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Memento

Year: 2000
Production Co: Newmarket Capital Group
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan/Jonathan Nolan
Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Stephen Toblowsky
Christopher Nolan's calling card to much bigger and better things, proving his mastery of the storytelling convention and technique by relating the whole tale backwards.

An amnesiac (Pearce) on the trail of a killer uses the cinematic but slightly unrealistic device of having clues to his quest tattooed on his body. We start with his execution of the guy who raped and murdered his wife, having tracked down and captured his quarry.

Then, after a chapter depicting him explaining his dilemma to someone over the phone, we see the next scene back, of him finding and cornering his prey, then the one before that and so on.

The secret to his memory loss and his murderous quest is buried at the beginning, and it means the device of telling the story backwards not only gives us the big shock we should have known all along, but makes it an effective climax when – in a traditional film – the first scene we saw would have been the climax.

Nolan moved onto The Prestige and the revitalised Batman series with confidence and as I write this review he hasn't disappointed yet.

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