Mar 16, 2011

Best Shot: Memento

*This Post is part of Nathaniel's "Hit me with your best shot" series.

Polaroids may be one of my most favourite things in life. Aren’t they just so much cooler than digital photography? Or any type of photography? It’s so awesome to have the photo right there in your hand just as you take it! The point is to say that I wasn’t surprised when I rewatched the film for this post that my mind kept going back to the moments where Leonard takes his Polaroid pictures as my favourite shots. Of course, the film opens on one of those shots, played backwards as the image on the Polaroid fades into white. If you haven’t seen the film yet, these Polaroids, along with Leonard’s notes and tattoos guide him to solve the mystery of his wife’s death. While most of these images are merely explanatory, like the Motel, the car, or even Dodd and Teddy at their most present state, my favourite moment in the film comes when Leonard shoots Natalie. Natalie’s photo is different in that it doesn’t even show her clearly, but it nevertheless reflects her mysterious character. Like the photograph that hides her face, Carrie Anne Moss avoids emotional expressivity in many of the film’s critical moments, and creates the only character in the film that is more puzzling to us than to Leonard.

If you haven’t seen Memento yet, please do so ASAP. It might not have the high-budget production value of his later films, but it remains his most clever and original film to date. Plus, Natalie is Nolan’s best female creation. Do you think Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman can take her spot?


  1. Polaroids are awesome. It's a shame that they've stopped making instant film. One would think that they would be much more popular in this day and age where instant gratification seems to be the norm.

  2. i still have a polaroid camera. and two cartridges of film. but i'm scared to use them as how to get more?

    GREAT POST. Natalie is a really good character -- though i attribute that mostly to Carrie Anne Moss.

  3. I still think Natalie is the best female character Nolan's ever written with Mal being a close second. But like Nathaniel said, that's probably more because of the actresses than the actual character on the page.

  4. Just found your blog, I love this best shot feature, it's great! And otherwise as well, really cool stuff man.

  5. thanks buddy.
    i'm glad to hear that, and i'll be sure to check yours out. :)