Memoria (2015 film)

Memoria is a 2015 American film directed and written by Vladimir de Fontenay and Nina Ljeti. It is based on a short story by James Franco, who stars in the film.[2] It was released at the Austin Film Festival on November 2015, then an American release came out April 8, 2016.[3][4]

Memoria (2015 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVladimir de Fontenay
Nina Ljeti
Produced byPaul Bernon
Written byVladimir de Fontenay
Nina Ljeti
Based onPalo Alto
by James Franco
StarringJames Franco
Thomas Mann
Teo Halm
Music byIan Hultquist
CinematographyPedro Gómez Millán
Edited byJohn Paul Horstmann
Distributed byMonterey Media
Release date
  • November 1, 2015 (2015-11-01) (Austin Film Festival)
Running time
70 minutes
Box officeUS$2,242[1]


Ivan Cohen (Sam Dillon) is a young boy living in Palo Alto, California. The film begins when Ivan is a young boy and his life with his mother, a Russian immigrant, and his American step-father. Ivan appears unsatisfied with his childhood and his step-father is unable to forge a relationship with the boy. Ivan seems unhappy, noting that people only talk to him about his blonde hair, pale skin, and his Russian army jacket, all of which came from his Russian father.

Later, when Ivan is a young teen he is seen with his group of working class slacker friends and Ivan is shown to be alienated from them, although a bond appears to have formed with a female friend, Nina. Ivan appears to be jealous of a relationship between his friend Alex and a pretty girl named Kelly. Alex and Kelly's relationship continues into high school where Ivan continues to be bothered by it.

In high school Ivan tags along with his group of friends that still include Alex and Nina. Ivan is clearly a follower with this group and does not appear motivated to change his position even though he is clearly not content. One night after the group of friends take acid, they are involved in a minor car accident appearing to have struck an animal. This event shakes up Ivan. During high school one of Ivan's teachers, Mr. Wyckoff (James Franco) appears concerned about Ivan's struggles and attempts to get Ivan to open up to him. Ivan ignores and is angered by Mr. Wyckoff's attempts until he suggests a writing assignment that interests Ivan. After writing a fantasy story about his future life after high school in San Francisco that shows Ivan's dreams to be of very low aspirations yet nevertheless seem to be desirable to him, he heads to an "end of High School" party. At the party he is bored with his friends and heads off and finds Nina. Nina jokingly tells him that after high school she wants to rob banks and live in mansions and wants him to go with her. Ivan sees this as an opportunity and tries to kiss Nina. Nina rejects Ivan's advances as they are just friends and they argue about it. After Nina goes back to the party Ivan returns elsewhere in the party and to add to his anguish over the fight with Nina he walks in on a group of boys watching two people have sex in one of the bedrooms. Ivan is further disturbed when, in another room, he sees someone passed out in their own vomit. Ivan angrily heads downstairs looking for alcohol and after taking a beer another teen accuses him of stealing it and then punches Ivan. Ivan, after a terrible night, leaves and runs home where he grabs his step-father's hunting rifle and drives back to the party intent on shooting the place up. However, when he arrives the only people left are a few passed out kids and he can find no one to release his anger upon. He heads home and enter's his parents room where they are sleeping intent on killing his step-father but nerves don't allow him to do so.

The film ends with Ivan standing on the Golden Gate Bridge looking out and leaving his father's jacket on the bridge.



  1. ^ "Memoria (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  2. ^ Sneider, Jeff (2013-10-25). "Sam Dillon Joins James Franco, Thomas Mann in Indie Drama 'Memoria'". TheWrap. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  3. ^ Evans, Greg (2015-11-01). "Monterey Media Acquires 'Memoria' Based On James Franco Short Story – Austin Film Festival". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  4. ^ Santer, Kristen (2016-03-11). "James Franco Drama Teases a Haunting Adolescence in First 'Memoria' Trailer". Retrieved 2016-05-02.

External linksEdit