Stolen Self

Last Wednesday, I was robbed of my self. And not in any normal fashion, either (if there is such a thing when dealing with Self.) Rather, my sense of self was purposely stolen by a film director.

Memento was by far the best film we have watched in Cultural Studies this year, and not just because the acting was solid and the plot was intriguing. The larger issues it dealt with — the subjectivity of memory, the results of psychological trauma, and the construction of Self — were ensnared in a genious cinematic performance that was strangely unfulfilling.

This, of course, was not the result of a lack of good points. In fact, it was just the opposite. The lack of conclusion concerning the facts leaves one desiring more. We naturally seek an objective portrayal of the events that occured. We receive none. And even more concerning, the main character whose point of view we have been following seems to receive none either. The discontinuous storyline lead to a climax that had the viewer lusting after some conclusion, and instead it left the audience hanging, unsure not just of the film’s events, but inevitably of the events that take place in reality.

Kudos to director Christopher Nolan. He has left me stymied, which is to say enamoured with the film Memento!


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