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Memento is a neo-noir-psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, based on his brother Jonathan’s short story “Memento Mori.” The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a former insurance fraud investigator searching for his wife’s murderer. During the attack on his wife, Leonard suffered severe head trauma and lost the ability to make new memories. To cope with his condition, he keeps a collection of notes, photographs, and tattoos to remind himself of people, places, things, and events he cannot remember. He is aided in his investigation by “Teddy” (Joe Pantoliano) and Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who are both of dubious dependability.

The story is told in two sequences – one in color and the other in black and white – that alternate throughout the film. The color sequences depict Leonard’s investigation in roughly five-minute segments that are in reverse chronological order. Each segment begins as Leonard having lost his recent memories, leaving him and the audience unaware of where he is or what he was doing. The segment ends just as the events fade from his memory. The black and white sections are told in chronological order and show Leonard in a motel room conversing with an anonymous phone caller, and via this, narrating the story. By the film’s end, the two narratives converge into a color sequence which becomes the climax.

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