The “Film After Noir,” series (the Spring 2011 Proseminar in Cinema and Culture) will screen its final film this Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m. in 101 BCSB: Memento (2000, Christopher Nolan, 113 min.).
Memento tells the story of Leonard Shelby, an ex-insurance agent who suffers from anterograde amnesia that makes him unable to form new memories. The condition began when he received a head injury while trying to fight off two men who raped and murdered his wife. On the telephone with an unknown caller, Leonard explains that he killed one of her attackers. In order to document facts while he searches for the second attacker, Shelby takes Polaroid photos, which he annotates for future reference. He also has tattoos facts of the case on his body. In sequences alternating between color and black & white, Shelby’s quest for justice discloses something darker. Nolan was nominated for a 2002 Oscar for his screenplay. Drawing on European art films such as Last Year at Marienbad (dir. Alain Resnais, 1961), Memento keeps you guessing while you try to put the pieces of Leonard’s story together.