Top 100 Movies of All Time Memento

Top 100 Movies of All Time Memento
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Top 100 Movies of All Time Memento. Today’s installation of the THiNC. walkthrough of the top 100 movies of all time is a bit of a conundrum. You see, because this movie crossed the streams between the top 100 list, and the Venn diagram that is THiNC.’s day in and day out. Not only that, but we’ve already done an extraordinarily in-depth walkthrough, and primer on the film – which, you can read right here if you want. We even explained the various scenes, and which ones move forwards, and which ones move backwards. I think I even gave like ten different theories that best explain the movie from top to bottom. Well, since that is the case… what are we doing here? We did promise to walkthrough all 100 didn’t we?

But, as we’ve already done a long walkthrough of this seminal movie, I’m going to forgot that detail, and instead, after watching the film again, talk to how well the film holds up in Nolan’s oeuvre, and in general how good the movie still is today.

Memento Over View

I actually watched this movie with my son, who is an enormous Nolan fan. “I only want movies like Nolan’s movies…” “Well, son, the sad thing here is…” But out of all of Nolan’s films, we thought that Memento held up the least well. The editing style seemed aged, and vintagely rough, in a sort of aging sort of way. Not a clever sort of way. The acting was brilliant, of course. And the ducking and weaving of the film’s editing, brilliant, of course. But similar to Tenet, it sort of felt like this movie came off as overly complex for complexity sake. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be an enormous fan of Memento. And while most people will always advocate that Leonard is Sammy and Sammy is Leonard, I hold on to the hope that Leonard’s wife survived her hospital stay. That Leonard had a lot to work through before he could figure out that his wife was still alive. But, seeing as though there is a lot of evidence against this personal theory, I keep holding out hope.

Seriously though – Memento will always be a classic. It successfully moves the viewer forwards and backwards in the narrative simultaneously without driving the viewer to drink. Well, unintentionally anyway. It also bookends its story in violence, mirroring both the coming and going of Leonard, and replicating the experience of someone lost to a memory trauma.

It is interesting where Memento fell onto the Hollywood Reporter top 100 list. If you think about the list of Nolan’s movies, I’d be fine if you just started with Nolan at #1, and just ran his movies through the top 10 entire. I actually discussed this in detail right here. But if I were to spoil the rest of the list a bit, there are three Nolan movies on this list. We start at #90 with Memento. Then we get to Inception at #84. And the Dark Knight at #57. It’s pretty amazing that a super hero movie made it into the top 100 greatest movies of all time. (I was recently talking to a friend, and I posited that super hero movies are just an excuse by Hollywood to go back to creating the old archetypal movies of yore… you know, the white hat and black hat movies?? But without all the chunkiness and golly-gee-ness of that style of movie making. You know? I digress. Maybe I’ll get back to this idea when we reach The Dark Knight.)

Thoughts on Memento’s Re-watch

At the end of the day – when I hit stop on this movie – I still wanted to know how the loop began and the details of the attack. Did Leonard kill the first of two attackers? And the second one survived? Catherine, his wife, did she go to the hospital, and survive the initial attack in spite of his memory that she died there in their bathroom? Later then, did she survive the hospital stay? Or did she die? And what about Leonard? Did he ever even come close to catching the attacker? Or did Teddy take advantage of him for his own ends from day one? And what about the tattoo? Did he ever get the tattoo “I Did It”? Or was that just a vision that he had, hoping for the day when he really would find the surviving attacker that killed his wife? There is so much to do with memory here in this movie that it is really difficult to know anything with such an unreliable narrator like Leonard Shelby.

But ultimately, aren’t we all just like this? Aren’t all of our memories just as unreliable as Leonard’s? And, when you think about it, aren’t all of our motives just as unreliable and unstably arbitrary as his? Do I manipulate my own thoughts and feelings to get what I want right now? It’s a valid question and – yeah, the answer is 100% yes. I just walked out of the film Green Knight, and that movie basically is Memento, but told from a different angle. It’s a fascinating conversation, and totally worth the internal struggle to think about honestly.

Want to see the other movies I’ve already covered in the top 100 list… check them out right here.

Edited by: CY