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bricolage \bree-koh-LAHZH; brih-\, noun: -a dump site for anything at hand, in mind-

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

memento (2000) - US Independent Movie

image source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0209144/

Combined details: (http://us.imdb.com/Details?0209144):

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Writing credits: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan (story)

Produced by:
Christopher Ball (II) .... co-executive producer (as Chris J. Ball), Elaine Dysinger .... co-producer, Aaron Ryder .... executive producer, Emma Thomas .... associate producer, Jennifer Todd (III) .... producer, Suzanne Todd .... producer, William Tyrer .... co-executive producer

Guy Pearce (Leonard Shelby), Carrie-Anne Moss (Natalie), Joe Pantoliano (Officer John Edward 'Teddy' Gammel aka John G)

Production Companies:
I Remember Productions, Llc; Newmarket Capital Group; Team Todd

Columbia TriStar Home Video [us], ECT [no], Helkon Filmverleih GmbH [de] (Germany), New World Films Internacional, S.A. [es] (Spain), Newmarket Film Group, Pathé Pictures [uk], Summit Entertainment (non-USA), UGC-Fox Distribution (UFD) [fr] (France)

MPAA: Rated R for violence, language and some drug content.
Runtime: 113
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Black and White / Color
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
Certification: Australia:MA / Brazil:16 / Finland:K-15 / France:U / Germany:16 / Hong Kong:IIB / Mexico:C / Netherlands:16 / New Zealand:R16 / Norway:15 / Singapore:PG (censored version) / Spain:13 / Sweden:15 / Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) / Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) / UK:15 / USA:R

Guy Pearce - the actor from the land downunder dubbed as the future Russel Crowe won an Oscar for his performance in this psycho-drama flick.

A husband with non-existent memory hunts down the killer of his wife through polaroid shots, scribbled notes on papers and notes tattooed on his body.

Memento (latin): memory (n, v. English)

Captured thoughts
>> Backward way of seeing things. Opening scene was a rewinded scene. Leading man suffers from short-term memory loss. Kinda reminded me of some part in "One Thousand Years of Solitude" where Buendia put notes on things in the house when the whole village suffer from Amnesia -- when he put notes on things in the motel. Use his body to tattoo sentences on it, which functions as notepad. He believes that notes can be trusted.

>> Despite the inability to remember new things, the leading man likes to remember his wife - who was murdered by someone. The leading role can't make new memory. He revived his memory by remembering the feelings he has for his wife, the touches. Story backs down every scene, per location taken. Not in "rewind" mode, but in nomral mode. The tattooed notes has different fonts. It's written backwards.

>> He said that one of his client esperiences "anterial-grade memory loss" or short-term memory loss. His client -Sammy Jankis- can't remember anything he just did. Even instinctively.

>> On the back of his thumb is written "remember sammy jankis". This handwriting seems to be Pearce's reference in his course of actions along the movie. Pearce is a claim investigator and Jankis was his client. It was in an insurance-claim case of "short-term memory loss". Jankis' wife tried to claim an insurance, based on the ground that Jankis' condition is physical and ergo, entitled to insurance money. After a series of tests, conclusion was made that his condition is psychological instead of physical. In this case which was aimed at testing his ability to avoid picking up a certain object instinctively, Jankis failed to do so. He kept picking up an electrocuted object instinctively, while he was supposed not to do that instinctively as well. The insurance declined the clain, saying that they don't cover mental illness.

>> In the case of Pearce as the leading man, he said that "habits and routine makes my life possible" and "conditioning. acting on instinct". He believes that in his habits and routines saved him from the catasthrope of short-term memory loss, as well as his ability to act on instinct. In relation to Jankis' case, his former client was not able to do so.

>> Each broken scene is full color and seemed to be connected by a black and white scene, where Pearce would kept talking on the phone and stating his conclusions on things that has just happened.

>> Memory vs instinct. It was a common revenge drama story. But was it? What if you can't feel time? IMHO, I concluded "Memento" as a psycho-drama story with a revolutionized story telling.

>> People might have different interpretation, appreciation as well as conclusion. The movie itself should probably left to film students to be carefully reviewed and analyze. While to us as a larger audience, it's a "memento", a memory, a souvenir of our daily life. Most of the time we let our daily routines and habits roll just like that. Passing us by, leaving us behind. We take our memory for granted - a total granted. Something that has been, is and will always be there for us. If only we are willing and would like, we could have stopped for a brief reflection of a nanosecond period and we might pick up a few things we have left behind. Things which, perhaps, may improve ourselves or help ourselves to see and sift things through and further on, help ourselves in our course of life.

>> The most interesting element of the movie was the backward story telling. Glad the movie wasn't set in "rewind mode", but setting it in a reverse order per scene taken has nailed most of the audience on their seats and kept them wondering about "what happened before" instead of regular "what happened next".

>> I might say that reverse ordered "Memento" has a revolutionized way of putting story into a movie. The question is, would you watch a movie that seems to test your so-called "random access memory" or would you rather watch regular "normal mode" flicks? IMHO, it's a subjective taste and choice. For me, it's like choosing to read "One Thousand Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or "Rainbow Six" by Tom Clancy

>> There are some odd scene though. It might be because of my poor observation or the movie has probably affected my short-term memory as well. Or probably the scenes were made to be like that in purpose. Only the director knows. It was when Pearce seemed to have remembered a gun, which he took control after he whacked Dodd. He remembered that the gun belongs to Dodd and convinced himself that a guy like him wouldn't carry a gun around. Au contraire, he couldn't remember that he hit Carrie Ann-Moss himself. Moss left the premise, stayed in the car while Pearce was desperately searching for pens, so that he could write things. But Moss has hidden all pens before leaving the premise. After staying in the car for a while, under the watchful eyes of Pearce, Moss entered the premise again, saying that Dood has beaten her! Pearce completely unaware of that as he soothed her. All these was set in full color, which means it is set in present time and Pearce should remember what is he doing. But hey, it's just me ;)



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