Reminiscence: first images of the mind maze of the creator of Westworld with Hugh Jackman


DECRYPTION – In the tradition of her brother-in-law Christopher Nolan, Lisa Joy imagines a technology capable of unearthing the most buried memories at the risk of transforming the past into addiction. Its actors comment on the trailer and this universe.

Mental labyrinths, temporal paradoxes and the fine lines between dreams and reality are revered among the Nolans. After the maze of Christopher (Inception, Tenet), from his brother Jonathan, screenwriter of‘Interstellar and Mémento, it’s Lisa Joy’s turn to set off with the thriller Reminiscence which plunges Hugh Jackman, Thandiwe Newton and Rebecca Ferguson into a perilous twilight Miami, submerged by water. The intriguing trailer, posted online Thursday, sketches a sticky atmosphere inspired by film noir. A sign of the hopes that the Warner places in this film scheduled for theaters for August 2021, these first images were commented on by its creator and its actors, in front of a handful of international journalists, including Le Figaro.

A concentrate of action inspired by mourning and a birth

Despite appearances, this concentrate of action was born from two intimate moments. Co-creator of the HBO series Westworld, Christopher’s sister-in-law and Jonathan’s wife, Lisa Joy was tidying up her late grandfather’s belongings when she came across a snapshot of a woman pictured during her grandfather’s youthful wanderings in Asia. His grandfather had never mentioned this passer-by who nevertheless inspired the name he gave to his property in England. The sanctity of this fleeting meeting marked Lisa Joy, who wondered why innocuous moments can change the course of a life or mark it forever, even though the moment in question can quickly become blurry in our memory. She then begins to write the screenplay and then becomes pregnant. “One night in exhaustion from breastfeeding, I told myself that this wonderful baby smell, this moment of grace was not going to last. My child would grow up. I would have given anything to freeze this night, its noises », says the director.

Of which act. In Reminiscence, Lisa Joy imagines a near future in which technology can stimulate memory and project her most precious, most buried memories by rediscovering the emotion of the very moment they were conceived. Until the smells. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), private investigator and former soldier traumatized by his experiences, made it his living with his best friend (Thandiwe Newton).

Lisa Joy re-teamed with her Westworld actress Thandiwe Newton Ben Rothstein / Warner

Their existence is turned upside down when Nick agrees to help a certain Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) find her keys. The request, very simple at the start, and this plunge into the unconscious of this elegant stranger leads to a devastating love at first sight which turns into obsession when Mae vanishes into thin air. As Nick struggles to unravel his disappearance, he uncovers a terrible plot and must answer the question, how far is he willing to go to save those he loves? Because everything is only pretense, warn its stars Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson, delighted to play with the archetype of the femme fatale.

To be haunted by his past or to haunt his memories?

The Swedish actress, revealed by the English soap opera The White Queen then Impossible mission, plays an elusive sphinx character. Only seen through the eyes of others, of men. “Reminiscence puts us in front of our social character and asks us who are we? Who is Mae? Each of the protagonists conceives of it a different image that I embody. It was complex to find your essence that way. It embodies this gap between what we want to be, the impression we make ”, summarized the one that we will find in Dune. Rebecca Ferguson was the only possible choice for Lisa Joy: “Mae had to sing, seduce, be witty, be defined by the gaze of others while searching for herself.”

The enigmatic Mae Warner / Ben Rothstein

Hugh Jackman arrived from the genesis of the project. Lisa Joy approached him before she even completed her first draft. The X-Men star was intrigued by the very concept of the project: “Addiction to the past”. “It is often said that we are haunted by our memories, but isn’t it quite the opposite? We are unable to leave them in peace, even if it means forgetting to be in the present. Nick hunts for dreams, visions. Often it takes us a lifetime to figure out what desire we really need to fulfill rather than scattering.

The filming of Reminiscence ended just before the coronavirus erupted in February 2020. Echoes of the film depicting a world ravaged by war and global warming with containment came as a source of surprise for the team. Like switching social relationships to Zoom, a practice not so far removed from Nick’s machine that probes memory and projects results. On the set, Lisa Joy and her technicians tried to develop an immersive device and limit the use of green funds. A real experience that the entire cast is eager to present to viewers. More than a few months of waiting.

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