Skip to content

amnesia in film

Guy Pierce as Leonard Shelby the ten-minute man, with anterograde amnesia

Memento

    Happy Birthday, Memento! It’s 21 years since Memento came to Australian viewers as a masterpiece of cinematic subjectivity directed by Christopher Nolan. Once seen, it’s hard to forget the vengeful amnesiac, Leonard Shelby, played by an emaciated, strung out, heavily tattooed, Guy Pierce. The huge volume of reviews and scholarly work since its release gives some indication of Memento’s impact, for it marked a surge in the ‘amnesia genre’ in contemporary books and films that continues to this day. Dubbed a neo-noir mystery thriller by Jason Clark from AllMovie , a boilerplate noir by New York Times reviewer A.O. Scott , a mystery thriller by the IMD site , whatever genre critics ascribe to it, most pay homage to its ingenuity, as they confirm its prime place in cinematic history, mulling over its diabolical structure and open-ended finale. What does the ending mean? Is Leonard Shelby an escapee from an asylum? Is he lying to himself and others? Is his wife alive or dead? How many of his memories are… Read More »Memento