With all that Christopher Nolan has done since, from gravel-voiced Batmen to Russian-nesting dreams, it’s easy to forget just how great his 2000 backwards-is-the-new-forwards thriller Memento really is. Almost as easy as it is for its main character to forget just about everything. To refresh people’s memories, the film will be celebrating its tenth anniversary with special one-night screenings tonight in 11 cities. We decided it’d be a good time to revisit the movie that put Nolan on the map and made a practical case for body art and Polaroid cameras. Now, where were we?
Darren Franich: Memento should feel more like a gimmick. The quick description is that the story moves “backwards,” but that’s not really true. Just like the dream-heist in Inception, the movie’s actually constructed on multiple distinct planes. The main plotline starts with the death of Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) and moves backwards. A secondary plotline, shot in black and white, moves forwards in time. Through those black-and-white scenes, we learn the fable of Sammy Jankis, which runs throughout the movie. Finally, there’s the occasional flashback to Lenny’s life before “The Incident.” It sounds like a film written on a 3-D chessboard. So how is it possible that Memento is actually the funniest movie Christopher Nolan has ever made? READ FULL STORY