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.


  • Now THAT was pretty clever... I guess the German air's making you Monty Python-ish by the second (even if the Monties are from somewhere else...

    Sorry just wanted to segue to something -- can i borrow some of the stuff i borrowed from you before? Like The Monty Python dvd's and your dad's Proj Management book? =) Do I simply talk to Jean if I can pass by for her, i mean, those? =P That last one was a joke -- in case you're unsure)

    Anyway, your blog entry has just inspired me to look for that dvd here in cheapo-dvd-land (aka Greenhills).

    Nice to see the philosopher in you is still breathin...

    By Anonymous Barok (chinitobutnotchinese), at 3:13 PM  

  • Yey!

    Someone got the joke! Hahaha! I'm so happy! Monties are English or course.

    Yes Barok, just text her. She does read this blog u know. hehehe Kidding.

    I'm really into "Philosophy" mode nowadays here. It's the atmosphere or something. So I guess it's the "air" as you put it.

    Inggat pare.

    By Blogger Ernest, at 11:36 PM  

  • hehehe napatawa ako dun ah. :) the sad thing about this is i am actually like that often. joel says i have the attention span of a 2 year old (or a five month old puppy). :) it's nice to somehow keep in touch with you kahit by this blog man lang... :) ingat!

    By Anonymous eena, at 2:03 AM  

  • Joel is so mean and insulting to children and puppies. Sigh. hehehe :)

    By Blogger Ernest, at 4:03 PM  

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