Analysis Of The Film Memento

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Director Christopher Nolan′s film Memento (2000), is loosely based from the concept of a short story named Memento Mori written by his brother Jonathan. This story is about a man named Leonard Shelby who is suffering from anterograde amnesia, which is a loss of ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long term memories from before the event remain intact. Leonard was hit over the head during an attack which resulted in his wife being raped and murdered. With the help of contact named Teddy and a bartender named Natalie, Leonard set out for revenge. Since the attack Leonard has set out to exact revenge on the man who has caused him suffering. He helps himself by writing notes, taking photographs, and tattooing himself with important notes and facts. An analysis of the film Memento reveals the use of film techniques such as editing, non-linear storytelling, symbolism, director's style, musical score, color, and cinematography that creates an intellectual stimulant that has the viewer deciphering a puzzle in a reversed chronological order.
Non-linear storytelling is the structure of a film in which time is presented. This means that the film can start at the beginning or the ending. The first film cited as an experiment of non-linear storytelling was Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956). The structure that Kubrick based the film was from Lionel White's novel Clean Break. As Kubrick's film was nearly meant to be a test, it wasn't until Quentin Tarantino whom with the release of Pulp Fiction (1994) raised the popularity of non-linear storytelling in the twentieth century (LoBrutto 2012). So non-linear storytelling is fairly ne...

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...mirror revealing the dual natures within her femme fatale, by the intimate conversation she holds with Leonard by confiding in him of her loss in order to gain his trust. Another notable symbolism used in the film is the photographs which Leonard uses to recreate his short term memory. The fact that he is forced to rely on his old memories to survive turn out to be difficult because Leonard can't realize the true meaning of the photos he carries and therefore is not capable of reaching the same ending every time he sees them. In other words, his dependance on the photos to remember only helps him remember an alternate reality. Thus, as seen by Leonard’s dialogue, “We don’t need mirrors to remind ourselves of who we are”, Nolan explains that the deception of one’s memories cannot be justified whether it be for the better good for it can only lead one to harm’s way.
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