Sometimes a work of art gets its point across in a straight fashion, we meet the characters as they journey from point A to point B in a particular moment of their lives; but sometimes the work to tell a story adds a new dimension to its message, making it a richer and more immersive experience. This is the case of Memorial Park, a work that combines the effort of people from different backgrounds to give us a story that is grand in its simplicity and beauty.
Memorial Park is a film that serves as a visual accompaniment to post rock artist Matt Kivel’s latest album that day, on the beach, which has been released by CDMX label Pedro Y El Lobo. Each track corresponds to a vignette featuring intimate moments of ordinary people in Mexico City as they go about their lives, indulge in a pastime or just take a breather in their chosen environment. The camera sometimes frames close quarters, giving the film the feeling of peeking into the moment where these individuals are at their most vulnerable; sometimes the perspective is from a distance, and sometimes it focuses away from faces as well, shifting our idea of how we approach each character. It makes the viewer concentrate on the little moments when small acts are vastly important and comforting in the human experience.
Co-directed by Mexican filmmaker Andrés Arochi and Canadian-Mexican poet/multidisciplinary artist Alana Burns, Memorial Park benefits from both of their perspectives. Burns has a background on psychology and body language, something that shines through the film; while Arochi’s career as Director of Photography is reflected on how normal life settings become gorgeous scenery. Memorial Park is perfectly complemented by the lush atmospheric instrumental soundtrack.
There are two versions of the project. There’s the 30-minute full-length companion to the album and a shorter one featuring one track and focuses on a compendium of scenarios from the full-length, moving faster to create a collage of lives. This piece of cinema verité is the story of poetry found in everyday life as interpreted by a group of different people who came together to tell this particular story.