Category Archives: review

Review: Memento (2000, minimal spoilers) 6/10

Definitely a 90s film..

Really interesting concept, exploring the life of a man with short term memory loss who is questing after the man who raped and killed his wife. The form of the film is specifically designed to give you a similar feeling of anonymity and disorientation to Lenny, the protagonist. You are investigating and connecting facts just as he is, but they’re not the same facts. You realise that you are investigating Lenny, not the murder of his wife, just as one of the characters suggests that he should.

There are some wicked concepts and phrases brought up, but the plot overall is about a 5 or 6/10. It’s consistent, it’s clever, brings up questions about people’s willingness to remember, to manipulate, to purposely accept ignorance.

It’s well shot, well timed, but there’s no punch, no real climatic conclusion or plot twist or anything, partly because there is no climatic confrontation, and what can be counted as one actually happens at the beginning. Instead, it’s more of a thought experiment, one that will definitely get those cogs whirring.

“We all need mirrors to remind us who we are”

Identity in a world of missing information is challenged, but so also is the way we choose to present ourselves, how we feel it is right to present ourselves to others. Not just in terms of manipulating others but also how to appear normal through your (re)actions alone.

“The world doesn’t just disappear when you close your eyes”

Or does it? Reality is questioned, facts wrestle with interpretation and motive. The actions of the world continue around you but if they are not directly affecting you at that present moment, do they matter?

“How am I supposed to heal if I can’t feel time?”

This is a concept I’m hoping to move onto with my own research quite soon, particularly how trauma causes subsequent events to be rearranged around the traumatic event instead of linearly (or in relation to the present moment). It almost seems as though the majority of your self, or at least the time-related part of it, is stuck at the trauma. Memento explores this by having Lenny trapped in the quest for vengeance, unable to forget his wife as she, and their trauma, is his freshest memory. Tulving’s Chronesthesia is an interesting psychological article that relates to this.

Quick Review: American Gods Ep1 [No Spoilers]

Yeah I totally have a dissertation and a script for a conference to write but hey, you know what, I watched American Gods instead. Think I did pretty well to get to Thursday night tbh.

Ok so first twenty minutes you’re bathing in the beauty of their character introductions. Succinct, not intrusive, but still information enough to set the scene and even have character development in just the first episode *mwah* Perfect. BUT you’re sitting their and the music is all twinkly, cymbals, violins aka just-so-Hannibal. It’s very disappointing when it makes you believe that Bryan Fuller has turned into a whiny child and seized American Gods just to create whatever beautifulness was to follow when Hannibal got cancelled. And all that with jarring CGI blood, cheesy CGI inserts (see waves in glasses) and lovely transitions that remind you of La La Land for some reason.

The disappointment does not last long however. It is merely a foil for the heights of this program and the emotional rollercoaster it can take you on in it’s opening hour. I almost cried, and then I almost cried with laughter, the production team have excelled themselves. The rest of the soundtrack is a treat, an absolute journey through (I believe mainly American) music.

You ain’t seen acting till you see this, absolutely astounding so far, especially Ian McShane (who btw I’ve never seen in anything else) and Pablo Schreiber who does an absolutely beautiful job at capturing all of Mad Sweeney. There’s an extra treat too for readers of the book in Sweeney and Shadow’s chat, if I remember rightly, an almost exact lift of dialogue from the book.

Basically, I can’t wait for more, bring on next Monday!

 

 

 

[Image from Wikipedia]