Screenshot of Memento

tumblr_m6igbdnbXR1qfola7o1_500It was really hard to pick a closing image. I finally decided on this one for various reasons. For starters it all comes back to this. You as a viewer have to decide who to believe at the end of the film. You either believe Teddy and decide that Leonard really doesn’t know what is going on. Which means that Leonard is a murderer. He is constantly going on and going trying to solve his wife’s murder with the help of a crooked cop. This cop/friend picks various wrong doers for Leonard to kill and has him do this in various towns. Or you decide that Leonard has succeeded. Leonard has finally killed his wife’s murder…

…I also picked this image because it is when he looks the happiest and that is how I would like to end this project

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Commonly Asked Questions about Memento

I was looking on various websites to find FAQs about Memento. This was really hard to do because most of the questions people asked were based on opinions. I wanted questions that were actually answerable and not open ended. These are the questions and answers I was able to come up with:

1.) Is Teddy a liar or trustworthy friend?

At the end of the movie Teddy tries to explain everything to Leonard. You find out Teddy was a cop that was working on Leonard’s case. You find out Teddy already helped him find the murderer of his wife, but still continues this ongoing chaos so Leonard will kill people for him. Teddy is one of the people that manipulate Leonard throughout the whole movie.

2.)Why doesn’t Teddy explain to Leonard that he already killed “John G” sooner?

Teddy wants Leonard to kill people for him. He is helping himself and Leonard. He’s taking bad people off the street and trying to help Leonard remember.

3.)Did Sammy Jankis really exist?

This question is a little blurry, but Teddy mentions Sammy in his last conversation with Leonard. He says he is a “conman” a “faker”, but never says that he is actually Leonard or doesn’t exist.

4.)Why Does Leonard deny his wife’s diabetes?

If Leonard admits that his wife has diabetes then he would also be admitting that his memory is flawed. He’d have to admit nothing is how he thinks it is.

5.)Who is Leonard talking to on the phone?

There are only two people Leonard talks to on the phone. The first person is Burt who works at the hotel and takes Leonard’s call. The second one is Teddy. In one of the scene, Leonard explains to Burt that he doesn’t want to take any calls from anyone but…Teddy.

Movies like Memento

I was looking on the IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes sites for movies like Memento. On IMDb i searched “movies that began with the ending.” On Rotten Tomatoes I searched “movies like Memento.”  I personally like movies that start with the ending. I also like movies that have a bit of psychology in them. All of these movies keep you on your toes. They keep you interested because they start from the end or revisit previous scenes. They mess with your mind and the minds of the characters. You really have to pay attention to what’s going on in the movie. I love watching movies like this. I picked these movies by taking five movies that were on both lists. That didn’t leave me with a lot of options because IMDb only posted thirty movies and Rotten Tomatoes posted a lot more. So here is a brief summary of each movie. I’ll try not to completely spoil the movies for those of you who have not seen them.

Pulp_Fiction_coverPulp fiction is split into three stories that interwine into each other…

Two hitmen are doing a job for their boss.

One of them decides he doesn’t want to be a hitman anymore.

The boss asks the one hitman to take his wife out.

She overdoses on heroin, but they save her life.

There is also a boxer who gets paid to lose a fight.

 

MV5BMjIwNTYzMzE1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTE5Mzg3OA@@._V1_SX214_AL_Fight club is about a man looking for a way to change his life.

He has trouble sleeping so he goes to meetings so he can talk about his feelings.

He meets a woman who is doing the same thing and it ruins the meetings for him. He needs something more…

He befriends a guy named Tyler and they decide to make a fight club and a soap making scheme.

Little he know…this man is his other half.

He made up this second personality to cope with his life.

 

images

This is about two people breaking up.

The woman decides to get surgery to erase everything she’s ever known about her significant other.

He finds out about it and decides to do the same…

He isn’t so lucky…He decided while in surgery that he still wanted to remember her.

He fights really hard throughout the whole movie to keep his memories.

It still doesn’t work but they meet again and after finding out they’ve already been together…They try to make it work again!

 

prestige

This is a movie about two magicians.

One blames the other for the death of his wife.

They are constantly battling one another on stage…trying to make the other one look bad.

Robert becomes obsessed with tricking to figure out one of Alfred’s tricks.

Robert’s long lived obsessions may have caused him his life…

 

 

Usual_suspects_ver1

A boat explosion…twenty-seven dead…and a whole lot of drug money…Only two survivors.

This is about a conman explaining what happened.

Weeks earlier this conman was held in a cell with four other criminals.

They plotted a robbery…as revenge for the police pinning them as the “ususal suspects”

Then they get asked to do another job together by a very powerful man that they have each wronged…

I confuse myself (Leonard)

i44d656umr6od45oYou can’t just blame the people in Leonard’s life for what happened. He plays a huge roll in messing things up for himself. For starters Leonard takes photographs of every person, place, and thing that comes into contact with him. He has a picture of Burt, Teddy, Jimmy, and Natalie. He doesn’t even have a good picture of Natalie and that lead to him not being able to spot her at the restaurant.He also has a picture of the hotel he is staying at and the car he is driving.  Leonard writes notes on the Polaroid pictures and random pieces of paper. He has no organization skills because everything is just thrown together. Nothing is ever dated or thrown away. How is someone suppose to know which pictures and notes are valid and up to date? If something is changed he just scribbles it out and writes over it. He should be more careful with these things because they are what helps him “remember” his day-to-day life. If he makes one mistake, everything could be ruined.

mementoAnother problem is his tattoos. TATTOOS are permanent! I understand he wants to remember that his wife was raped and murdered. I understand he wants to remember all the facts he has on the killer. What I don’t understand if why he would put them on his body permanently. This is one of the reasons he keeping going around in a circle with Teddy. He wakes up every morning thinking he never found his wife’s killer. Teddy makes it worse by continuing to play along with it. He even gets “facts” tattooed on him that might not be true. Fact number three is the two potential names of the killer. Why would you tattoo a fact on your body, that you are going to be relying on, if you don’t know if it is actually true? Leonard should have just written these facts down on a piece of poster paper and laminated it to make sure it doesn’t get ruined.

Leonard also trust people way too easily. You would think he would be a little bit more careful when it came to trusting what people say. Especially since Leonard tells everyone his story. He makes himself vulnerable and an easy target. I’m surprised he never thought about doing background checks on people or observed people for a couple of days before introducing himself. If he did he would have known right away that Natalie was not a person he could trust.

The Manipulation of Leonard

burtIn the movie Leonard is manipulated by a couple of people. Some of these people he considers friends, some lovers. The person who did the least damage to Leonard is the man Burt, who works at the hotel. The next person is Teddy who acts like Leonard’s friend and is “trying” to help him. Finally there is Natalie who is Leonard’s temporary lover. Leonard’s  disorder puts him at a serious disadvantage because he can not remember anything after he stops focusing on it. This is why Leonard ends up in the situation he is in.

Leonard tells his story to everyone he meets. Burt has heard Leonard’s story a couple of times but waits until he knows for sure that it is true. After he finds out that Leonard isn’t joking, he changes him for a second room. Leonard didn’t even know until Burt told him what he did. Burt could have charged him for anything he wanted and gotten away with it.

Teddy’s manipulation is a little bit more complicated than stealing money from Leonard. Teddy acts like he is Leonard’s friend. 1261-3He acts like he really wants to help Leonard find his wife’s murder. The way he goes about doing it messes everything up for both of them. Teddy is a cop who investigated the murder of Leonard’s wife. He felt bad for Leonard so he helped him search for the killer. Only Teddy and Leonard have been circling around in this endless cycle. Teddy helps Leonard find the “murder” and then Leonard kills him. Over and over they do this again and again. Teddy tries to tell Leonard all this, but he doesn’t believe him. Leonard still decides to kill Teddy. If only Teddy had been honest from the beginning and not played this game with Leonard, he might still be alive.

27156_adNatalie is the most vindictive character in the movie. She pretends to care for Leonard. She even has a fling with him. Natalie is actually the girlfriend of a drug dealer and she wants revenge. She give Leonard false information that leads to Leonard killing Teddy. Leonard knows this at one point in the movie but can not find a pen to write it down. Natalie breaks his concentrations and makes up this whole story making her seem like a victim. Leonard trusts her because of what he originally wrote down on his Polaroid picture of her. “She has also lost someone. She will help you out of pity.” This woman is the master of all manipulators.

Mapping out Memento

Okay, so I came up with this bright idea to map out Memento as a visual.

What I didn’t realize is how confusing it would look after I put it all together.

I was originally going to put it all on a poster and take a picture, but I think it will be easier if I just do it this way…

1. Leonard discussing Sammy and his wife.

2.Leonard meets Teddy at the Discount Inn Hotel.

3. Leonard kills Jimmy at the abandoned site.

~He also takes his car and clothes. He was originally driving a blue truck.

4. Teddy shows up at the abandoned site and explains things. Leonard decides to kill Teddy.

5. Leonard Gets a tattoo of Teddy’s license plate and Teddy shows up there trying to get him to leave town.

6.Leonard goes to the bar and meets Natalie.

7. There is a flash back of the murder of Leonard’s wife

8.Teddy is in Jimmy’s car

9.Leonard calls and has a hooker come to his hotel room.

10. Dodd tries to kill Leonard while driving Jimmy’s car.

11. Leonard beats the crap out of Dodd in his hotel room.

12. Teddy comes to Dodd’s hotel room and help Leonard.

13. Leonard shows up at Natalie’s house looking for answers about Dodd.

14. Natalie explains about Jimmy and they have a love affair.

15.Teddy shows up at Natalie’s and they go for lunch.

16. Natalie giving Leonard the information about the licence plate.

17. Leonard loses his key so he meets Burt at the Discount Inn. He also finds out that Burt rented him another room.

18. Leonard meets Natalie and gets the information about Teddy’s license plate. (another flashback of his wife)

19. Tattoo scene.

20. Leonard goes back to his hotel and calls Teddy.

21. Talking to Burt at the front desk and Tedddy meeting him there.

22. Leonard kills Teddy.

Memento, Psychology, & Memory

Here is a brief article on some of the topics I will be discussing in the post. I think this article simplifies things enough for people who aren’t interested in psychology, but wanted to know more about the background of the movie Memento. This is another article explaining amnesia. Memento is based on a man with antergrade amnesia. This is when you can no longer convert memories from your short-term memory to your long term-term memory. Leonard is unable to remember things that are currently happening to him. If he gets distracted it’s like it never happened. He is able to remember everything before his accident. This usually happens when there is an accident involving an injury to the brain. More specifically, the hippocampus. This is the part of your brain that controls your able to convert short-term to long-term memories.

It is easier for people with antergrade amnesia to function if they develop “habits.” Writing is one of those habits that Leonard uses. Most people with amnesia don’t even remember writing things down, but are grateful they do because it helps them “remember.” Leonard makes more permanent “habits” by tattooing information on his skin.  They also use many forms of memory tools. The photographs are used as memory tools. You also have to use the memories you have otherwise you risk the chance of losing them or mixing them up. Leonard talks about conditioning throughout the movie. There are too forms of this: Classical and Operant. Classical condition is associating a behavior with something else. Leonard associates the photographs with being able to remember. He thinks that if he takes them, writes on them, and reviews them then he will remember them. Another example of this is when Sammy is doing the test with the shapes. Each time he still gets shocked, proving that conditioning didn’t work. Operant conditioning is modifying a certain skill. Although Leonard tries to use these learning methods to remember, he still seems to get his memory mixed up.

Memento as a Serious Yet Mindblowing Film

When you sit down to watch a serious film you mental prepare yourself. You are ready to be educated. You are ready to think outside the box. You are prepare to be confused.  But are you prepared to be entertained? Memento is a movie that not only educates but entertains.

The film Memento focuses on a man named Leonard with serious disorder called anterograde amenesia. This is not being about to store short-term memories after an incident. Leonard also discusses how he gets through life with this disorder through conditioning and habit. Conditioning is a form of learning. Both terms are associated with psychology. Which is the study of the human mind, its functions, and behaviors. (This will all be further discussed in a later post.) Everything is associated with memory, specially Leonard’s memory.

The film is set up so you have to pay careful attention to everything that is going on. You will probably have to watch it multiple times to catch things you missed while watching it the first time. This is because the director set up the film in reverse. The starting scene is actually the last scene of the film. Not only do you have to watch the movie in reverse, but you that to pay attention to the scenes in black and white. These scenes reveal more information and play in the actual order of the events. These things make the movie more interesting. You as the viewer are trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle just as Leonard is.