Free Essay

The Ingenuity of Narrative in Memento

In: Film and Music

Submitted By yangyjxs
Words 1301
Pages 6
The Ingenuity of Narrative in Memento

Abstract: Narration, simply put, is telling stories. However, the way movies narrate tales is not like that of novels developing plot in words or drama unfolding in stage space, but has its own special method for narrative - moving images. In Memento, through its unique nonlinear narrative structure and intense structure contradiction, the motifs of memory, self-deception and revenge and the philosophical exploration of existential angst are demonstrated in an elaborate and subtle way.

Key Words:
Memento narrative structure narrative contradiction

Memento recounts the story of Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia, who distorts his own memory to deny the harsh reality in a both conscious and unconscious way. Living in a world full of lies fabricated by himself, the ill-fated protagonist makes the very principle of his life consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise of the revenge for his wife’s death which is actually caused by himself. In Memento, the splendid way of narration gives audience not only indelible psychological experience, but also a test on their ratiocination. Below is the analysis of narrative advantages in Memento from aspects of narrative structure and narrative impetus, compared with novels and dramas.
I.Narrative Structure Narrative structure is the structural framework that underlies the order and manner in which a narrative is presented to a reader, listener, or viewer. Compared with novels, movies generate more intense mental penetrating power and stronger artistic appeal by employing its unique cinematic art - montage. By effectively employing this technique in the movie, <Memento> unrolls a soul-stirring and thought-provoking story before audience’s eyes. Through skilled editing, the movie makes audience a puzzle and gives them an emotional experience of the insecure state of mind Leonard’s disease causes in him. The narrative structure of Memento is extremely genius. The protagonist Leonard only has short-term memory. He even doesn’t know what he was doing several minutes ago. Memory is broken for him. From this point, the movie adopts a fragmented narrative, to give audience a personal experience of Leonard’s splintered life. The fabula is "the raw material of a story, and syuzhet is the way a story is organized[1]. In Memento, the sujet is structured with two timelines: one in color and one in black-and-white. The color sequences are alternated with black-and-white sequences. The latter are put together in chronological order. The color sequences are ordered in reverse. Chronologically, the black-and-white sequences come first and the color sequences come next. In chronological sequences, the narrative space is a hotel room where Leonard is on the phone, constantly telling people the story of Sammy. Audience can get a complete story by linking the black-and-white sequences together. In the color sequences of reverse order, narrative space is relatively open, such as the hotel room, Natalie’s home and deserted bungalow. Although each color fragment runs chronologically, time backspins as a whole. In the end, after Leonard kills Jimmy discarding the photo, the two sequences "meet" at the end of the film, producing one common story. Through editing, the director disorders the memory and establishes the main narrative framework of the film. On the one hand, reverse order and complicated way of narration creates a huge suspense for audience. On the other hand, reverse sequencing forces the audience into a sympathetic experience of Leonard's defective ability to create new long-term memories, where prior events are not recalled, since the audience has yet to see them.

II.The Narrative Impetus - Contradiction In order to finish narration, some force is required to drive the plot development in novels, dramas and films. “Usually, the important characteristic of narrative impetus is desire. “[2] Desire gives rise to purpose and the process of achieving one’s purpose drives the development of narrative. On the surface, in Memento, the main contradiction exists between Leonard’s strong desire for revenge and the great resistance that his disordered and fragmented memory generates. On a deep level, the key contradiction of the whole film is the psychological conflict and struggle in Leonard himself. In his fragmented memory, revenge is the most important thing for him, but after achieving this goal, how does he, with anterograde amnesia, deal with a fundamentally broken world? Why does he live? In the last scene where two narrative lines meet, with the information that it is he himself that kills his wife and Teddy uses him to kill Jimmy, Leonard writes down on the photo “don’t believe him”. In that moment, the contradiction and struggle in him becomes the decisive factor in how the film develops. In the last scene, the voiceover says: “I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world is still there.” Faced with fragmented and meaningless life, Leonard chooses to escape reality rather than open his eyes to look at it. He chooses to live in a permanent Samsara of revenge. His decision to blind himself from the reality is the root of the whole development of the narrative and generates the superficial conflicts in the film. Meanwhile, such difficult choice alludes to the theme of the film. His taking out twelve pages on purpose, burning photos after revenge and choosing to target Teddy as his next goal all are his conscious choice to blind himself from the real world. He chooses to continuously look for the murderer in order not to know that he himself kills his wife and thus lessens his sense of guilt and finds his purpose of life. As the voiceover says in the end, “I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning even if I can’t remember them… We all need memories to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different. “ In the end, the film places its theme on the exploration of self worth. What is the purpose of everyone’s life? What kind of actions can be counted as meaningful? This is the philosophical thinking and seeking that the film brings to audience. Placing the key contradiction of Leonard’s inner struggle in the ending part, in the one hand, is the requirement of narrative strategy for the reason that the puzzle is unraveled in the end can generate a sense of satisfaction in audience and form a narration chain;on the other hand, this structure setting sublimates the film and draws a deeper reflection from audience with an open ending. Memento stirs up questions and feelings about the most basic issues of how we experience reality and what memory means human’s existence. In addition to being a puzzle, “Memento” is a philosophical tragedy that considers issues that the same type of movies selfdom touches on. Memento greatly utilizes the flexibility of narrative advantages of movies and use moving images to bring audience a feast for eyes and thoughts. From aspect of narrative structure, the director uses the intertwinement of the line in order and the line in reverse order to finish a narration of splintered pieces memory. From aspect of narrative impetus, on each occasion, the unreliability of his memory and his great reliance on it intensely conflict with each other. And in the ending part, the psychological struggle in the protagonist determines the whole narrative of the film. The setting of both superficial and key contradictions of the film is the key impetus that drives the whole plot to develop.

References:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabula_and_sujet
[2]大卫. 波得维尔. 电影艺术——形式风格. 第五版. 北京:北京大学出版社.2003.01: 97

不是故弄玄虚。。。。sb

Some memories are best forgotten.

跟paul broom 心理学上的讲的是一致的

哲学 心理学

如果自欺才能使我快乐,我选择如此的活着

每个人都认为自己的认知和判断才是最正确最可信的,亲眼看过的,记得住的东西就是事实。但其实有多少次,我们发现记忆也会出现误差,甚至记忆才是最大的误导者,自己据理力争无比确信的事实,其实是种错觉。

普遍认为本片最高超的地方在于叙事手法,影片剪辑,montage的运用。

不知道大家上不上rotten tomatoes(简单介绍一下),是有英美专业影评人和观众两部分评分组成。此片均为92!paul broom 力荐的一部影片!
而肖申克/指环王

叙事手法与主题,剧情,悬疑设置的完美结合
而绝非所谓的哗众取宠

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Jezz Bezos

...Begin Reading Table of Contents Photos Newsletters Copyright Page In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at permissions@hbgusa.com. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights. For Isabella and Calista Stone When you are eighty years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. —Jeff Bezos, commencement speech at Princeton University, May 30, 2010 Prologue In the early 1970s, an industrious advertising executive named Julie Ray became fascinated with an unconventional public-school program for gifted children in Houston, Texas. Her son was among the first students enrolled in what would later be called the Vanguard program, which stoked creativity and independence in its students and nurtured expansive, outside-the-box thinking. Ray grew so enamored with the curriculum and the community of enthusiastic teachers and parents that she set out to research similar schools around the state with an eye toward writing a book......

Words: 120163 - Pages: 481

Premium Essay

Gre Wordlist

...Barron GRE word list - A abase abash abate abbreviate abdicate aberrant aberration abet abeyance abhor abide abject abjure ablution abnegation abode abolish abominable abominate aboriginal abortive abrasive abridge abrogate abscission abscond absolute absolve abstain lower; degrade; humiliate; make humble; make (oneself) lose self-respect embarrass subside or moderate shorten renounce; give up (position, right, or responsibility) abnormal or deviant deviation from the normal; mental disorder assist usually in doing something wrong; encourage suspended action detest; hate Dwell; abide by: comply with; put up with; tolerate; Ex. abide by the rules; Ex. I can't abide rude people. (of a condition) wretched; as low as possible; lacking pride; very humble; showing lack of self-respect; Ex. abject apology renounce upon oath washing renunciation; self-sacrifice; self-abnegation dwelling place; home cancel; put an end to detestable; extremely unpleasant loathe; hate being the first of its kind in a region; primitive; native; indigenous; N. aborigine unsuccessful; fruitless rubbing away; tending to grind down condense or shorten abolish cutting off; separation depart secretly and hide complete; totally unlimited; having complete power; certain; not relative; Ex. absolute honesty/ruler; CF. absolutism pardon (an offense) refrain; withhold from participation; intentionally not use one's vote; abstemious abstinence abstract abstruse abusive abut abysmal abyss academic accede......

Words: 52370 - Pages: 210

Premium Essay

Business

...C h a p t e r 1 Prewriting GETTING STARTED (OR SOUP-CAN LABELS CAN BE FASCINATING) For many writers, getting started is the hardest part. You may have noticed that when it is time to begin a writing assignment, you suddenly develop an enormous desire to straighten your books, water your plants, or sharpen your pencils for the fifth time. If this situation sounds familiar, you may find it reassuring to know that many professionals undergo these same strange compulsions before they begin writing. Jean Kerr, author of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, admits that she often finds herself in the kitchen reading soup-can labels—or anything—in order to prolong the moments before taking pen in hand. John C. Calhoun, vice president under Andrew Jackson, insisted he had to plow his fields before he could write, and Joseph Conrad, author of Lord Jim and other novels, is said to have cried on occasion from the sheer dread of sitting down to compose his stories. To spare you as much hand-wringing as possible, this chapter presents some practical suggestions on how to begin writing your short essay. Although all writers must find the methods that work best for them, you may find some of the following ideas helpful. But no matter how you actually begin putting words on paper, it is absolutely essential to maintain two basic ideas concerning your writing task. Before you write a single sentence, you should always remind yourself that 1. You have some valuable ideas to tell your reader,...

Words: 234754 - Pages: 940

Premium Essay

Gre Book Words

...Download GRE Big Book Word List GRE Big Book Word List abase v. To lower in position, estimation, or the like; degrade. abbess n. The lady superior of a nunnery. abbey n. The group of buildings which collectively form the dwelling-place of a society of monks or nuns. abbot n. The superior of a community of monks. abdicate v. To give up (royal power or the like). abdomen n. In mammals, the visceral cavity between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor; the belly. abdominal n. Of, pertaining to, or situated on the abdomen. abduction n. A carrying away of a person against his will, or illegally. abed adv. In bed; on a bed. aberration n. Deviation from a right, customary, or prescribed course. abet v. To aid, promote, or encourage the commission of (an offense). abeyance n. A state of suspension or temporary inaction. abhorrence n. The act of detesting extremely. abhorrent adj. Very repugnant; hateful. abidance n. An abiding. abject adj. Sunk to a low condition. abjure v. To recant, renounce, repudiate under oath. able-bodied adj. Competent for physical service. ablution n. A washing or cleansing, especially of the body. abnegate v. To renounce (a right or privilege). abnormal adj. Not conformed to the ordinary rule or standard. abominable adj. Very hateful. abominate v. To hate violently. abomination n. A very detestable act or practice. aboriginal adj. Primitive; unsophisticated. aborigines n. The original of earliest known inhabitants of a......

Words: 46293 - Pages: 186

Premium Essay

Mr. Piyuwsh Wankar

...Download GRE Big Book Word List GRE Big Book Word List abase v. To lower in position, estimation, or the like; degrade. abbess n. The lady superior of a nunnery. abbey n. The group of buildings which collectively form the dwelling-place of a society of monks or nuns. abbot n. The superior of a community of monks. abdicate v. To give up (royal power or the like). abdomen n. In mammals, the visceral cavity between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor; the belly. abdominal n. Of, pertaining to, or situated on the abdomen. abduction n. A carrying away of a person against his will, or illegally. abed adv. In bed; on a bed. aberration n. Deviation from a right, customary, or prescribed course. abet v. To aid, promote, or encourage the commission of (an offense). abeyance n. A state of suspension or temporary inaction. abhorrence n. The act of detesting extremely. abhorrent adj. Very repugnant; hateful. abidance n. An abiding. abject adj. Sunk to a low condition. abjure v. To recant, renounce, repudiate under oath. able-bodied adj. Competent for physical service. ablution n. A washing or cleansing, especially of the body. abnegate v. To renounce (a right or privilege). abnormal adj. Not conformed to the ordinary rule or standard. abominable adj. Very hateful. abominate v. To hate violently. abomination n. A very detestable act or practice. aboriginal adj. Primitive; unsophisticated. aborigines n. The original of earliest known inhabitants of a......

Words: 46293 - Pages: 186

Premium Essay

Barron 3500

...6 Build Your Vocabulary ■ ■ ■ ■ The SAT High-Frequency Word List The SAT Hot Prospects Word List The 3,500 Basic Word List Basic Word Parts be facing on the test. First, look over the words on our SAT High-Frequency Word List, which you’ll find on the following pages. Each of these words has appeared (as answer choices or as question words) from eight to forty times on SATs published in the past two decades. Next, look over the words on our Hot Prospects List, which appears immediately after the High-Frequency List. Though these words don’t appear as often as the high-frequency words do, when they do appear, the odds are that they’re key words in questions. As such, they deserve your special attention. Now you’re ready to master the words on the High-Frequency and Hot Prospects Word Lists. First, check off those words you think you know. Then, look up all the words and their definitions in our 3,500 Basic Word List. Pay particular attention to the words you thought you knew. See whether any of them are defined in an unexpected way. If they are, make a special note of them. As you know from the preceding chapters, SAT often stumps students with questions based on unfamiliar meanings of familiar-looking words. Use the flash cards in the back of this book and create others for the words you want to master. Work up memory tricks to help yourself remember them. Try using them on your parents and friends. Not only will going over these high-frequency words reassure you that......

Words: 92038 - Pages: 369

Free Essay

Stars Without Number

...STARS WITHOUT NUMBER For Eden, who gave me a reason. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction ..............................................................................................................5 Character Creation ....................................................................................................7 Psionics ...................................................................................................................25 Equipment ..............................................................................................................33 Systems ...................................................................................................................59 The History of Space ...............................................................................................71 Game Master’s Guide ..............................................................................................78 World Generation ...................................................................................................87 Factions .................................................................................................................113 Adventure Creation ...............................................................................................128 Alien Creation .......................................................................................................138 Xenobestiary......

Words: 143564 - Pages: 575

Free Essay

Commercial Bank

...M. K. Gandhi AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR The story of my experiments with truth TRANSLATED FROM THE GUJARATI BY MAHADEV DESAI GANDHI BOOK CENTRE Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal 299, Tardeo Raod, Nana Chowk Bombay - 7 INDIA 3872061 email: info @ mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org www: mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org NAVAJIVAN PUBLISHING HOUSE AHMEDABAD-380014 Chapter 1 BIRTH AND PARENTAGE he Gandhis belong to the Bania caste and seem to have been originally grocers. But for three generations, from my grandfather, they have been Prime Ministers in several Kathiawad States. Uttamchand Gandhi, alias Ota Gandhi, my grandfather, must have been a man of principle. State intrigues compelled him to leave Porbandar, where he was Diwan, and to seek refuge in Junagadh. There he saluted the Nawab with the left hand. Someone, noticing the apparent discourtesy, asked for an explanation, which was given thus: 'The right hand is already pledged to Porbandar.' Ota Gandhi married a second time, having lost his first wife. He had four sons by his first wife and two by his second wife. I do not think that in my childhood I ever felt or knew that these sons of Ota Gandhi were not all of the same mother. The fifth of these six brothers was Karamchand Gandhi, alias Kaba Gandhi, and the sixth was Tulsidas Gandhi. Both these brothers were Prime Ministers in Porbandar, one after the other. Kaba Gandhi was my father. He was a member of the Rajasthanik Court. It is now extinct, but in those days it was a very influential body......

Words: 171673 - Pages: 687

Premium Essay

Geiziji

...FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering. Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing offlimits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business......

Words: 233886 - Pages: 936

Premium Essay

Holly Farm

...Robert Johnston Stuart Chambers Christine Harland Alan Harrison Nigel Slack Cases in Operations Management third edition Cases in Operations Management We work with leading authors to develop the strongest educational materials in operations management, bringing cutting-edge thinking and best learning practice to a global market. Under a range of well-known imprints, including Financial Times Prentice Hall, we craft high quality print and electronic publications which help readers to understand and apply their content, whether studying or at work. To find out more about the complete range of our publishing, please visit us on the World Wide Web at: www.pearsoneduc.com THIRD EDITION Cases in Operations Management Robert Johnston Warwick Business School, University of Warwick Stuart Chambers Warwick Business School, University of Warwick Christine Harland School of Management, University of Bath Alan Harrison Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University Nigel Slack Warwick Business School, University of Warwick Pearson Education Limited Edinburgh Gate Harlow Essex CM20 2JE United Kingdom and Associated Companies throughout the world Visit us on the World Wide Web at: www.pearsoned.co.uk First published 1993 Second published 1997 Third Edition 2003 © Robert Johnston, Stuart Chambers, Christine Harland, Alan Harrison and Nigel Slack 1993, 2003 The rights of Robert Johnston, Stuart Chambers, Christine Harland, Alan Harrison...

Words: 207956 - Pages: 832

Free Essay

Test2

...62118 0/nm 1/n1 2/nm 3/nm 4/nm 5/nm 6/nm 7/nm 8/nm 9/nm 1990s 0th/pt 1st/p 1th/tc 2nd/p 2th/tc 3rd/p 3th/tc 4th/pt 5th/pt 6th/pt 7th/pt 8th/pt 9th/pt 0s/pt a A AA AAA Aachen/M aardvark/SM Aaren/M Aarhus/M Aarika/M Aaron/M AB aback abacus/SM abaft Abagael/M Abagail/M abalone/SM abandoner/M abandon/LGDRS abandonment/SM abase/LGDSR abasement/S abaser/M abashed/UY abashment/MS abash/SDLG abate/DSRLG abated/U abatement/MS abater/M abattoir/SM Abba/M Abbe/M abbé/S abbess/SM Abbey/M abbey/MS Abbie/M Abbi/M Abbot/M abbot/MS Abbott/M abbr abbrev abbreviated/UA abbreviates/A abbreviate/XDSNG abbreviating/A abbreviation/M Abbye/M Abby/M ABC/M Abdel/M abdicate/NGDSX abdication/M abdomen/SM abdominal/YS abduct/DGS abduction/SM abductor/SM Abdul/M ab/DY abeam Abelard/M Abel/M Abelson/M Abe/M Aberdeen/M Abernathy/M aberrant/YS aberrational aberration/SM abet/S abetted abetting abettor/SM Abeu/M abeyance/MS abeyant Abey/M abhorred abhorrence/MS abhorrent/Y abhorrer/M abhorring abhor/S abidance/MS abide/JGSR abider/M abiding/Y Abidjan/M Abie/M Abigael/M Abigail/M Abigale/M Abilene/M ability/IMES abjection/MS abjectness/SM abject/SGPDY abjuration/SM abjuratory abjurer/M abjure/ZGSRD ablate/VGNSDX ablation/M ablative/SY ablaze abler/E ables/E ablest able/U abloom ablution/MS Ab/M ABM/S abnegate/NGSDX abnegation/M Abner/M abnormality/SM abnormal/SY ab......

Words: 113589 - Pages: 455

Free Essay

General

...THE STUDENT'S PRACTICAL DICTIONARY ; fNdkoq ; CONTAINING English words with English and Hindi Meanings and Pronunciation in Deva Nagri Character with an Appendix containing Familiar Foreign Words and Phrases and Abbreviations in Common use. FIFTEENTH EDITION Thoroughly Revised,Improved,Enlarged and Illustrated PRICE 3 RUPESS ALLAHABAD RAM NARAIN LAL PUBLISHER AND BOOKSELLER 1936 ISCII text of dictionary taken from from TDIL's ftp: anu.tdil.gov.in pub dict site I N 1.m I Pron 1.m a Det 1.ek, abatement N abbey N 1.kmF, GVtF, GVAv, mdApn, b A, 2.yAg, smAE ag jF vZmAlA kA Tm a"r tTA -vr, 2.tk mphlA kESpt pzq vA -tAv  , aback Adv 1.acAnk, ekAek, 2.pFC  abandon VT 1.CoX  nA, yAg  nA, yAgnA, tjnA, d d 2.EbnA aAj^ nA nOkrF CoXnA, apn kodrAcAr aAEd mCoX  nA,   d ,   nA d d abandoned A 1.CoXA h,aA, Enjn-TAn, 2.EbgXA h,aA, iEdy lolp, lMpV, drAcArF, aAvArA , , abandonment N 1.pZ yAg, sMpZ aAmosg,   EbSkl CoX  nA d , abate VI 1.km honA, GVnA, DFmA honA abate VT 1.km krnA, GVAnA, DFmA krnA, m@ym krnA, rok  nA, smA krnA d 1 1.IsAiyo kA mW, gz\ArA, kVF, mW, , , 2.mht  aADFn sADao kF mXlF k , abbot N 1.mht, mWDArF, mWAEDkArF abbreviate VT 1.km krnA, s" krnA, CoVA krnA, p sAr EnkAlnA abbreviation N 1.s" , GVAv, sAr, lG,!p, skt, p  2.sE" pd yAf, fNd yA pd kA lG!p ^ , abdicate VTI 1.-vQCA s CoXnA, yAg krnA, tjnA,   pd yAg krnA abdication N 1.pd yAg abdomen N 1.X, V, k"F, udr p p , abdominal A 1.udr sMbDF, V kA p abduct VI 1.BgA l jAnA, EnkAl l...

Words: 164153 - Pages: 657