“I am not Ulysses. No nostalgia for my country,” says the anthropologist Paul Dédalus (Mathieu Amalric) to a lover in Greece. With a title like My Golden Days, you might be forgiven to think this is indeed a nostalgia piece, but this is a film by Arnaud Desplechin, a French filmmaker who understands how to pick apart sentiment to its raw core. He understands that memories are fragments within shards of moments that wipe each other away and are never true records of the past. Time is a moment that as soon as it is considered has been altered from that moment. Desplechin is keenly aware of this, using cinematic devices like iris shots to transition between scenes that speak to the tunnel vision of memory and the filter of time. With My Golden Days, he focuses on first love and how it can haunt and form our beings as told in retrospect by Paul, who sometimes has trouble remembering things.

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