Another truly great film...greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Art of Film : One Thread
...is Memento. I don't know where to begin with this one; I expected a pretty cool, high-concept thriller when I went in, but this is *really* something. Picture a combination of Fight Club's black humor, Lost Highway's surrealism, and Second's creepiness, and you have an idea of how good this is. Mindf*cks abound; you don't just watch this, you interact with it. And I've seen loads of disturbing, nerve-jangling films, but none that made me geniunely queasy. This one did. Twice. But what exquisite torture.
I shouldn't have sat on this one (& I'm definitely going back, while it's still playing), but now that I've seen it, I have to know what you guys (those who are still here - hello, Matt & Frostbite ;) think. Anyone else seen this? Any favorite scenes? (I could probably rattle off a list of favorites...) Help fuel my obsession, people! :-)
-- Inukko (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 12, 2001
I've really been wanting to see it, but I'm not sure if it's playing anywhere near me... I'm gonna look into it. Thanks for reminding me. :)
-- Mat Rebholz (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
Okay, I've now seen this twice, and I really like it. I was afraid it might be too edgy in that hip sort of way, like Fight Club sort of was (I love Fight Club, but you have to admit, it was very hip and edgy. In that case, though, it worked.) Fortunately, they had scenes like Leonard remembering his wife, which were beautifully random and quiet (I was reminded of the flashback scenes in The Thin Red Line, for some reason). A nice contrast. The music was nice too, mostly subtle and unobtrusive.
The concept was great, it worked with ideas I had never considered. I loved the idea that learning can bypass conventional memory. Also, I've had a "thing" for writing on the body ever since I saw The Pillow Book, so that was nice to see again. Another thing of interest was something I can't quite put a finger on, something related to Leonard's statements of his belief in a world existing outside of his own head. I had fleeting glimpses of how time and memory are tied into the illusion of consciousness, but I can't quite put into words exactly what I sensed. Natalie was a favorite character, mainly for her manipulative aspect; I think my favorite set of scenes was when we finally discover how she was screwing him over. I also liked the side story of Sammy and his wife.
-- Mat Rebholz (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 2001.
Hey, Mat. Didn't see your post until just now.
OK, Fight Club was a movie I never thought I'd want to see... but, what appealed to me about it was the way it sent up masculine totalitarianism. Brad Pitt's character wasn't treated as some sort of anti-hero, but a geniunely crazy man. Going into it, I was sure I would hate the movie, but when I saw what it was *really* getting at (shortly before the big twist) my opinion changed. But I digress...
(I'm about to spoil some things, so anyone who hasn't seen Memento turn away)
Memento had a huge impact on me, because of how I felt about the main character. He's an extremely sympathetic character, & I found myself identifying with him as the story progressed. By the end, I felt like the floor had dropped out from under me. On the second viewing, I was able to pick up more details, & could appreciate the movie as a beautifully crafted mind-puzzle. I'm no film student, but nothing felt out of place here.
What really creeps me out is the idea of this nice, well-adjusted guy, who kills (and kills again) simply to justify his own existence. And he does it coldly, mechanically, and without emotion - a true film noir. One line that I think sums the movie up is when the cop character tells Leonard: "You're not a killer. That's why you're so good at it".
-- Inukko (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
Can't entirely blame Leonard, though, he did seem to bring out the worst in people. Now that you mention it, his monologues *did* resemble a certain animated dictactor's...
-- Inukko (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2001.
Funny you mention that... in his scenes with Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), I imagined how they might be at playing Trevor & Aeon. Something about the pairing wouldn't seem quite right, though.
-- Mat Rebholz (email@example.com), May 31, 2001.
I thought Id find a Momento thread in here. I suggest that anyone who enjoyed Fight Club should certaintly try the book.
-- Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 23, 2002.
I don't agree with Chuck Palahniuk's assertion that "we are a generation of men raised by women" (yeah, I wish!) and have somehow "lost" our masculinity. That's the main thing keeping me from the book. IMHO, the movie of Fight Club showed that becoming alpha-male is an absolute dead end. If the book takes exactly the opposite position, isn't it just Ayn Rand with fistfights?
-- Inu (email@example.com), June 23, 2002.
Its been a while but wasnt that Tyler Durdens Assertion?. Either way dont let that keep from the book. Chuck Palahniuk is a great writer who should be experienced by all. Its a short read anyway.
-- Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2002.
Actually, Chuck asserted that in an interview; it probably was from the book, though. I'll give the book another chance if I see it again.
-- Inu (email@example.com), June 25, 2002.
Do you like Fincher much Inu, have you seen the Panic Room yet? I just saw it, I really liked it and Fincher remains one of my favourite directors. Ive heard people criticise this movie for its storyline. Personally I appreciated its simplicity as it gave way for some truly brilliant visual cinema.
-- Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 25, 2002.
I liked The Game and Fight Club. Alien 3 wasn't too bad either. Fincher's technique is excellent, but I wish he'd choose better scripts sometimes (and no, I haven't seen Panic Room yet).
-- Inu (email@example.com), June 26, 2002.
You forgot about se7en, imo its the best of them. Definatly in my top 10.
-- Sam (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 26, 2002.
Actually the director of Momento rates se7en amongst his top 10 thrillers.
-- Sam (email@example.com), January 12, 2003.