Ever have one of those days? You know, can’t remember anything, everybody’s manipulating you and the perpetual hell of being unable to find your wife’s killer is inescapable. That’s the premise for Memento, the psychologically labyrinthian thriller which blew away audiences and critics alike at the turn of the century. Employing layers of narrative complexity, the film portrays the dilemma of Leonard (Guy Pearce), a former insurance investigator who cannot create short term memory due to head trauma suffered when his wife was murdered by unknown assailants. Now hellbent on avenging her death, Leonard scours Los Angeles for the perpetrators, along the way seemingly aided by his “friend” Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) and mysterious bartender Natalie (Carrie Ann-Moss). But how can one solve a crime when you can’t remember anything 5 minutes ago? Then unknown director Christopher Nolan ingeniously tells the story in reverse, from end to beginning, rather than in a typical linear fashion, thereby putting the viewer in Leonard’s shoes where we’re just as confused as he is. The result is a whodunnit that’s as mentally challenging to watch as it is for the protagonist to solve the mystery. Prior to the screening MIT neuroscientist John Gabrieli will be on hand to discuss the intricacies of memory, how the movie relates anterograde amnesia and examine actual individuals who are diagnosed with it. This is a rare chance to be intellectually stimulated and see one of the best films of the last decade. Forget don’t so.
7PM // Coolidge Corner Theatre // $ome cost