Back Up My Memories (Selene Citro & Luna Lunardi, Italy, 2018)
Part speculative fiction and part introspective look at memory, Back Up My Memories is an interesting short film from directing duo Selene Citro and Luna Lunardi that uses a combination of evocative imagery and an unnerving soundtrack to present the process of a human brain being cryogenically frozen, and of the memories of a life it contains being extracted and preserved. The short film examines themes of life, death and the role memory plays in both of these universal human experiences.
Cryopreservation often represents a search for immortality in science fiction. Indeed, technology leading to immortality has been a staple of the genre since Mary Shelley gave us Frankenstein (1818). Although its central theme is far from an original concept, Back Up My Memories presents its themes in an interesting and thought-provoking way due to a combination of arresting imagery and sound. In particular, the use of colour is striking; a blend of sterile whites and eerie blues create a sense of otherworldliness that is both strange yet alluring.
It is sci-fi and fantasy cinema performing one of its simplest pleasures: seeing strange images that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. The transitional shot of the brain being frozen as it crystallises into ice is a fantastic visual and a great example of what can be achieved with low budget special effects and a little imagination.
Perhaps where the film is let down slightly is in its very short running time. At only three minutes (and that includes the credits), there is just enough time to introduce the concept and establish themes, but there is a distinct sense that you are left wanting more. True, the premise likely would not stretch to a longer run time but Back Up My Memories still has the impression of ending before it really begins. However, a short film that establishes a science fiction premise, explores several themes and ultimately leaves the audience wanting more is nothing to complain about.
Back Up My Memories is a short but satisfactory dive into a science fiction future that may well be science fact sooner than we might think.
'Back Up My Memories' was a film submission in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2018.