31 January 2011

Monday Mondays: Memento

This week's movie monday is pretty awesome. It's [another] one of those wonderful little mind-bending classical-hollywood-cinema-twisting indie gems that really makes you think. It's got a great director/screenwriter (christopher nolan) and an equally great cast (Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano) that really make this movie one of a kind.

Memento is unique in that it goes backwards in time, kind of. Basically you watch ten minutes of the movie and then the scene changes to ten minutes before the previous ten minutes, and once it reaches the beginning of the 10 minutes you already saw it switches to ten minutes before that... I realize that probably makes no sense at all but trust me that it's awesome.

The reason for this strange time structure is that the main character, Leonard (Pearce) has suffered head trauma which has caused him to lose his short term memory. He basically can only remember ten minutes at a time, so by editing the film in this way nolan simulates the confusing and fractured sense of time that Leonard experiences.

This short term memory loss provides for some really interesting and awesome character traits in Leonard. For instance, he takes polaroids of everyone he meets and writes notes about them so that he can refer back to the pictures when he encounters someone he can't remember. He has also gotten tattoos all over his body with interesting reminders or facts that he would otherwise forget.

So what's the plot, then? Well, leonard is on a search for the man who broke into his house, raped and killed his wife, and knocked him out (causing his short term memory loss). Supposedly this is the last event Leonard can remember, and he has made it his life's purpose to find the intruder and kill him. As the mystery unravels, so do the intricacies of Leonard's character and his relationship with the other people in the film.

I'm one of those people that really enjoys (for lack of a better expression) mind-fuck movies that make you sit there and think and then want to watch the film over again- so if you are too, this is the film for you. Here's the trailer:

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