Past Lives (2012) Cipher


All I can visually share with you is the trailer for Past Lives (2012) a collection of home made footage from 1920s – 70’s of people from the Midlands. For me this film was for a made up better word second hand nostalgia having heard my parents and family talk of times before I was born have become partially visualised through the filming of others. Of course they don’t contain my relatives, I’d know them straight away. However I can take away that something of what it was like in the 50s onwards for those still around in my family. To understand what they saw and grew up with, beyond the still and sometimes staged photographs, that themselves document important events in our family history.

Here however Cipher have used the archived footage to recapture that time, in away that romanticized what once was a way of life, major events in people lives, how the world looked back then, how they approached life. They have edited together the more magical moments that allow for better flow of the material. Something that is lacking today in a world of disposable digital material, where on a phone if you don’t like a video you can erase it from your memory card. The footage on these films carries more consideration, most reels only 3 minutes long, not wanting to waste an inch or less. Not so long ago I remember taking consideration over how to use a disposable camera, carrying only 24 frames of film.

Lastly the experience that can only be found in the aura of the original, complemented with live music, reminding me of the silent films that were compared with an organ to play the soundtrack. We have once again both the visual elements separate yet together. I time travelled through the midlands and parts of the alps through the aid of Cipher tonight. Something that only a few audience have seen so far. I really hope M.A.C.E decide to release the film on dvd so more can share in the delight of this film. Sadly without live accompaniment. I haven’t been let down, when I was first enchanted by the above trailer.

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