Auditory perception is triggered by tonal phenomena, such as language and music. These stimuli are the gateway to recent and distant memories of all kinds, the sequences of pleasant and often unpleasant experiences that we carry with us throughout our entire lives. They are part of us and make us who we are today.
We recall memories in many ways: through pictures, movie-like sequences, sounds and timbres, smells and, foremost, emotions.
The memories we amass during the countless events of our lifetimes merge into an enormous single memory, with the result that we can no longer recall them individually. Memories allow us to embark on mental journeys through our subjective perceptions of past, present and future. This particular form of mental time travel enables the “bearer” of episodic memory (the “self”) to access distant “thought” memories and think about future experiences through autonoetic consciousness. My main protagonist, Jost, is 84 and has been a successful architect. He has style, is self-confident and has a penchant for classic cars and the arts. He has lived an exciting life, with countless ups and downs, and it is that fictitious life story that I want to portray. Everyone should recognize something of themselves in the story and its entirety. They should be able to relate to familiar experiences at different stages of their own lives, no matter what their age or social class. I want to evoke powerful, intense emotions and to convey a sense for life.
My movie also pays homage to Switzerland. We embark on a journey through the country and learn about unique places that are subtly woven into the story. Music and tonal stimuli function as the key to Jost’s memories. The audio is visualized in the form of scientific experiments that can be found in nature. The film may seem very experimental and, at some points, follow Terence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”. The long pan shots, symbolic images, intense expressions of the actors and actresses, all conveyed by a single female voice, guide us through the story.
In some of the memories, we clearly hear brief dialogues. The male voice represents the main protagonist, Jost, and the female voice his wife Liz.
In the movie, we accompany Jost as an old man in the present to places that hold a special attraction for him. We get to know him better through his appearance and insights into his surroundings. Through music, he indulges in reminiscences, perceived by the viewer as flashbacks, that serve as an important stylistic device. We accompany Jost from adolescence to old age and share his experience of the landmarks and far-reaching twists of fate during his lifetime.