"There is a story to tell every time people and objects meet." (From the film)
Inspired by novelist Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence, this thoughtful and atmospheric film is part love letter, part documentary and part visual poetry.
Like many people, director Grant Gee read Orhan Pamuk on his first visit to Istanbul. His first impressions of the city were linked to the author's imagination. A short while later he heard of the Museum of Innocence, a museum in Istanbul that houses real objects that trace the fictional love affair described in the novel of the same name, both of which are Pamuk's creations. The museum itself is fiction and tells a tale of a doomed love affair in 70s Istanbul. The film takes a tour of the objects and is the starting point for a trip through images, landscapes and the chemistry of the city. Previously known by !f lovers for his inspired film on the author W.G. Sebald, Gee weaves documentary essay, fact and fiction into a thoughtful story whose main characters are the city of Istanbul, the Museum of Innocence, and Orhan Pamuk himself. The constellation of these -novel and museum, writer and city, reality and fiction- is explored through voiceover, interviews, music, animation, fictional sequences and archive. We are taken on an atmospheric journey through the empty streets of Istanbul at night, its nocturnal residents, the quiet drift of the Bosphorus and through exhibits in the Museum of Innocence. A subtly layered visual poem, Innocence of Memories is a complex, evocative film that lingers long after the lights have gone on.
Grant Gee is a filmmaker based in Brighton, England. Meeting People is Easy (1998), his film about Radiohead, was nominated for a Grammy. He also directed the iconic music video for the group's song No Surprises. Joy Division (2007) won the UK's Grierson Award for Best Theatrical Documentary. His previous documentary Patience (After Sebald) (2012, !f 2012) was about the mysterious writer W.G. Sebald.