There is always a melancholic tone whenever a story is told of an old person, alone with his memories and distant recollections. This is so poignantly captured in this moving short video produced by Theo Putzu. The short video is simply called Paper Memories. Using stop-motion, Putzu masterfully tells a simple tale of nostalgia and sadness. It features no dialogue, and yet the brief video speaks volumes of the lonely life we so often fail to recognize in our elderly.
Putzu’s central character is an old man, presumed a widower, who in his pensive moments alone, decides to bring out a box of pictures filled with memories of his wife. The visuals are set against a music score that is a staccato tempo, mimicking the tick-tock of an old wind up clock. As the man opens the box and gazes at the pictures, he is drawn into another place and time.
The pictures bring him to town in spots that used to be the old haunts he and his wife would frequent. Each picture he brings with him takes him back in time, but always very fleetingly. It is almost like a flirtatious chase that he undertakes, as he grasps at a time long gone, and a woman he loved, that is no longer around. Passing through deserted buildings and old leisure places, the old man finds himself finally on a beach shore. It is here that the short production concludes when the man joins the elusive woman in the pictures by walking into the image himself. The story is a moving tale about time, people, aging, memories, and how we cope with these inescapable realties.
Putzu used an astounding 4000 pictures skillfully edited together. The carefully chosen and sorted images capture the sentiment of the story so pointedly and directly, and are graphic at depicting the sentimentality of this tale. Not surprisingly, Paper Memories has garnered quite a number of accolades, winning Audience Award in Disposable Film Festival (USA,2011), Special Jury Prizes in Miglio D’oro Film Festival (2011), Best Short Film in Corto Corto Mon Amour (Italy, 2010) and Festival Schermi Irregolari (Belgium, 2011), Trani Film Festival (2011) and even more awards in many festivals around Italy.
Putzu hails from Sardinia, Italy and now works out of Barcelona, Spain. He took up Production Design in Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence prior to taking his Masters in Directing Film in Spain’s Centro de Estudios Cinematograficos de Catalunya. Putzu says he is a hopeless dreamer.