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Memento - Essay Example

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“Memento” & “Memento Mori” “Memento” was a 2001 movie inspired by the short story “Memento Mori”, written by Jonathan Nolan and published in the March 2001 issue of Esquire magazine. (“Memento)The basic premise of the film version and the short story it was adapted from “Memento Mori” are very similar…
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Download file to see previous pages In the short story version “Memento Mori” a man named Earl has lost his short term memory after he and his wife were viciously attacked by an unknown assailant. His wife was killed in the attack but Earl sustained severe head injuries resulting in his short term amnesia. Because he can only remember things for about ten minutes at a time, he uses notes and tattoos to keep track of new information. The story goes between two time-frames. In the first time frame Earl is in a mental institution. The second time frame details his escape from the mental institution which he does not remember. During his escape he sets out to avenge the murder of his wife by finding her killer. Since Earl is lacking long term memory he relies on notes, tattoos and a third person narrative to help him. The story is told using the third person narrative along with a first person narrative. The first person narrative is told from Earl’s point of view with sentences beginning with “you”, while the third person narrative is an outsider to the story. “ The function of the third-person narration is to juxtapose an external view of Earl with the internal views that Earl expresses in his writing. The third person narrator describes how Earl's short-term memory loss affects his behavior. The external narrator shows Earl stumbling around and reading his endless notes.” (Nolan n. pag.) Earl succeeds in killing his wife’s but cannot remember this incident. The story ends with Earl in the back of a police car after he is arrested for killing his wife’s’ murderer. The film “Memento” was directed by Christopher Nolan. (Jonathan Nolan’s brother) In it the main character is named Leonard Shelby. Like Earl, Leonard and his wife were attacked viciously by unknown assailants and his wife is killed in the attack. Leonard was brutally beaten by the same man who killed his wife and as a result of this vicious attack he has no short-term memory. Leonard killed the attacker who raped and strangled his wife, but a second clubbed him and escaped. After an investigation by law enforcement, police determined that the attacker who was killed by Leonard acted alone. However Leonard insists that there was a second attacker that he believed was named John G. Like Earl in the short story version Leonard conducts his own investigation using a system of notes and tattoos in order to help himself cope with short term memory loss. He also adds Polaroid photos to help him. However while Earl acted alone Leonard has the help of Natalie, a barmaid and Teddy who claims to be Leonard’s friend. These people seem to random people that Leonard comes across who do not seem to have anything to do with the other. (“Memento”)Unlike Earl who saw the face of his wife’s killer, “You remember his face”, (sheepdean), Leonard never saw the faces of the perpetrators in the attack. As a result he winds up being manipulated by Teddy and Natalie into killing two wrong men. (“Memento”) The plot of the film version goes from the end of the movie to the beginning of the movie (end of the plot). There are color sequences interconnected with black and white sequences throughout the movie. (Memento) The black and white sequences begin with Leonard sitting in a motel room talking on the phone to an unknown person. The color sequences are also not shown in order. Once Leonard finds out the license plate of “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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