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The Next Reel • Season 13 • Series: 2002 Film Independent Spirit Awards Best Cinematography Nominees • Spoiled. Rotten? Twist Endings • Memento


"You can’t trust a man’s life to your little notes and pictures.”

Christopher Nolan’s second film, Memento from 2001, caught a lot of attention on its release. The clever screenplay structure where the story unfolds both forward and backward in time creates an experience much like that of our protagonist Leonard Shelby (wonderfully played by Guy Pearce), a man suffering from anterior grade memory loss. Some people said Memento was too clever for its own good or that it was all style with little substance. Others found it to be incredibly creative with a unique story exploring the psychology of our character. No matter how you approach it, Memento is a film worth looking at in greater depth. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our twist endings series called ‘Spoiled. Rotten?’, in which we debate if a film is ruined if you already know the twist. Pete’s selection is Nolan’s 2001 film Memento.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about.

What do we think of twist endings? In the world of twist endings, what are some that work for us and some that don’t? Do we find Memento to be an effective example, even if the twist ending actually happens at the midway point of the chronological story? Guy Pearce is always wonderful, but it’s so great seeing Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano together again right on the heels of their success with The Matrix. How much do we actually understand the story and what are our opinions about what really happened with Leonard, Sammy, and the mysterious John G? Nolan started working with Wally Pfister here as his cinematographer and David Julyan composed music. Do we like the look and music? And how much do we love this film as compared to so many who clearly hate it?

It’s a strong entry into our catalogue and one we’re glad to have discussed. The twists hold up and we have a great time talking about them. Check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.
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