quotes – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/quotes?ref_=tttrv_sa_3 (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Bordwell, D., Thompson, K. and Smith, J. (2016) Film Art: Creativity, Technology, and Business, Film Art: An Introduction.
Hayward, S. (2018) Cinema Studies The Key Concepts. Fitth, Book. Fitth.
Landsberg, A. (2004) Prosthetic Memory : The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=107227&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,shib&user=s1523151.
Landsberg, A. (2009) ‘Memory, empathy, and the politics of identification’, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 22(2), pp. 221–229. doi: 10.1007/s10767-009-9056-x.
Landsberg, A. (2016) ‘Prosthetic Memory: Total Recall and Blade Runner’, Body & society. SAGE Publications, 1(3–4), pp. 175–189. doi: 10.1177/1357034×95001003010.
Lury, C. (2013) Prosthetic Culture, Prosthetic Culture. doi: 10.4324/9780203425251.
Opam, K. (2017) Ghost in the Shell review: a solid film built on a broken foundation – The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15114902/ghost-in-the-shell-review-scarlett-johansson (Accessed: 21 January 2020).
Radstone, S. and Hodgkin, K. (2003) Regimes of memory, Regimes of Memory. doi: 10.4324/9780203391532.
replicant, n. : Oxford English Dictionary (no date). Available at: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/162877?redirectedFrom=replicant#eid (Accessed: 22 April 2020).
Sloat, S. (2017) False Memories in ‘Blade Runner’ Could’ve Been Solved with Science. Available at: https://www.inverse.com/article/37496-blade-runner-2049-false-memories-ryan-gosling (Accessed: 16 March 2020).
Warner Brothers (2017) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – IMDb. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856101/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (Accessed: 5 May 2020).

Prosthetic Memory – Chapter 2 draft 1.2