Memento

I have to say that after watching Memento for the first time I found the movie to be difficult to put together until after I talked with Charlie and Matt about its szyuhet, style, and fabula. In discussing these three elements, I realized how this independent film was motivated more stylistically. For instance, I do not understand how Dod arrives and what his role is in the story. The veiwer sees how Natalie tricks Leonard into thinking that Dod has threatened her, however, Dod is not really developed chronologically and all of a sudden he shows up demanding money from Leonard. Did Natalie call or speak with Dod and how does she know him? We don’t see this inciting incident? I am going to assume Dod is Jimmy’s partner, but why would Natalie want to threaten Leonard? All she knows about Leonard is that his wife was killed, and he is wearing her husband’s clothes while driving his car. There is no reason to go after him, rather, she should be threatening JC, or the man that Leonard is trying to find.

Another problem that I have with the film, which Matt pointed out, is during the flashback where we learn that Leonard iss always the man suffering from anterograde amnesia. In the quick glimpse where the audience witnesses Leonard hugging his wife on the bed, he already has his tatoos, which is extremely confusing because those should not be there according to the chronological ordering of events. He should not have any tatoos. Also, I do not like the forgetful motivation in the film. For instance, when Leonard gets out of his car after almost getting shot by Dod, he has an extremely short term memory. This does not work because throughout the film the audience witnesses Leonard stress “focusing” on his present thoughts if it were important. Generally, If Leonard could focus on the task at hand, he did not neccesarily forget what was presently happening. So, I don’t think it is feasible for him to loose focus while trying to save his life running away from Dod; he has to be in the moment. Leonard should be more in the moment then in the end at the abandoned building. Here the audience learns of the game he creates to kill the cop. Also, the scene where he stays up all night burning his wife’s memorabilia seems to be one of great reflection. In both of these scenes his attention seems to be coherent, but it is not sustained in the film when he is in great danger?

I find the ideas I mentioned to be distracting when reflecting on the film, especially after the most recent discussion our class had differentiating between szyuhet and style. I think the style of this movie is very creative, but for me, I think it also takes away from the szyuhet and fabula. Not only does the style make the szyuhet and fabula confusing at times, but some information is incorrect at crucial points; i.e. the scene with Leonard lying tatooed with his wife in bed. The film works in a way that reminds the audience of certain clues, but also asks the veiwer to piece the story together because it is shown backwards. In my example of memory loss being spontaneous, when being chased by Dod, I find this scene to be totally stylistic. There is no reason for Leonard to loose his memory because eventually he escapes and captures Dod; which is more important to the szyuhet and fabula. Showing how examples of style dominate this film.            

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