Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The inspiration behind “Memento”

Christopher Nolan’s ambitious and ground breaking movie “Memento” was based on as short story written by his brother Jonathan Nolan called “Memento Muir”. A few days ago, I had the good fortune of reading the original story and what a story it was!! I mean, the narrative is unconventional, the idea revolting and the philosophy insightful…

Here are a few excerpts from that story

“The question is whether you want to do something about it. Whether revenge matters to you.

It does to most people. For a few weeks, they plot, they scheme, they take measures to get even. But the passage of time is all it takes to erode that initial impulse. Time is theft, isn’t that what they say? And time eventually convinces most of us that forgiveness is a virtue. Conveniently, cowardice and forgiveness look identical at a certain distance. Time steals your nerve.”

Cool, huh? There’s more….

“Every man is broken into twenty-four-hour fractions, and then and again within those twenty-four hours….For a few minutes of every day, every man becomes a genius, Moments of clarity, insight, whatever you want to call them. The clouds part, the planets get in a neat little line, and everything becomes obvious. I should quit smoking, maybe or here’s how I could make a fast million, or such and such is the key to eternal happiness. That’s the miserable truth. For a few moments, the secrets of the universe are opened to us. Life is a cheap parlor trick.

But then the genius, the savant, has to hand control to the next guy down the pike, most likely the guy who just wants to eat potato chips, and insight and brilliance and salvation all are entrusted to a moron or a hedonist or a narcoleptic.”

There are more but I think it is better if you read it within the context of the story where it makes more sense. It is available at the end of the script for Memento in most of the script sites. So check it out…this is ‘real talent’ thing. Jonathan Nolan is clearly at par with his brother’s creativity, and it would be very interesting to see what kind of story he develops for the next Batman movie.

Till then….


Joshua Victor said...

Hey Arch,

That's pretty cool..I liked the one about revenge - 'Time steals your nerve'( good one ).

Btw I have been doing lots and lots of comic book reading...I love Alex Ross. That guy is a genius.

Anonymous said...


Joshua Victor said...

Can you send me the link to the script, please ?
I saw the movie yesterday and I am spell bound.
This movie kicks ass...