Review by Mark Schwab
May 22nd, 2017
Memories can be very stubborn and inconvenient things. As our lead character Fix (Jay Gillespie) narrates in director Brad Champagne's self described Cyber-punk short film ANAMNESIS, "They say memories are what make us who we are. That's a nice thought if you were dealt a good hand in life." Set in the near future, Fix has invented a potent drug and machine cocktail which allows someone to steal other people's memories to replace your unwanted ones. It's only a patch job though which means that Fix gets to keep his clients "hooked" (at $40,000 per dose) insuring their nasty little memories stay buried. Unfortunately he goes a little too far in trying to "expand" his business and finds himself in a hallucinatory bind.
Cool. Very cool in fact. ANAMNESIS has a great high-concept idea that is entertaining and thought-provoking. Gillespie as Fix is perfectly gritty by riding the line between paranoia, strung out (he gets high on his own supply of course) and street smart. Champagne also uses ingenious practical effects superbly shot by DP Alexander D. Paul which draw the viewer into this world immediately and gives it just the right amount of future-shock. Similar to Shane Carruth's disturbing and mysterious UPSTREAM COLOR, ANAMNESIS hits all the visual and audio senses in unusual ways.
My one criticism is a fairly common one with ambitious (but well-executed) short films; a "proof of concept" masquerading a bit as a completed short film. But this is mostly only apparent at the conclusion and should absolutely not deter you from seeing it. ANAMNESIS has more than enough chops to be fleshed out into a feature film and I, for one, would love to see that. And they don't need to replace anyone here with "stars" - the cast and crew can acquit themselves perfectly well with a bigger budget and draw in a wider audience. We hope to see much more from Brad Champagne.