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Lynne Sachs: Tip of My Tongue

Lynne Sachs: Tip of My Tongue

Tip of My Tongue, by Lynne Sachs

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Lynne Sachs: Tip of My Tongue

Sunday, February 18, 2017, 7:30 pm

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028

Filmmaker Lynne Sachs in person!  LA premiere!

With special Los Angeles guests Ilya Abulkhanov and Elizabeth Newman (graphic artists for the film)

Filmforum welcomes back Lynne Sachs with her latest films.  In Tip of My Tongue, twelve New Yorkers born in the early 1960s across several continents “visit” every year of their lives in a brash, self-reflexive experiment about what it’s meant to live in America over the last half century. Director and participant Lynne Sachs, who wrote her own series of 50 poems for every year of her life, guides her collaborators across the landscape of their memories. She gives each person the same historical timeline as a catalyst for an exploration of the relationship between their personal lives and the times in which they have lived. Initially strangers with nothing in common but their age, the group works together writing, performing and filming. Using the backdrop of the horizon as it meets the water in each of NYC’s five boroughs as well as abstracted archival material, Sachs’ project becomes an activator in the resurrection of complex, sometimes paradoxical reflections. In the dreamscape of the movie, each participant embraces shards of the past, knowing that his or her connection to a historical moment may be tenuous but allowing for that ambiguity and mystery. In this way, traditional timelines are replaced by a multi-layered, cinematic architecture that both speaks to and visualizes the nature of historical expression.

“A mesmerizing ride through time, a dreamscape full of reflection, filled with inspired use of archival footage, poetry, beautiful cinematography and music. Raises the question of how deeply events affect us, while granting us enough room to crash into our own thoughts, or float on by, rejoicing in the company of our newfound friends.”  (Screen Slate, Sonya Redi

“A beautiful, poetic collage of memory, history, poetry, and lived experience, in all its joys, sorrows, fears, hopes, triumphs, and tragedies … rendered in exquisite visual terms, creating an artful collective chronicle of history.” (Screen Anarchy, Christopher Bourne,

INFO: ,  323-377-7238

Tickets: $10 general; $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members.  Available in advance at or at the door.

CaroleeBarbaraGunvor Composite by Lynne Sachs smaller

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor

By Lynne Sachs 

2018, Super 8mm and 16mm film transferred to digital, 8 min.

Sneak preview!

From 2015 to 2017, Lynne Sachs visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.

TipOfMyTongue Sachs Still 02



2017, color, digital, 80 min.

Directed by Lynne Sachs

Los Angeles Premiere!

Cinematography -Sean Hanley; Editing - Amanda Katz; Music and Sound Design - Stephen Vitiello; Archival research - Craig Baldwin

Featuring: Dominga Alvarado, Mark Cohen, Sholeh Dalai, Andrea Kannapell, Sarah Markgraf, Shira Nayman, George Sanchez, Adam Schartoff, Erik Schurink, Accra Shepp, Sue Simon, Jim Supanick

Supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Arts and a McDowell Colony Residency

"In Tip of My Tongue, the past is unearthed, turned over and reconsidered in new and astonishing ways. To mark her 50th birthday, filmmaker Lynne Sachs gathers a group of her contemporaries—all New Yorkers but originally hailing from all corners of the globe—for a weekend of recollection and reflection on the most life-altering personal, local, and international events of the past half-century, creating a collective distillation of their times. Interspersed with poetry and flashes of archival footage, this poignant reverie reveals how far beyond our control life is, and how far we can go despite this.” Kathy Brew, Museum of Modern Art

“Lynne Sachs’ lively and always fascinating documentary “Tip Of My Tongue” breathes life and even laughter into collective remembrances of the last third or so of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century. Sachs is turning 50.  As with other people reaching that milestone, it’s an occasion for looking back.  But rather than conducting an exercise in solo reminiscence, the filmmaker invites friends and acquaintances who are around the same age for a weekend of remembering moments from their lives over the past five decades.

Sachs’ record of her experiment avoids airless nostalgia to become a living breathing chronicle.  The film’s not concerned with calling up memories for a particular year.  The frequent sight of years being written on surfaces other than paper unchains the participants’ memories from the fetters of the concrete past.   Instead, the recalled stories possess both present-day parallels and a small resurrected detail from the past.   A childhood recollection of the Kennedy assassination seems like a foreshadowing of children’s lives ruined by the possibility of gun violence.  A biracial man’s memory reminds the viewer of just how relatively recently interracial relationships were still illegal.  There’s an air of playfulness to the whole project.  Excerpts from the filmmaker’s poetry over the years deflate the seriousness of momentous events such as the Moon Landing.   Expected period footage coexists with irreverent animation.  One memory play evokes the joy of sitting underneath a tree and chatting with friends on a summer day. Sachs’s unconventional documentary style will disconcert more literal-minded viewers.  Sometimes one person’s story is cut off midway through on the soundtrack and replaced with a tale from a different person.  Nor does Sachs directly identify any of the participants, even herself.  Some repeated shots are metaphors for the process Sachs is chronicling.  But the filmmaker’s approach pays off.  Sachs’ film shows that living with and through a momentous event doesn’t have to diminish our own personal experiences.
Review in Beyond Chron: The Voice of the Rest, by Peter Wong

“Sachs has always taken an innovative approach to her subjects, gently offering the most world-turning observation in first-personal voiceover, with expertly impressionistic camerawork, in often uniquely collaborative frameworks.  The result has … notes of humor, irony, sarcasm, even as the dialogue and event itself hold to one of the fundamentals of Sachs’ entire career: a bold sincerity.  In the compilation, there is something truer than “facts” can deliver. Truth of the kind usually only fiction helps us find.”  "Immersed: Bathing in Memory" by Susan Gerhard in Poverty Arts Journal, Oct. 17, 2017 (