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General review and discussion of film and theory

Notes for re-watch of Memento

Here are topics distilled from my notes, and the Post-Film Writing and discussion:

  • The opening.
  • Use of props, hair and makeup  (for Leonard's character, as markers of time and memory).
  • Action and performance (especially Guy Pearce).
  • Scenes that show how Leonard's condition affects him (e.g., in the Diner, with the conflicting photos).
  • Color (as signifier of time and memory and mood).
  • Narrative, or, the order in which we see what happens.

Some questions that are raised by the film are how do we know what we know, what role does memory play in who we are and what the world means to us, and why are remembering and forgetting both important.

I also think we could talk about the use of voiceover throughout the film and how that affects what we see.



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Josh Riddell

Color is the movie Memento gives a distinct indication of where we are in the movie timeline. When it turns to black and white where Lenny is in a hotel talking on the phone we are aware that this is a dream and something he is re-visiting. A lot of those talks are focused around "Sammy Janis and his disorder."

Garret Adams

Just like Josh mentions, the color in this movie is very important to understand where we are in the story line of the movie. The black and white portions show that we are in a flash back.

Becky Bond

Well, such as we discussed in class, the opening of the movie sets up the theme of what we are about to watch. As we watch the polaroid develop in reverse, the world in this context is revealed.

Kevin Smith

Upon of second watch of this film I noticed much more of the little details that reveal the passage of time and how we can gauge where we are in the story. Some of the things I noticed included the freshness of the scratches on Leonard's face, and how his clothes change from the black and white scenes to the scenes in color.

Gabriel Yanez

The only portions of the film that happen in the past that aren't in black and white are Lenard's memories that revolve around his wife. Does that mean for Lenard that his memories of his wife are a constant, in the present with him?

Jesus Hernandez

The rewatch for me was better because I was pretty confused the first time,up until the end. By watching it the second time knowing some of the characters were manipulating Leonard, I was able to pick up some of the smaller details I missed the first time.

Jose Hernandez

I liked the parallel connections between scenes. It was a little hard to keep track of the present and the past at first but towards the end of the movie It was clear to me. I also like the used of black and white compare to color to identify if we were in the present time or in the past.

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