Although it’s pieced together from memories, Mehdi Shiri’s 2015 film Still Life doesn’t feel especially nostalgic. There’s a sense of attachment, sure—the ending narration makes that clear—but its rotating figures, with their bright colours and shifting contexts, are more of an appreciation of moments past than a longing to experience them again. Nostalgia isn’t always a bad thing (Nate Milton’s “Feelings” is a perfect example of a film that uses it well), but it can be a crutch. Shiri takes a different tack, imagining the memories associated with objects, and questioning what happens when the objects break. As the object falls apart and reassembles, the memories fragment, too, giving an odd mixture of brightness and melancholy that never quite resolves itself.

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