MOTW: Memento

Putting it simply, the editing is the one important aspect that finally brings the film together. Without good editing, all we’ll see is a film being brought down from excellent to, not so excellent. Generally speaking, the editing process creates an enticing and seamless film that is easy to watch. However, the editing in some films are are used to create a more interesting story. One film in particular that used an different editing style is Christopher Nolan’s, Memento released in 2000. This is the reason why I chose this as my first choice for movie of the week.

A short summary of the story of this film, a man named Leonard (Guy Pearce) suffers from short-term memory loss and finds a way to keep this obstacle from finding the murderer of his wife.

The most noticeable aspect of the editing in this film is the uses of switching between black and white and colour scenes. Watching this film for the first time, it can be a little confusing at the very beginning. But as you continue to watch this film, paying close attention, the editing of the scenes starts to become clear. As I said previously, there are seemingly two different parts to the story, divided by the colour or lack-there-of. This is how it goes; the scenes in colour are actually given to us in reverse, these scenes give us the main bulk of the story and Leonard’s journey. Once this is realised, it’s easier to see how the story is constructed backwards and it all starts to make a bit more sense. In the black and white scenes we see Leonard in motel room, tattooing himself, talking on the phone and receiving mysterious envelopes. These scenes were given to us in the correct chronological order as it happened. All the colour and colourless scene were intertwined within each other creating an appealing and very intriguing film.

Colour scenes


Black and white scenes


All in all, the editing style of Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film was experimental, clever and paid off. I don’t think I’ve seen a film to date with a more interesting style of editing and so I can happily say that this will continue to be one of my favourite films. Let me know in the comments what your favourite film is in terms of editing!

Live Long And Prosper – E



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