The Leftovers – The Guilty Remnant


The Guilty Remnant (G.R.) are a collective that stand to be “living reminders” for those that “departed” when 2% of the population that disappeared from the world suddenly. Their overall goal is unknown to the other residents of Mapleton and their public demonstrations and actions are severe, jarring, and sometimes simply cruel: all in service of making people remember. The G.R. live in subdivisions together and are easily noticed by others. They wear all-white clothing, they chain-smoke, they don’t speak, solely communicating through written notes, and they stalk the people they wish to recruit. The stalking element to the G.R. fuels chaos, as they don’t speak and all they do is follow you, stare at you, and relentlessly smoking whilst doing so, leads to outbursts or breakdowns, both often resulting in their targets joining the cause. They wear white to set them apart from everyone else, making them stand out amongst those who have “forgotten”. However, I see there being a religious aspect to it as well, wearing white to signal to God that they have reclaimed their faith and are worthy, indicating that some believe in the ‘rapture’ theory that has been presented regarding the missing 140 million people. In a sign in one of the G.R. homes it reads “WE DON’T SMOKE FOR ENJOYMENT, WE SMOKE TO RECLAIM OUR FAITH”. This statement represents how to the G.R. the world ended on the day of the “departure” and that they accept that they’re all going to die so they no longer worry about the threat of death that is synonymous with smoking –  everyone is dead anyway. In the post-Departure world, everyone is searching for an answer. The G.R. however, feel that there is no answer, so for them to collectively assign that they belong to nothing and their sole purpose is to never forget, and more importantly, ensure that no-one ever forgets is the only way their lives have meaning anymore. The overall aesthetic of the G.R. and the way in which they have such a bold, unavoidable, unapologetic presence is what draws me to them for inspiration for my film. Their philosophy to stand as “living reminders” is tied to my desire to revisit things past that have affected our world so much but that we have forgotten, is also what has made me continue to focus on the story of The Leftovers and this aspect of that world. The G.R. is my major source of styling inspiration moving forward. Maintaining all white ensembles will project both striking and dominating visuals that will work to instantly captivate the attention of the audience.

Natasha Perkin

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