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Memento (Special Edition) (2000)

Cast: Guy Pearce, Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, more...
Director: Christopher Nolan, Christopher Nolan
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Independent, Suspense/Thriller, Neo Noir, Neo Noir
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

A man is determined to find justice after the loss of a loved one, even though he is incapable of fully remembering the crime, in this offbeat thriller. Leonard (Guy Pearce) is a man who is struggling to put his life back together after the brutal rape and murder of his wife. But Leonard's problems are different from those of most people in his situation; he was beaten severely by the same man who killed his wife. The most significant manifestation of Leonard's injuries is that his short-term memory has been destroyed; he is incapable of retaining any new information, and must resort to copious note-taking and Polaroid photographs in order to keep track of what happens to him over the course of a day (he's even tattooed himself with a few crucial bits of information he can't get along without). Leonard retains awareness that his wife was brutally murdered, however, and he's convinced that the culprit still walks the streets. Leonard is obsessed with the notion of taking revenge against the man who has ruined his life, and he sets out to find him, getting help from Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who appears to be a sympathetic barmaid, and Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), who claims to be Leonard's friend, even though Leonard senses that he cannot be trusted. Writer/director Christopher Nolan adapted Memento from a short story by his brother Jonathan Nolan. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary by Director Christopher Nolan

PLEASE NOTE: We also carry a no-frills version of Memento (without Director's Commentary) in greater quantity.

This disc contains the feature. Please click here to also rent the bonus disc.

You might also enjoy:

Nolan's stylish first film is interesting to study alongside his follow-up

Dark City
More sci-fi-meets-noirish, also tackles a man wrestling with amnesia

And if you want an older take on Amnesia-Noir (is that a new genre?), check this sleeper out

GreenCine Member Ratings

Memento (Special Edition) (2000)
read reviews    New Listadd to list
7.76 (345 votes)
Memento (Special Edition) (Bonus Disc) (2000)
New Listadd to list
7.33 (45 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

The philosophical angle by JKelly December 30, 2005 - 10:19 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I agree with the second review, titled "A defense...." But the review takes a film school approach to promoting the movie and I wanted to add that, while there is much to admire about the film technique used here, this is an interesting story in terms of the human and philosophical aspects, beyond the more obvious unusual aspects of showing the chapters of the film in reverse order. (Yes, they tie together seamlessly if you watch the last chapter, then the penultimate, etc.)

The film addresses the question of what is life worth if we can no longer make memories. And it answers the question by looking at a particularly provocative situation.

--SPOILER ALERT!! Proceed with caution.-- The central character is being used by a dirty cop. The cop flat out tells him so, laughing at the fact that it will soon be forgotten. So the protagonist decides to use himself the same way the cop was using him, in order to direct himself to kill the cop. He is particularly clever in devising this strategy, regardless of his memory handicap.

Through this provocative scenario, we are drawn into the main question. Human brains are in part a running recording device, one that is turned on at an early age, keeps running our whole lives, and maintains those memories in some fashion for hopefully all of that time. Aside from one's progeny, many would say that this is really what you have at the end, your memories. But what if the ability to create new memories was taken away at some point? Would life be worth living, or would you become effectively dead? It would be as if you already lead your life, you have the memories to show that, and now you are just a strange creature. You walk and talk like a man, but you can form no future relationships that are more than one-sided. This is the position the dirty cop character takes. It's fair to say that anyone with this condition gets better treatment in our compassionate society. Becoming a dirty cop's hitman and being used by everyone you meet is an extreme, and an extremely unlikely, scenario.

In fact, the central character seems to believe that what makes a man is more than the ability to make memories. They are nice, but we are more than that. We make decisions about right and wrong, good and bad. Even if we won't remember those decisions, a good heart has to make good decisions.

A defense of a solid thinker's film. by JHawthorne March 5, 2005 - 3:34 PM PST
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful
After reading the only review available on this edition, I felt compelled to offer a rebuttal as one of the many who actually 'got' the movie-- but I can completely uderstand how a person might not get it. It isn't a standard method of storytelling, and the central gizmo to making the story work can be tiring.

Yes, the story is told in two to five minute segments. This is because the movie is told strictly from the viewpoint of the main character- who is restricted to short term memory. Our short term memories hold only about five minutes of information, including the present. Yes, the story is linear, but the main character is not.

The movie begins with the end, and alternately walks backward from there and forward from a point about a day prior. The the distant past portions are shown in black and white and the more recent moments in color.

The protagonist isn't talking to himself, he is talking to someone on the phone. As for the so called homo-erotic scenes, please. Each of these homo-erotic scenes adds to the understanding that this is a man who lives almost entirely by ritual. He can only trust himself, and he has to rely on notes. He trusts his handwriting, but loses context. He does what the notes tell him to do not because he understands why he told himself to do it, but because he knows he told himself to do it. It is character development through action...which is handy considering these scenes occur during story development by expository dialogue

It is a movie that bears watching at least twice, not because it is confusing, but because on the second viewing, your own perspective is altered and you will see much greater depth... and more questions.

You need to put this puzzle together yourself by Synn December 10, 2004 - 11:09 AM PST
1 out of 11 members found this review helpful
With so many topsyturvy back and forths to follow, this film makes me think of a picture puzzle thrown on the floor with my job to reassemble it. The director clearly took a linear tale, shot it, cut the celluloid into two minute lengths, tossed them in the air, taped the pieces together randomly and blindly - with this movie as the result. Endless irritations: 1. the incomprehensible plot involving a tattooed trailer park man unable to function due to the messes in his life; 2. frequent halting of the story for unnecessary extensive homoerotic filming of the main character's inked and tattooed body; 3. creating blatant opportunities to show the lead man's hypermuscled naked body such as soaping and shaving his thigh, running naked out of the shower, answering the phone in the buff, having frequent self-talk sessions naked, viewing polaroids of his naked torso in a pretattoo state, being chased naked, ad infinitum; 4. ending the rambling story abruptly with no conclusion, just the lead man tearing off in a stolen car then screeching the brakes in front of a bar he suddenly recognized at the side of the dirt road. What did the director want me as a viewer to get from all this? If a legit movie, I feel inclined to give it a minus 1. If gay erotica, I feel inclined to rank it maybe up to a 3, since over half the story is one man's half-naked body. The cinematographer showed me his face and I looked into it and felt as if peering at a 15 watt light bulb at a 100 yard distance. By the way you will have to figure out how to start the movie running as this dvd has no Play/Start/Run or similar words to assist you, instead it presents you with flashing pages of word lists for you to puzzle over - a trick to make you dumber than the main character.

More reviews for titles in this product:

100 Best English Language Films That I've Seen
Alphabetical Order: Best English Narratives in the World
L.A. Noirs
brightly colored grit... missing from this list: Sidney Lumet's Morning After

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