Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Memento: Ten Years Later

Today, ten years ago the great modern noir twisty art funhouse thriller Memento opened in the United States.  In an age where it's difficult for filmmaking to truly surprise us, what with every trailer giving the game away from first glimpse, and our own savvy societal bias to anything familiar, Memento was just that, a surprise.  Made on the cheap, and banking only because it's nutty premise was so intriguingly juicy and new, cleverly incorporating every noir idea of the last century into one super tight puzzle-- amnesia, murder, cops and gals whose alliance are unclear-- beautiful.  And the audacity of staging it all in reverse-- labyrinthine memory games should always be this much fun.  It was also the beginning of the movie universe of Christopher Nolan, and I think by now we all have to refrain and realize it's his world, we're merely living in it.  I feel very old now, since I vividly recall watching Memento on the big screen, however I continue to tattoo my memories of this striking film all over my body...emotionally at least!

Memento earned two well deserved Academy Awards for Original Screenplay and Film Editing, although rest assured it deserved far more.  It won neither, and while Nolan received his first DGA nomination here, he was slighted, which has become a semi-annual Academy tradition at this point, snicker, boo!  However, it's tricky, wondrously original storytelling and structure must remain hallmarks in the modern cinema.

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