Tip of My Tongue

Tip of My Tongue (80 min. 2017)
a film by Lynne Sachs

To celebrate her 50th birthday, filmmaker Lynne Sachs gathers together other people, men and women who have lived through precisely the same years but come from places like Iran or Cuba or Australia or the Lower East Side, not Memphis, Tennessee where Sachs grew up. She invites 12 fellow New Yorkers – born across several continents in the 1960s – to spend a weekend with her making a movie. Together they discuss some of the most salient, strange, and revealing moments of their lives in a brash, self-reflexive examination of the way in which uncontrollable events outside our own domestic universe impact who we are. As director and participant, Sachs, who wrote her own series of 50 poems for every year of her life, guides her collaborators across the landscape of their memories. They move from the Vietnam War protests to the Anita Hill hearings to the Columbine Shootings to Occupy Wall Street. Using the backdrop of the horizon as it meets the water in each of NYC’s five boroughs as well as abstracted archival material, TIP OF MY TONGUE becomes an activator in the resurrection of complex, sometimes paradoxical reflections. Traditional timelines are replaced by a multi-layered, cinematic architecture that both speaks to and visualizes the nature of historical expression. (Anthology Film Archives Calendar)

“The past is deconstructed. Unremembered. Reconstructed. A charmingly captivating ride through a constructed dream-party full of reflection and recollection. Lynne Sachs’ inspired use of archival footage and poetry is wonderfully complimented by  Stephen Vitiello’s vibrant music and Sean Hanley’s pleasurably stimulating visual style. The personal living memory processed through poignant imagery and evocative scribblings offer a great account of (un)known global history. Stephen Vitiello’s hypnotic music in Sachs’ latest ‘Film About a Father Who’ was a match made in Cinema Paradise. The collaboration was one of the primary reasons behind my desire to watch Tip of My Tongue. The expectations were surpassed by this enchanting documentary piece.”

Sibi Sekar

Sibi Sekar was born on April 29th, 1997 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Sibi fell in love with cinema at an early age upon viewing the works of directors such as Luis Buñuel and Sergei Parajanov.  His works have been screened at over thirty festivals across five continents. He recently graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras with a master’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences and is currently working on explorative films that are primarily an ascetic representation of resistance. The thematic dispositions of his films concern the symbolic depiction of being, nothingness and the transcendental space.


“Tip of My Tongue is entrancing. As someone who was born in the mid ’90s, I am distantly removed from many of the events mentioned in the film. To hear personal accounts of the Iranian revolution or Nixon’s resignation was surreal for me, offering me a glimpse into a past I never experienced. I can only imagine the memories Tip of My Tongue would unearth for those who have lived through those same events. This film offers viewers a brilliant visual representation of what it means to remember. The metaphor one participant uses to describe the nature of political change can easily be applied to the human brain: ‘It’s like the paradigm of being part of an organism rather than part of a machine.’ It’s hardly simple, or even logical, but isn’t the complexity what makes it so interesting?” (Agnes Films, http://agnesfilms.com/reviews/review-of-tip-of-my-tongue-directed-by-lynne-sachs/)

“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 https://www.screenslate.com/features/366)

“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.” (Christopher Bourne, Screen Anarchy,

An examination of one generation’s complex and diverse navigation between public and private experience.” (“Tip of My Tongue: Film Scratches: Public Stories, Private Memories” review in Film International) http://filmint.nu/?p=20232

“The past is unearthed, turned over and reconsidered in new and astonishing ways by three filmmakers marking their return to Doc Fortnight …. 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.” (The Museum of Modern Art)


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

Music – Stephen Vitiello; Camera – Sean Hanley, Ethan Mass, Lynne Sachs; Editing – Amanda Katz; Archival Research – Craig Baldwin; Sound Mix – Damian Volpe

Selected Screenings:


Supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts and a MacDowell Colony Residency

For inquiries about rentals or purchases please contact the Cinema Guild. For international bookings, please contact Kino Rebelde