‘1 Man 365 Films 365 Days’ – Day 332

#338/ 365 – ‘Memento’ (2000) – 113 mins
IMDb Challenge #213 / 250 – Ranked #30 – DVD Collection

Former insurance investigator Leonard (Guy Pearce) has short-term memory loss. He can’t remember anything or anyone from only moments before. He knows who he is, and can remember everything up to the attack that killed his wife and left him in this condition but everything else is a haze…

Cleverness and confusion collide in writer/director Christopher Nolan’s crime thriller ‘Memento’. Based on a short story by Nolan’s brother Jonathan, the film relies on its one big piece of ingenuity to work – a plot structure that dices with time as it flips back and forth, returning to scenes with new perspectives, from different angles.

Everything within Leonard’s kaleidoscopic memory is one of revenge, paranoia and repetition. He’s a man who relies on clues heavily tattooed on his body to remind him and Polaroid photographs to put names to faces – “Teddy. Don’t listen to his lies. He’s the one. Kill him”

Nolan has created a unique puzzle and challenge for the viewer along a forever shifting maze that momentarily make sense before leaving you in a complete state of perplexity. It’s one of those films that’s too clever for its own good and makes Nolan’s ‘Inception’ which some people find confusing, look like a walk in the park.

That said every aspect of Memento is deftly handled by Nolan and if there’s one thing he should be applauded for then it’s for presenting a film of extreme originality.

#339/ 365 – ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ (1964) – 95 mins
IMDb Challenge #214 / 250 – Ranked #34 – DVD Collection

A US Air Force colonel goes completely mad and launches a nuclear attack on the USSR. Since the Soviets previously announced a “Failsafe” device that will launch all their missiles if there’s an attack on their soil, this could mean that World War III will kick off. The US president and his generals try to stop the bomb.

Peter Sellers is on flawless form playing three different characters, though it’s through his Dr. Strangelove persona who has an arm with a mind of its own, that keeps trying to throw a Nazi salute and punch himself in the face, makes the biggest impression. Then there’s George C. Scott, who puts in an outrageously blustering performance as General Buck Turdgeson.

Mixed with some stunning black and white cinematography, witty script and an undeniably unforgettable death scene involving the cowboy pilot Major King Kong (Slim Pickens), Stanley Kubrick’s satire is the ultimate comedy that explores the total absurdity of nuclear war. If you havent seen it already then give yourself a treat and check it out – it will have you in utter stitches.

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