Mein Neues Leben in Deutschland

Saturday, March 19, 2005


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I watched Memento last night. I can't believe I've never heard of this movie before. I came across it while doing research for my paper Imagined Choice and Free Will in the Modern City as Depicted in Modern Cinema. I really enjoyed the movie on many levels. The plot and storyline were really engaging, the structure very inspired.

The story is told from the perspective of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pierce) who suffered an injury leaving him with a rare mental condition.

Leonard Shelby: I have this condition.
Hotel Clerk: Condition?
Leonard Shelby: It's my memory.
Hotel Clerk: Amnesia?
Leonard Shelby: No, no, no, no. It's different from that. I have no short term memory. I know who I am, I know all about myself. I just, since my injury, I can't make new memories. If we talk for too long I'll forget how we started and the next time I see you I won't remember this conversation. I don't even know if I've met you before. So if I seem strange or rude or something...I've told you this before haven't I?
Hotel Clerk: Yeah. I mean, I don't mean to mess with you, but it's so weird. You don't remember me at all?
Leonard Shelby: No.
Hotel Clerk: We've talked a bunch of times.
Leonard Shelby: I'm sure we have.

He's on a quest of vengeance for his wife's killer. Since he can't remember anything for more that a few minutes, he writes notes to himself, gets tatoos, and takes photographs, all in an attempt to make sense of it all.

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Natalie: But even if you get revenge you're not gonna remember it. You're not even going to know that it happened.
Leonard Shelby: My wife deserves vengance. Doesn't make a difference whether I know about it. Just becuase there are things I don't remember doesn't make my actions meaningless. The world doesn't just disappear when you close your eyes, does it?

Aside form the storyline, the movie is rich with philosophical insight into memory, self deception and self creation, temporality, systematic doubt and identity. It tackles issues of who we are. Are we unique because of our experiences and memories? What if we lost all these memories? What are we left with?

Leonard Shelby: 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. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different.

Leonard Shelby: How am I supposed to heal if I can't... feel time?

So, anyway, I watched Memento last night. I couldn't believe I haven't heard of this movie before. I found it while doing research for my paper The Simulation of Choice and Free Will in the Modern City as Depicted in Modern Cinema. I really enjoyed it on so many levels. The movie deals with themes of memory, identity, systematic doubt (Descartes)and a persons capacity for self creation or self deception. It was very well written and structured.

Speaking of good movies, I watched Memento last night. I hope to be able to blog about it soon. It deals with several good philosophical insights. But for now, I still have to work on my paper The Game and the Modern City as Depicted in Modern Cinema.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


I've been reading quite a lot of books the last 2 weeks. After Hochschultage where I presented my projects, I decided to take a short break and finally be able to read some books. I bought Sophie's World and The Da Vinci Code in a bookstore and borrowed Angels and Demons from a flat-mate. (BTW, I now live in a student dorm-like place with 5 other people).

I make it a point not to follow the literary bandwagon, so I stay away from reading that which everbody is reading. Remember when The Da Vinci Code came out end everybody was holding a copy!? And don't even get me started on the Quidditch playing, spellcasting kid. But sometimes the bandwagon does produce certain gems, so after the fanfare has died down, I do hunt some of these books down.(Sophie's World was a diamond. It was amusingly placed in the childrens section at the bookstore)

I'm not really a fast reader. I remember it years ago took me a month to finish Stephen King's The Stand. So I really have to chose which books I pick up.

Needless to say I really enjoyed these three books. That's it. End of post. Just sharing. No dramatic philosophical insight. Kwento lang.