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‘Memento’ Documentary: Watch Christopher Nolan & the Cast Break Down the Making Of a Classic

From the IndieWire Vault: Nolan details his decisions about how to film the thriller and his editing techniques.


Memento” (2000) features Guy Pearce as Leonard, a man with short-term memory who creates a system to help him remember things, especially after he tries to track down the man who raped and murdered his wife. Although he recalls some details from his life, he has a difficult time remembering what happened 15 minutes ago.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, the helmer, cast and crew talk about the creation of the film in a vintage documentary about the making of the thriller. The video starts with the dissecting of the opening scene that is shown in reverse and how it came to be. They also discuss the transition of the next scene to black and white.

READ MORE: ‘All About Eve’ Behind-the-Scenes Documentary: Bette Davis on the Role That ‘Resurrected Me From the Dead’

“The black and white scenes became a way to give audiences what, at the beginning of the film seems like, a more objective view of the character,” describes Nolan. The video also talks about casting Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and how Nolan was hesitant to have Joe Pantoliano join the ensemble because of his previous roles.

READ MORE: ‘Citizen Kane’ Interview: Watch Orson Welles Discuss the Classic Film on BBC in 1960

Editing was also a difficult step in the film, being that it was so complex and integral, “You can’t remove a scene from the film because every scene connects in a very literal, specific and lineal way with the scene that proceeds it and follows it,” explains the director.

“Memento” went on to be nominated for two Academy Awards in the categories Best Writing, Screenplay Directly for the Screen and Best Film Editing, and you can see why in the featurette.

Get more details of how the film was made below:


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