Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inject Me With Your Best Shot: Memento

This article is part of a weekly group-blog series developed by Nathaniel R. of The Film Experience. To read more about it and see the other entries for this particular week, click here.

This week on 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' Nathaniel R. gave us the task of watching Memento in honor of its 10th anniversary. Now I haven't seen the film in about 6 years, and I've wanted to re-watch it since that first viewing so it was a good excuse to put my watch-instantly queue aside and discover the film again.

My favorite shot (all pictures in this post can be clicked on and made MUCH larger):

The story of Sammy Jenkis (Stephen Tobolowsky) and his wife (Harriet Sansom Harris) is my favorite part of the film. It's a riveting component of the film's plot and gives some real emotion where otherwise there is little. I don't buy into the emotion behind the revenge story as much as I wish I could, but I buy into the Jenkis' emotional downfall. The entire scene that the shot above is a part of is brilliant, but that shot is just devastating. Harris' emotion displayed in that one moment--disbelief, grief, an acceptance of her own fate--is astounding. Maybe it's the actress-sexual in me but it trumps every other shot that I had compiled while watching the film.  

My second favorite shot:

I'd like to take a moment to talk about Inception, and Memento's obvious effect upon it. Not only is the story of a husband reconciling the loss of his wife a major theme in both films, the cinematography of both films are very similar. That isn't surprising since Christopher Nolan did work with Wally Pfister on both films, and I think I was looking for intertextuality between the two films. This shot above, easily my second favorite of the film, is much like when Cobb (Leonardo Dicaprio) discovers Moll (Marion Cotillard) in limbo. I feel like she's just about to turn around with her evil glare and start talking about growing old together! And there are many moments like that, including this shot:

Which reminds me of Moll and Cobb laying down on the train tracks together. Gosh darnit I love intertextuality!

A few other favorite shots I'd compiled, sans explanation:


  1. i almost used "who the fuck is dodd?!" because i love every single scene involving him. so funny and dark and surprising.

    Nolan really does owe a lot to Pfister who is so great with light, even on otherwise mundane images.

    also i love intertextuality too so this was a fun read (though it hink Memento is far > than Inception.

  2. That Dodd shot made me laugh so hard I had to pause it and breathe for a second! And as your post on TFE says, I was suprised by how much dark comedy was in the film! I don't remember it when I watched the first time.

    As a film Memento>Inception. Enjoyment wise I have to say that personally Inception>Memento. I think it's the Cotillard that does it for me...

  3. Now I'm imagining Cotillard in this and my mind is about to implode.
    Anyway, niece piece, I'm not a fan of Inception at all but I think the work Nolan does is indeed very connected. He definitely has no idea how to write women but his men are always trying to figure 'em out.

  4. Oh,god, Jose that would be perfection. Perhaps working with Cotillard and Hathaway in TDKR will force him to finally write a good woman role? I guess we'll cross our fingers.