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Archive for June 25th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(USA 2000 113m) DVD1/2

Discount Inn, room 304

p  Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd  d/w  Christopher Nolan  story  Jonathan Nolan  ph  Wally Pfister  ed  Dody Dorn  m  David Julyan  art  Patti Podesta  cos  Cindy Evans

Guy Pearce (Leonard Shelly), Carrie Anne Moss (Natalie), Joe Pantoliano (John Edward Gemmell), Mark Boone Jnr (Burt), Stephen Tobolowsky (Sammy Jankis), Callum Keith Rennie (Dodd), Harriet Sansom Harris (Mrs Jankis), Jorja Fox (Leonard’s wife), Larry Holden (Jimmy Grantz), Russ Fega (waiter),

Let’s start at the very beginning” Julie Andrews once famously sung.  Well, I never did like that film very much.  Chris Nolan, the mastermind behind this psychological tour-de-force, seems to believe the opposite might be best, starting his cult classic at the end, and literally letting his narrative run in reverse, beginning with the ending.  Sounds confusing?  In truth it often is, but on reacquaintance the film makes more sense, not just in terms of its plot, but in terms of the reason for this narrative approach.

            Leonard Shelly is a hot shot insurance claims investigator from San Francisco whose wife has been raped and murdered.  He spends his days living in and out of the same room at a shabby motel trying to trace the man he believes is responsible.  The problem he has is that he has suffered from short term memory loss ever since the murder of his wife, and thus has to write things down or have them tattooed onto his body to remember them.  Two people seem most willing to help; a mysterious girl from a bar and an over-talkative fellow who seems to follow him wherever he goes and who Leonard is generally mistrusting of. (more…)

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