Memento (2001) Director: Christopher Nolan
The idea for Memento came from a screenplay idea by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan. Memento is the second feature film by Nolan, the first being self-funded called Following.
Guy Pearce stars in the film as a man suffering from acute amnesia, in which he can only remember things that happened within the last five minutes. He uses a collection of photographs and tattoos to trace his history and arrive at the man who killed his wife. Throughout the whole film the audience is guessing who to trust -can we trust an undercover officer? Can we trust the main character? His narrator? His clues? Anyone he meets? The story is cleverly told through two narratives in the film -one a black and white series of flashbacks told backwards, and the other in color happening in the present moment. Eventually the two meet up in the end.
Memento has been cited by leading scientists as a highly accurate portrayal of amnesia, each scene begins completely en media res, and we have no context, much like the main character. It is jarring and we leave the film wondering what has been accomplished?
Memento is a curious film -highly confusing and disorienting, as intended. It is a gritty mystery film in the vein of a neo-Hitchcock style. Perhaps the biggest hole in the film is that main character can remember nothing since the death of his wife, so we can he remember that he has short-term memory loss?