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Memento

Claire Molloy

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Ambiguous, complex and innovative, Christopher Nolan's Memento has intrigued audiences and critics since the day of its release. Memento is the archetypal 'puzzle film', a noir thriller about a man with short-term memory loss seemingly seeking revenge for the death of his wife but finding it increasingly difficult to navigate through the facts. Truth, memory and identity are all questioned in a film that refuses to give easy answers or to adhere to some of the fundamental rules of classical filmmaking as the film makes use of some audacious stylistic and narrative choices, including a unique (for American cinema) editing pattern that produces a dizzying and highly disorienting effect for the spectator.

The book introduces Memento as an important independent film and uses it to explore relationships between "indie," arthouse and commercial mainstream cinema while also examining independent film marketing practices, especially those associated with Newmarket, the film's producer and distributor. Finally, the book also locates Memento within debates around key film studies concepts such as genre, narrative and reception.

Key features
  • Presents an overview of Newmarket that maps the company's development from an independent financier to producer and distributor
  • Explores aspects of narrative complexity in contemporary films and examines Memento as an example of a 'puzzle film'
  • Considers Memento in relation to genre categories of noir and neo-noir
  • Examines the marketing of Memento and locates it within independent film marketing practices and strategies

Contents

Introduction
1. Memento as Independent Film
2. Industry Strategies: Distribution, marketing, and exhibition
3. Narrative and narration
4. Genre
5. Reception
Conclusion.

About the Author

Claire Molloy is Senior Lecturer in Media and Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University. Her published work is centrally concerned with issues of identity, representation, independent film and popular culture.

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