Memento Mori (1999)

The British Olympian Tom Daley recently made a video for his You Tube channel announcing the fact that he is currently in a relationship with another man. This was a big deal news story, and dominated the media output of that day, from the 6 o clock news to the red top rags, everyone had an opinion on the subject.

I’m sure it was a huge thing for him to have to do, and a great deal of individuals struggling with their own sexuality, who consider him a role model will have found this inspiring; because we all know that the sporting world is a sprawling bastion of homophobia, with many professional athletes choosing to live in the closet rather than risk an impact on their career. The suicide of premier league footballer Justin Fashanu is a prime example of the consequences that can occur from merely being open about who you are, and things definitely need to change.

I find it so frustrating that in this day and age, the sexuality of a person is still considered newsworthy, even titillating; when there is bloodshed, political unrest all over the world, and a potentially disaster movie sized radiation leak happening, as newsreaders talk about one young man, and where he chooses to lay his Speedo’s at night.

The gender of the person you choose to become intimate with, can be beset with heavy connotations and far reaching consequences; merely because society still isn’t quite comfortable with the idea of His and His bathrobes as a wedding gift. This is of course, the society that allows the Catholic church to allow its own priests to rape children and hush it up with money and lies, but claims that two consenting adults in love is morally wrong.

Straight people have been making a mockery of the so called ‘holy union’ for centuries, so I’m pretty sure it’s time to give the rest of the world a crack at it.

Memento Mori the second instalment of the Whispering Corridors series from South Korea (For the geographically impaired, that’s the one that’s not ruled by that baby faced DICKtator.), though the only connection is that they are both set in all girl educational facilities. It’s the story of two young girls in love. Obsessive, young, immature, all or nothing LOVE. And it’s a secret, only documented in a shared diary, full of all of their darkest thoughts, which they then lose. This is bad, mainly because South Korea isn’t the coolest place in the world to be gay, but also, because they’re kids, and kids can be mega bitchy bully monsters – think Juliet and Juliet, without the family getting involved, and a vengeful, heartbroken ghost.

This is a film that requires your full attention all the way through, as the story jumps from flashbacks to present day in a manner that can be quite confusing if you’re not following closely. That being said, it was stylish, funny in places, sweet, and heartbreakingly tragic, while playing out an eerie supernatural angle on the side. I actually preferred this to Whispering Corridors, as I found the actors much more likeable (though thankfully not relateable!), and it carried some of the slower parts through much better than some of the more popular films of the same ilk.

I’d recommend this film to anyone who likes a Shakespearean style tragedy, or a gentle, supernatural tale of suspense, although there are few elements of actual horror, and little gore; but if you’re looking for a more cerebral watch for these dark winter nights, you wont be disappointed.
Memento Mori is yet more proof, that war is hell, kid, but you’re much luckier if you get through adolescence in one piece.

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