The mise-en-scene was really well done especially with the color scenes. Throughout the film, the events that are in the past going forward are portrayed in black and white. Events in the present are portrayed in color. The black and white scenes are shown in order, while color scenes are shown in reverse eventually colliding causing an overwhelming plot twist. When it comes to color, they tried to match the lead character with his surroundings. For example; Leonard’s suit matches his surroundings – tan suit, blue shirt – tan apartment building, with blue doors.
There is some low key lighting in the first scene that exemplifies the suspenseful atmosphere. The suit Leonard’s wearing, shows he has some sort of status along with income…it also matches his surroundings. How he gets his money is left as an enigma. Everything that is shown in this scene has a connection or relevance of some sort. But the audience is still left in the dark about Leonard’s motives.
The opening sequence starts with light music in minor chords and has an orchestra quality to it.
When the opening credits finish the music gets softer.
Heavier music is then introduced like for example with the grabbing of the gun and the gunshot. Before he fires the gun there is an overwhelming rewind sort of sound which draws the audience in while at the same time throwing the audience off guard on what could be happening.
What is very interesting is that although the scene is in reverse Christopher Nolan used forward-playing sounds. For example…when he takes a Polaroid the sound isnt reversed.
There is then a cut and we are introduced to a different scene where we hear a voice over of Leonard for the first time along with the sound of a heartbeat. This is the first introduction we have to a character and the audience is just as confused as he is, unaware of his surroundings or how he got there in the first place.
There is then another cut to the first scene with no sound effects. All the sound is in the background. Leonard and Teddy are talking to each other, turn on the radio and we can hear the environmental sounds around them.
There is a clear difference in costume regarding Teddy and Leonard’s clothes:
-Leonard is in a suit, he’s good looking and he is assertive even though he doesn’t remember anything
– Teddy is presented in a geeky manner with baggy clothing, big glasses, and we can immediately identify inferiority to Leonard.
But Teddy and Leonard still have a strong relationship that is formed.
2. Memento plays with the ideas of order and progression. It is structured anti-chronologically – Backwards. Memento’s unique non-linear narrative structure matches the character of Leonard.
3. I feel as though Welles’ film Citizen Kane did help with the creation of Memento. Each director has their own way of making movies, but there are a lot of similarities between the two. Christopher Nolan used Citizen Kane as inspiration towards Memento, but he also still made Memento his own. There are similarities in the cinematic time, camera angles, costume choices to show the differences between the characters, the seriousness of a scene, and the puzzle-like story line given for the audience to piece together. Both films are amazingly done, and just amazing in general, and both really know how to draw in a crowd. I’m still left puzzled.