Lisa Joy initially considered pitching Reminiscence under a male pseudonym

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The A.V. Club 21 August, 2021 - 01:13pm 23 views

When will reminiscence be on HBO Max?

"Reminiscence" will be available to watch in theaters and with HBO Max on August 20. Business InsiderWhere to watch 'Reminiscence' — premiered August 20 on HBO Max

Did Rebecca Ferguson sing in reminiscence?

I'm so glad that Rebecca was finally able to show off her voice in a Hugh Jackman-led movie. She didn't get to do so in The Greatest Showman given the nature of the character she was playing. (Laughs.) I cast Hugh Jackman, and then I made Rebecca sing and Thandiwe fight. Hollywood ReporterHow Lisa Joy’s Journey to ‘Reminiscence’ Began at the ‘Memento’ Premiere in 2001

Reminiscence is about a hard-boiled detective (Hugh Jackman) who investigates lost memories in a flooded city. The movie also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton (from Joy’s Westworld), Cliff Curtis, and Marina de Tavira. In his review, A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd said that, in its best moments, the film “reaches past its own memories of the detective stories of yore, to something sadder and truer and more distinctive.”

Read full article at The A.V. Club

Reminiscence review: Lisa Joy’s Westworld followup lays out another awful future

Polygon 21 August, 2021 - 06:00pm

A Westworld showrunner branches out into a new form of beautiful dystopia

Lisa Joy’s noir-future mystery Reminiscence shows why. It takes place in a future where the big evils have already taken place, and there’s no sense that anyone can fight them. So instead, the characters fight their own smaller, more personal battles — against despair as much as anything else. Reminiscence doesn’t hold out a whole lot of hope for a better future, but it at least operates at a level that feels real and familiar, no matter how fantastical the actual details get.

In Reminiscence, human-induced climate change melted the polar icecaps, the ocean levels rose, and a series of wars were fought to secure waning resources and precious dry land. The setting is a flooded future Miami, where giant walls hold the sea mostly at bay in some neighborhoods, while other areas now resemble Venice, with canals in place of streets, and boat traffic replacing cars. The daytime temperatures are also so prohibitive that Miami has become fully nocturnal.

Jackman stars as Nick Bannister, proprietor of a small shop that offers its clients full-immersion flashbacks to their own pasts. With drugs, an immersion tank, and an electrical brain-induction rig, Nick and his old military partner Watts (Westworld’s Thandiwe Newton) let people fully re-experience their own memories, perfect down to every tiny detail, and complete with you-are-there sensation. A stage-like visualizer simultaneously shows those memories in stylish 3D glory to anyone present. The visualizer initially seems beside the point — if the tech is just designed so clients can relive their pasts, why does it matter if other people in the room can see those memories too?

But Joy brings the same thought-through exploration of technology to Reminiscence that she brought to Westworld as a writer, producer, and showrunner. The new tech looks flashy and cinematic, but it also has a society-shifting impact: It’s used as a deposition tool in the courts, to help unravel the truth of a situation, and as an interrogation tool for the police, to dig memories out of criminals. And in those cases, the memories are more important to the institutional witnesses watching them play out in living color than to the drugged and immobilized subjects offering them up.

But that’s all background as well. The real purpose of the visualizer in Reminiscence is to let Nick fully fall into his past, as he gets lost in the mysteries of his memories. One night when he and Watts are seeing their usual roster of clients, a woman named Mae (Rebecca Ferguson) slips in and asks for help remembering where she put her keys. She and Nick soon become lovers, until she suddenly disappears. Convinced something terrible has happened to Mae, Nick obsessively begins reliving his own memories, looking for clues. Gradually, he gets hints that she wasn’t who she said she was, and he’s pulled into a criminal conspiracy, with Watts reluctantly trailing along after him.

But while Reminiscence often seems like a nostalgic echo of Bigelow’s film, it leans even harder into the traditional noir-movie dynamic than Strange Days, as Nick tries to run down Mae’s past. In some ways, she’s a traditional femme fatale, a beautiful mystery who comes into the life of the hero-patsy, upends it, then heads back to her troubles, tempting him to follow her and fix them. But there’s more to her than the clichés, as well. Ferguson keeps her alluring and opaque, unreadable enough to help sell the mystery. Jackman, meanwhile, turns Nick into a wide-open book, nakedly yearning for the one good thing he had in his squalid recent life, and unable to believe it might have been a lie.

Individual viewers are certainly going to bring their own emotional biases to interpreting Nick, and that’s going to heavily shape whether they see him as a romantic hero, gamely pursuing true love at all cost, or an annoying stalker who constantly endangers himself and others by refusing to let go of his irrational obsessions. He’s certainly a little of both, but it’s a funny irony that a film so hung up on relived memories is going to play out so differently to different audience members, based on their own memories of past relationships. Jackman is a charismatic performer as always, but the script makes him repetitive, clueless, simplistic, and borderline abusive, and it’s easy to find him and his quest off-putting. Then again, the movies almost always reward this kind of dogged pursuit of a seemingly unwilling woman, so viewers’ memories of past rom-coms or noir movies may come into play in setting their expectations too.

As a noir mystery, Reminiscence is certainly solid, with a series of complications and surprising reveals, and a genre-friendly helping of double-crossings and double-dealings, of slimy mobsters and rich monsters. It mostly fails through its character dynamics, especially for anyone who isn’t swooning over Nick’s monomania. Nick’s soppy voiceover not only steers the audience toward maudlin self-pity, it overexplains things better left subtle and up to interpretation, and it prevents viewers from just quietly soaking in the movie’s elaborate dystopian spectacle. It’s an irritating, intrusive drag, constantly trying to steer the audience and tell them what to think or how to feel. Joy’s symbolism can be equally heavy-handed: a bit of business with a recurring lost queen from a deck of cards is a ridiculously gratuitous bit of stagecraft in a story about a missing woman.

And much like she did with Westworld, Joy gets painfully clever with Reminiscence’s timelines, using her invented tech to play around with the audience’s perceptions. But while there’s a lot of chicanery and contrivance in a plot that sometimes feels more focused on its mechanisms than its characters, the world’s flashback machines do wind up seeming like a natural tool for making a story like this work. They give Nick a window into other people’s perspectives on Mae, and as the truth unfolds, Joy gets to show viewers exactly how things happened by effortlessly waltzing them back into the past.

That’s another bit of subtle irony, in a movie that so expressly takes place in a terrible, and sometimes seemingly inevitable future. But then, Reminiscence is rarely about looking forward. It’s a weary, intent warning about where we might be headed, not just in a big-picture science fiction mode, but on an individual level, toward a world where the only comforts exist in our memories of what we once had. It’s depressing, in more ways than one, given its cynical take on what makes life worthwhile, and what we have to do to preserve it. But it’s also refreshing to see science fiction this aware of how actively we’re careening toward a terrible future, and how our response to it is likely to be specific, personal, and just as selfish as the behavior that gets us there in the first place.

The neo-noir hits streaming on Aug. 20, free for subscribers

Thandiwe Newton Interview On Her New Film 'Reminiscence'

NDTV 21 August, 2021 - 06:00pm

The writer-director says she is obsessed with time. One way to have more of it is “to create whole new timelines and dimensions.”

In her first writers’ room, Lisa Joy was politely pulled aside and told she didn’t need to work so hard. After all, born in New Jersey to British-Taiwanese parents, she was just a diversity hire.

The experience did little to stifle Joy’s ambitions or work ethic. In 2013, while expecting her first child, she wrote the screenplay for “Reminiscence,” a tech-noir thriller, and began developing the cerebral sci-fi “Westworld” for HBO with her husband, the “Memento” screenwriter Jonathan Nolan.

After three seasons of the show — the fourth is on the way — Joy stepped up to direct “Reminiscence” herself. In the film, debuting Aug. 20 on HBO Max and in theaters, Hugh Jackman plays a private investigator who taps into clients’ memories but becomes torturously fixated on his own. It’s a story about the pull of the past set in the future, in a Miami that has succumbed to rising waters and is populated by people who have turned nocturnal to escape the searing heat of the day.

In a recent video call, Joy spoke from her office in Los Angeles about being a perpetual outsider, current events imitating science fiction, and her partnership with Nolan. These are edited excerpts from our conversation.

My main goal was to write something that entertained me while I was puking with morning sickness! Certainly it was a very dramatic moment. My husband was working a lot, I was at home with the dogs. I had a lot of time to contemplate my life. At the same time, my grandfather passed away. So there was loss as well as new beginnings. Sorting through his belongings was what really started my meditation on loss, and memory, and the way our memories start to fade.

When I write, I imagine the characters talking, I design the room, I block the scene in my head. I kind of transcribe the movie I’m already looking at. So when other directors were pitching their ideas, I realized that none of the visions aligned with my own. I wanted it to have the spirit of an independent film, to take some more risks, tell a story that wasn’t in a clear genre.

The second I even contemplated directing it, I knew Hugh was the right leading man. I wanted to show a hero unraveling, questioning his own memories and coming to understand a more nuanced version of the world. Hugh has that soulfulness. And he can also kick a lot of ass.

And romance. I wanted to have all those elements in the film. Because life is like that. The polarity of film is frustrating for me. “This is an art-house film. This is a popcorn film.” I think that underestimates audiences.

I’ve always liked stories that tackle great, big timeless themes. It’s just where my curiosity took me. When I first went around trying to pitch “Reminiscence” — I was heavily pregnant — people would look at me and think, what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you writing this mysterious, dark, violent, sexy thing? Do a rom-com! People didn’t expect me to do huge, ambitious, world-building things as a junior writer.

Stories are more universal when you don’t stick a pin in it. And when I first started contemplating this world, it was nothing like the world we live in now. I didn’t think reality would catch up to science fiction so quickly. And then, right about when the trailer dropped, there were photos of the walls they’re building in Miami. I think it was the front page of The New York Times. They looked exactly like our set designs. There are also scenes of upheaval and rioting in the streets in the movie, and political and socioeconomic unrest. There was a moment when people were like, this is too far-fetched. And then the next week riots broke out.

None of my work is explicitly confessional, but at the same time, we are who we are. I had just come off a staff that was all-male [USA’s “Burn Notice”]. I wanted to take back my story in the only way I knew how. Which was to write.

It’s not like I have some gift of prophecy. We live in this world. And we need to find a way to survive it. For me, acknowledging the cage you’re within is a way to break out of it. And it’s not just women — it’s anyone who’s felt trapped or been subjected to cruelty.

I was born in America, but my mom is Asian, my dad is British. Hollywood was as far away as the moon when I was a kid. There’s always been a feeling of displacement. But almost everybody has that. That’s part of the human condition: to feel bereft from the currents rushing around us. And it’s one of the things that you can explore in fiction without being didactic or presumptuous about another person’s specific experience. And hopefully form a connection.

It was kind of an abrupt change! I’ve always loved writing, but in the beginning, trying to be a writer was impossible. I had college debt, I had financial obligations. I worked in corporate jobs, but the whole time, I kept writing. Not because I had any expectation of being a working writer, but because it made me happy.

But working in another field for 10 years before becoming a paid writer — that’s not wasted time. When you’re a producer, it helps to be able to know how money works. Everything is a language. Math is a language. Computer science is a language. I spend a lot of time trying to be conversational in as many as possible.

It was for this complicated scene where Hugh is looking at a hologram of a memory of Hugh looking at a hologram of a memory. I called it a Hugh turducken.

[Laughs] It’s true. We met at the premiere of “Memento.” I didn’t expect to meet my future husband on the red carpet the second I stepped on it. I was skeptical of him. Hollywood has a reputation — not entirely unwarranted. But we became friends. We were pen pals for a long time.

I remember when we wrapped the finale of the first season. We had built Sweetwater [the town in “Westworld”] in Santa Clarita. It was a magical thing — you could walk those streets. The world in our head had manifested. Along with a child. We took a golf cart, and the sun was rising in the distance. And we drove through the center of Sweetwater, with our baby on my lap.

I am obsessed with time. There’s never enough of it, especially with the ones you love. And maybe one way to have more of it is to live in multiple worlds every day, to create whole new timelines and dimensions.

Reminiscence Cast & Character Guide

Screen Rant 21 August, 2021 - 11:33am

The original piece of sci-fi storytelling is set in a world where war, rising ocean tides, and memory-searching technology changed how people operate. Reminiscence follows a former war vet named Nick Bannister who runs a business that allows people to relive different memories. His life changes when a mysterious woman comes into the shop one day and he becomes infatuated with her. But, he's haunted by her memory when she suddenly disappears and searches the globe and other people's minds for answers in the hope of finding her.

While Jackman is at the forefront of Reminiscence, he is surrounded by plenty of other actors that fill out the mystery story. This includes some familiar faces that Jackman has worked with in the past, as well as a few Westworld stars Lisa Joy previously employed. Here's a complete cast and character guide for Reminiscence.

Westworld Season 4 Introduces Even More New Worlds

CBR - Comic Book Resources 20 August, 2021 - 08:22pm

"You're going to see some new worlds that I think are really fun and you're going to see someone who I kidnapped from Reminiscence in a funny way," Joy said during a recent appearance on Deadline's Hero Nation podcast. Notably, in addition to serving as co-creator of Westworld, Joy wrote and directed the new film Reminiscence, which is currently playing in theaters and on HBO Max.

Reminiscence not only stars the likes of Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis and Daniel Wu, but also two Westworld alums in the form of Thandiwe Newton and Angela Sarafyan. However, despite apparently recruiting another Reminiscence star to appear on Westworld, Joy assures there are no plans for any sort of crossover between the two properties.

When asked to describe Westworld Season 4 in one word, Joy replied, "Inversion." The fourth season does not currently have an official premiere date, though is expected to hit HBO sometime around spring 2022. Westworld Season 4 actually had to shut down production back in July after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19, though cameras were rolling again as of Aug. 3.

Source: Deadline

Westworld Season 4 Introduces Even More New Worlds

NBC News 20 August, 2021 - 08:22pm

"You're going to see some new worlds that I think are really fun and you're going to see someone who I kidnapped from Reminiscence in a funny way," Joy said during a recent appearance on Deadline's Hero Nation podcast. Notably, in addition to serving as co-creator of Westworld, Joy wrote and directed the new film Reminiscence, which is currently playing in theaters and on HBO Max.

Reminiscence not only stars the likes of Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis and Daniel Wu, but also two Westworld alums in the form of Thandiwe Newton and Angela Sarafyan. However, despite apparently recruiting another Reminiscence star to appear on Westworld, Joy assures there are no plans for any sort of crossover between the two properties.

When asked to describe Westworld Season 4 in one word, Joy replied, "Inversion." The fourth season does not currently have an official premiere date, though is expected to hit HBO sometime around spring 2022. Westworld Season 4 actually had to shut down production back in July after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19, though cameras were rolling again as of Aug. 3.

Source: Deadline

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