It’s time to jump into the deep end of the pool with Memento. What is the meaning of this movie? Is it just a unique structure? Or is there a real message at its core?
This is the film that launched Christopher Nolan (Inception, Dark Knight trilogy…). It’s debated in film school. It’s a movie that was once talked about all the time, but now is it actually underrated?
Let’s break it down. Why is important? What does it mean? Who do we trust?
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Rob: that is it for today's episode of the meaning of the movie. Be sure to like and subscribe. And until next time we will see you then.
Andrew: Thank you so much for listening everybody. I think we made some really good points today and, uh, we'll, uh, bounce it over back to you Rob, to close this out.
Rob: Do you know what I'm doing right now, Andrew?
Andrew: Oh, I do know what you do. And right now you are playing with structure. My friend, you were playing with the structure of the podcast
Rob: we're doing Memento today. And so I am beginning with the podcast with the very end, just to mess with your mind, because that is what kind of episode this is going to be.
Rob: Um, I got to warn you right from the top spoiler central. If you've not seen Memento, do yourself a favor, shut this off, cancel your plans and go see that movie because it is amazing. And must be seen. You have to see it before you listen to this
Andrew: episode, that is a hundred percent true. If you are a movie lover and listening to this podcast, do yourself a favor, go see the mento.
Andrew: It's, it's amazing
Rob: for everyone else. Welcome today's episode. Be sure to like, and subscribe, leave us a review. We love reviews. We love hearing from you. And we also have a Facebook page. Uh, and so if you want to follow us on Facebook and we even have a Facebook group, I'll link both those in the show notes, but we love to have arguments and conversations about movies, where a podcast that's just getting started, but our community is already starting to build.
Rob: And we love hearing from all of you. And so welcome to the show. You ready for? Today's show Andrew.
Andrew: I, well, I'm ready to go. I watched the movie and I'm like, let's do this thing. Okay.
Rob: So my opening question is this, how do you feel about voiceover and flashbacks? Just in general, big picture. How do you feel about that?
Andrew: filmmaking, a lot of people always refer to them as like it's cheating, right. To like use a voiceover, like don't use the voiceover. I think like a really well-placed voiceover can be fun. Um, but generally speaking, I'm not into it. This movie, I disagree with all of that. I think it's all amazing and done, done perfectly.
Andrew: But I think what my example of like voiceover done badly, I was thinking about this in like the Spiderman episode. Spider-Man one with whom Maguire ends with him doing this big voiceover about like, why he can't be with the ones he loves, because he has to protect them. It's like this internal monologue that plays over the whole end of the film and then Spiderman, no way home came out and basically does the exact same theme, but you just watch it happen and they've set everything up.
Andrew: So as a story that you don't need that voiceover and it's so much more, uh, like engaging and heartfelt. So to me, that was like a really good argument for like, ah, yeah, this is why voiceover is cheating.
Rob: Yeah, voiceover's totally cheating, but I am like crack cocaine addicted to it when it's done. Right. I think like, it's one of my favorites.
Rob: Like the screenwriter in me knows like, don't do it, stay away, steer clear from it. But when it's done, right, I think of movies, like Goodfella, I think of movies like election Magnolia, a certain films when it's just unright it like adds this other dimension, even films with like omniscient, narrators, uh, like, um, stranger than fiction.
Rob: Like I'm a leader has these kinds of omniscient narrators. And, um, when it's done, right, I'm just like take my money I am in. And, um, I feel the same way about flashbacks. Like flashbacks can be such a cheesy plot device. They can, CO's so wrong, but when it is done, right, I'm all into it. One of my favorite TV shows a show.
Rob: We've talked about a lot in the past last, uh, it's just, Hey, we're doing flashbacks behind flashbacks. And I don't know for something for me, for some reason when those things are done, right. I'm in. And I think this movie is like a masterclass in how to do voiceover and how to do flashback in an incredible way.
Andrew: I agree. I think this isn't necessarily flashbacks. It's just like a structure board of craziness, but it is fully built around the voiceover. And I think it works so well in this because it's not a cheating way of getting exposition in or like moving the narrative along. He uses the voiceover. To keep you in Leonard's brain to make sure that you're seeing things from his perspective and feeling what it's like to be in his head with like the constant reset of his life.
Andrew: And I think it would be so much less successful without the voiceover. The voiceover actively makes it better half the habit.
Rob: So let me ask you this, like, because I think we have to have this conversation before talking about the film very much. Can you explain the structure of this film? Like, can you explain how the structure of Momento works?
Andrew: This is the structure of a mental work. It's is a story that is playing from the end backwards and the front forwards at the same time intercutting scene by scene until they meet in the middle with the middle being the most revealing part of the story.
Rob: Right. What's so incredible. What's. Mind-bending about this movie is the very first shot of the movie is the furthest in the story we ever get.
Rob: So first we don't know what happens after the first shot in the movie. We know everything that happened leading up to that first shot. And the whole movie is just leading up. It's up to the first shot and that's what. Credible about that structure is the way that it's like, oh, and, and the way that you talked about it is so right, what they do is their color scenes.
Rob: And so scenes that are actually filmed in Technicolor. Uh, those are just said I can, her the wonderful
Andrew: invention of Technicolor, but
Rob: yes, those scenes that are in color are backwards. And so every scene is getting a little bit further back in this. And then there's all sorts of YouTube clips actually, where you can see Christopher Nolan draw this out, but then the black and white scenes are going forward.
Rob: And so I know this is a podcast and you can't see what my hands are doing, but the color scenes are going backwards. The black and white scenes are going forward and you're right. It meets in the middle and it kind of like it even like, what's so interesting is they actually do a Polaroid right there.
Rob: And as he shakes the Polaroid, that's what changes it from black and white to color, which is so incredible. Yeah. I think Polaroid sales went up by like 500% after this movie because it's not like Polaroids were really a thing. When this movie came out all of a sudden, like early two thousands, like everyone's got Polaroids.
Rob: It was just like, I mean, if there was ever product placement in a movie is like Memento sponsored by Polaroid.
Andrew: Yeah. There's nothing more hipster than the movie memento and a
Rob: Polaroid camera a hundred percent. So let me ask you this, like, how did you feel watching this.
Andrew: Well, this is the second time I've watched it.
Andrew: The first time I watched it was like back in film school, like 15 years ago. I own it on blue Ray, I think, but I've never watched it. I think it comes in like a cool, like DVD case that has like a case file and everything in it. They did like this crazy thing with the packaging and they, and they put it on.
Andrew: I own it, but I like never rewatched it. Uh, so this is my first rewatch in a really, really long time. And I felt like I was a detective the whole time, because like I remembered some of the basic plot points. I remembered like the big spoilers, but like scene to scene. Why is this action happening? Why is this action happening?
Andrew: Where did this information come from? Like, it's an incredible detective story of putting the pieces together. And the only reason it is that is because of the struggle. Um, and so just like the edge of your seat, putting puzzle pieces together in your head, as you're watching and trying to remember what happened three scenes back, because it's, it's just that I felt like I needed a string board with like, you know, to be my conspiracy theory person.
Andrew: That's trying to connect all the dots in order to like follow this movie, but I did follow it. It's not confusing. Like you do follow it, but you have to lean. And so I felt like, I felt like very much like a
Rob: detective. Yeah. This is not a movie that you can do. And you're like doing laundry on the side. And then my gosh in this movie, or you're like scrolling on the phone, this movie demands your complete attention.
Rob: And if you check out, even for a moment, you are lost. Maybe if, even if you're watching and paying attention, you are lost. But for sure, if you were not giving your complete attention and I was amazed, I've seen this movie so many times, um, Like in a momentum evangelist when it came out, I was telling everyone like, have you seen Momento?
Rob: And they're like, oh, I haven't seen, I'm like, sit down, we're watching this movie, your brain's going to explode. And I would love to, I love to watch this movie with people and just watch them, like, try to figure it out and see what, what was going on. And so I had such a great experience, like doing that over and over again, but I hadn't seen it for probably five, 10 years.
Rob: Like it had been awhile. And when I watched it again as like, I cannot believe how much my brain hurts all the time watching this movie, like it, like your brain almost physically hurts because it takes so much attention to watch it.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, it's, it does the thing where it, it respects the audience and doesn't baby, the audience, like a lot of like more, more mainstream that have like bag on mainstream movies, but a lot of less well-written movies that really spoon-feed you information.
Andrew: This gives you everything you need, but like expects you to lean in and really respects you and says like, You gotta be engaged to follow this thing.
Rob: I think what's so interesting. Couple of things. One is it's like 15 little mini mysteries. Every one of the color scenes is like, oh, there's a mystery of how he got here.
Rob: And then how he got back to this place. And each scene is kind of solving the scene that came before it of like, oh, all of a sudden he's in the bathroom and he's holding a bottle of Bartles and James, and like, why is he there? You know, like, oh, all of a sudden he's, you know, like running from a guy, like that's one of my favorite moments, actually.
Rob: He's like, I'm running towards him. No, I'm running away from him. You know, that's another girl, who's a voiceover.
Andrew: Well, I'm chasing someone. Nope. I'm being chased by somebody.
Rob: And so every one of the scenes is like, he's figuring out those little mini mysteries and you set up before. We feel what he's feeling.
Rob: We feel the mystery and we're trying to solve like, okay, why is he here? What is he doing? What is he hoping to accomplish? And how is he going to do the next thing? And we're solving these mysteries. It's not one it's like every little scene has a mystery to it. And that's, there's nothing been quite before or since that is like memento and that way of like so many little mysteries that you're solving throughout.
Rob: Because like
Andrew: you said, each scene, when you, when you cut to a color scene, it really is okay. How did we get here? Right. Like, that's the thing you're trying to solve for. And you go, oh, and it's going to answer my question for philosophy and of how did we get here. But as you go through the movie, there's also.
Andrew: Other things that you're trying to figure out, like, what is this person's deal, right? Like this new character that he's now interacting with, like, because their motives become cloudier and cloudy or the further back in time you go. So like the question of what is this person's deal. And then the question of how did you get that information?
Andrew: So like the, the captions on the Polaroids, the little notes, he leaves himself, all those little mysteries, because you start realizing that like, some of them like, maybe are aren't trustworthy or came from people that aren't trustworthy. So like every scrap of exposition. And is this not just barely exposition, it's like a possible mystery, which is banana.
Rob: And what's so interesting is he does all these little things to hold your hand on the way through it. Like one of the things is like every scene almost begins with a very memorable. Like, it's like the bell ringing and he's like, Hey, Lenny, you know, like when Teddy appears or it's like, he's washing his hands and he's like Sammy Jenkins, you know?
Rob: Or like there's some sort of like choreographed thing, like screeched to
Andrew: a stop in the, in a car. It's yeah. It's something that's like super memorable.
Rob: Exactly. It has these sort of like, really like, okay, I remember that. I remember that sound effect. I remember that move. I remember that tone of voice. And so like every single scene kind of ends with that button of a really strong movement.
Rob: And you're like, okay, we know where we are. The other thing is when it cuts to the black and white scene, there's like this weird, I don't know how to describe the score, but it's like this weird, like. Clock sounding like pulse metronome, I don't know, sort of thing. And every time he's in the black and white scene, there's like that weird sort of panic, dark, dark, dark banner, you know, like, yeah, it sounds cooler than that, but it's true.
Rob: Yeah. But that weird sound kinda is like, oh yeah, that's where we are. We're in this hotel room and he's on the phone giving himself like this homemade tattoo for some reason. Um, and you're just like that, that sound effect. And there's so many things that remind us like, okay, this is where we are, and this is what we're doing right now.
Rob: Right. One of the things I want to share about like how I felt watching this movie was, um, this is a top five movie that I remember seeing in the movie. Um, my wife and I were just stating in this point, we're in LA and we're at this like small art house theater. And there's this movie called Momento. I had never heard of it.
Rob: I had never seen a trailer. I never seen whatever else, but I was like, you know what, I'm going to go see an art house film walked in this movie, knew nothing about it. Like not to be this guy, but it was like, it was before it was, it was only playing in LA. It was before it was really out. It was before anyone knew about it.
Rob: And I walked in this movie and I think it was one of the reasons I'm married today. It's because my wife liked this movie because I don't know how we could have made it if she didn't because it was so. Uh, emotional and meaningful. And we walked around, um, Santa Monica pier and just talked about it for hours.
Rob: And it was such a fun movie to unpack. But I think for me, there's nothing quite like just walking into a movie and you don't know anything about it, especially in the. And these days, uh, you know, there's, there's Superbowl trailers. There's like a countdown until the next trailer. Like we S we see so many trailers posters, we're following it on Twitter.
Rob: There are no surprises even of what the movie is going to be. And especially for me, because I'm more of a movie nerd. So I follow some of that stuff, but I have to admit you, you even said this in the Spiderman episode, you were trying to keep as chased as possible of your Spiderman knowledge to stay away from it.
Rob: This was just like a stumbling in, like, I just, like, it could have been like a drama about, you know, British people making tea. Like, I didn't know what it was. I was just like, oh, it was like an art house movie and I'm in LA and I'm in, and I'm going to see it. And it's like an all time movie theater experience
Andrew: for me.
Andrew: That's, that's amazing. I feel like I haven't had a really great art house movie in the theater experience. I feel like most of the ones that I ended up seeing in theaters or. British people in a room pouring tea, or like box catcher. I was like, it's like, it's good. But like really dour, you know, but this would have been incredible to see, uh, in a, I
Rob: think the golden age for that was probably like mid nineties through early two thousands.
Rob: That's when so many, like art houses were really like showing these daring movies and doing interesting things that like major cinemas weren't. And so, um, now yeah, you have to go see, you know, not that there's anything wrong with the British team movie, but like movies that aren't like, you kind of think independent, small film, and it's just very dialogue, heavy, very like violent and like not much going on where this movie, I was just like, whatever, this is like our all art house movies like this, like this was just incredible.
Andrew: And, um, love, love, love, love. Well, let's, let's dive into some, some categories you want to go. I love, I love the category. Well, let's, let's start with a good one. Um, what was, uh, what was the most meaningful scene to you when you were watching this
Rob: thing? So for me, the most meaningful scene was the Sammy Jenkins, uh, insulin sequence, where, where he goes.
Rob: And I think that story is so critical to this movie, having a heart and a soul because, um, Salman Jenkins played by Stephen Tobolowsky. I hope I'm saying his name, right, but, uh, Stephen Tobolowsky, he is Phil Connors from Groundhog bay. Uh, kind of his flame went and Phil, Phil Connors, and gets punched in the face like that.
Rob: Sam that's incredible character actor, but he plays this really empathetic guy and his wife there as well. And this scene is, um, again, spoiler. All the way through, but like this scene, like there's this whole backstory that those black and white scenes keep coming too. And he keeps teasing Sammy Jankis and he never had a system and this is why it fell apart for him.
Rob: But then you finally see what that backstory is. And essentially it says, wife is so desperate to that. Her husband doesn't have short-term memory. She's like this has to stop. And so she has him keep giving her insulin shots, thinking that he's going to snap out of it and that he's going to be okay. And then he never does, and essentially puts her into a coma because he keeps giving her insulin shots and can't remember it.
Rob: And the way that scene is played out, I just felt like such emotion from these characters that were really just in a few flashbacks. And I think that scene gives this movie await that I don't know would have without that scene. I
Andrew: think, I think that's true because through not even revealing that that part of it is in and of itself.
Andrew: True. Right. His ear is not Sammy Jenkins's story, but rather Leonard's story, the insulin piece of it. At least if we are to believe Teddy Graham, do you believe
Rob: Teddy by the way, just to taste
Andrew: that rabbit trail I do about
Rob: that. What makes you believe Teddy? Yeah, because
Andrew: he says it in a moment in which he's just saying all of this stuff, because he knows that Leonard is gonna forget and he's exhausted.
Andrew: So everything he says in that scene, I believe is true because he's not saying it out of manipulation. There's nothing he can get out of it. I totally
Rob: agree. I take that as like, this is true and he's like, and that, that moment again, that whole scene. Tees up the moment, which was, he was like, semi Jenkins is a con man.
Rob: And he's like, no, I've I found out was this. And he was like, he did this to his wife and he's like, semi Jenkins. Didn't have a wife. And that moment just cuts and punches and you can see it like pierces. You heard a little bit where he's like, oh wow, what's going on here. And again, that emotional scene, which we'd been paying so much attention to early on, when Teddy comes back with that, that's what really kind of like sober
Andrew: sits up.
Andrew: Right? Cause I think that like Leonard and Leonard's wife, that whole storyline is so packed in the like murder mystery thing. It's very much like the fugitive. Like I have to find the one legged man who killed my wife did not kill my wife. Like his, his connection with her is very much that even in the scene with the S-corps and where he's remembering her and all that, it's, it's a little emotional, but like the feeling for Leonard's humanity.
Andrew: By realizing that he's going through the same thing that this sweet other guy who had the same problem, I feel like it makes you more sympathetic to Leonard by watching this other guy, um, struggle with the same thing. Who's more of an every man and not a, you know, new or detective.
Rob: Right. And what's so interesting.
Rob: We should talk about this for a moment, because this is an interesting topic, which is like, I'm kind of taking everything Leonard says as gospel truth, you know, I'm like, okay, he's looking for the guy who killed his wife. He's trying to find out who's tripping him. He's trying to find out who's manipulating him.
Rob: He's the detective. Like, he's the one good person in a world full of villains because you're realizing. Oh, maybe carry on Moss' character, Natalie. Like maybe she's a villain. Oh, maybe Teddy's a villain. Oh, DOD is a villain. Like all these other people, even the dude at the hotel is like taken advantage of.
Rob: And so what we see this story as is like this guy with this unbelievable unfathomable condition, right? Like how do you even function without short-term memory? And so he's heroic for functioning without short-term memory. And I'm like, this is our guy, this is a hero. And when he says saving Jenkinson, have a wife, all of a sudden, it's like, oh, this guy has been lying to us, the whole movie.
Rob: And maybe more. So this guy has been lying to himself, the whole movie. Right.
Andrew: And I think the idea of him telling the same Janka story over and over again, in order to condition himself into believing that someone else killed their wife, that he didn't kill. His wife is really interesting. But like, I, I feel like that doesn't make me dislike Leonard, even that realization.
Andrew: Because I believe that he did it in the way Sammy Jenkins did. So you go like, okay, you know, he's still a victim of his own horrific circumstance. Um, and very a shutter island. I no spoilers there, but that's not one the, uh, begins to lie himself out of his own shame.
Rob: Do you think I'm just on this thread a little bit more?
Rob: Is he totally honest about his condition? Does he have no way of making new memories? Does he remember anything or is it just his condition as he presents? It really is the truth.
Andrew: I mean, I think it would be interesting to dive down the rabbit hole of maybe it's not the truth, but I think it's real. I would have no reason to believe it isn't and he makes a lot of decisions that he wouldn't make.
Andrew: If it wasn't real, it
Rob: seems like he's so desperate. Like he keeps ending up in circumstances and doing dumb things. The scene where he's sitting and then all of a sudden he's like, you know, taking a shower and forgets that a guy's chasing him and DOD comes in and gets him. He like, again is running after the guy and forgets he's shooting him.
Rob: Like we just talked about there's enough things where it's like, okay, he clearly must have this condition that is even Natalie herself, where she hides all the pins and then he can't write himself a note and then she shuts the door and then comes back and she's like, oh, are you okay? And like totally plays him.
Rob: All those scenes are not possible unless he's really lying to himself about what his condition is. Right.
Andrew: And that to me was the most meaningful scene. When you just mentioned where Natalie comes in and hides all the pens, because it was the first time in the movie where I go, oh, this guy's not as capable as I think he is.
Andrew: Right. Like, I don't trust everyone necessarily because I think they might be taking advantage of him. But up until that point, I went like, He's got this system, right? He's got these Polaroids, he's got that map in his room, but he sticks everything to you've got the tattoos. Like man's got to figure it out so people can try to take advantage of them.
Andrew: And they might in little ways, but not in big ways. And that scene where you watch him wholeheartedly get completely derailed. I go, oh, it's not that I don't trust him, but I don't have the same level of. Admiration for how well he's doing. I go, oh, he is adrift. Like he is just a lost at sea. And I thought he was really driving the ship
Rob: and he's not miss a piece of information.
Rob: It's so easy for something to go wrong. And that's where he realized like, oh, all those notes, are they complete? Did he write a complete thought? Because if he misses one detail or if he like, sometimes I write things to myself and I rely on my own memory to like, remind myself, I'll be like, okay, call Andrew about this.
Rob: And I'll, I'll know all the details about what I was supposed to call you about from writing that one thing down, but he's only given me. I don't believe his lies, like a little piece of information, which is not complete enough to make the right decisions, but he's so confident and his decisions early on where you're almost like, oh, maybe this guy has got it figured out.
Rob: He's actually more organized and thoughtful than the rest of us are because of his handicap. Right? Like we take things for granted in a way that he doesn't. Right. And that's what I did think in the first part of the movie.
Andrew: Yeah. So to, to me, that was like the big turning point in the movie where I went like, oh, I'm watching a different character than I thought, basically he's not as capable as, as I thought, which is I think the point of that scene.
Andrew: Um, but I guess my question, when it comes to like meaningful senior or not is like, I feel like this movie masquerades as being really deep, but I guess my question is, is it really meaningful or is it just really cool? Like, is the structure so cool that the movie is just like fascinating. But it really is just a bunch of bad people to impact things to each other.
Andrew: And it really isn't like from like a thematic level, actually that meaningful. I think
Rob: I can see why you'd make that argument or ask that question because it is just so cool. And it's almost like such a gimmick. It's like, Hey, is this just a really cool gimmick and a really neat film school experiment that Christopher Nolan, which I think that's the first time I'm seeing his name, Christopher Nolan, who becomes the mega star, the director of all the Batman and dark Knight movies.
Rob: He directs inception several episodes. We'll do. I'm sure we'll do a bunch more Nolan movies. Um, but this is the movie that launches his career for sure. And is it just a cool gimmick or is it something more meaningful? Is that what you're asking? I think,
Andrew: I think I'm, I'm, I'm wondering if there is anything more meaningful in the story beyond the gimmick?
Andrew: I would put it past gimmick. I think he's using, he's using the tools of storytelling to tell a story in a really interesting way. And that in itself is worth engaging with like art that is interesting. Can be worth engaging with on its own merits. Right. Just on its own. Right. But like, does memento tell me anything about the world?
Andrew: Like, do I walk out at slightly different person or a slightly different view of humanity? Because I watched my mento, I would argue, I don't, I think I have a deeper respect for filmmaking and the genius. Like I think this movie says more about Christopher Nolan than it does about like anything else.
Rob: So I have a few thoughts about this, actually two main kind of themes that I want to talk about.
Rob: So here's theme one, which is like, I think it's a movie that has a lot to say about the power of memory itself. Um, there's this incredible quote that I wrote down when he's talking with Teddy and he's like, you know, how do you get by without even remembering anything you can't trust your notes and you can't trust your things.
Rob: And then his answer is this. Memory's not perfect. It's not even that good. As the police eye witness testimony is unreliable. The cops don't catch a killer by sitting around remembering stuff. They collect facts, they make notes and they draw conclusions, facts, not memory. That's how you investigate. I know.
Rob: It's what I used to do. Look, memory can change the shape of a room. It can change the color of a car and memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation. They're not a record. They're irrelevant if you have the facts. Isn't that a great
Andrew: quote? Yeah, it really is. I think it's that quote that makes me go, oh, this is our guy.
Andrew: Like he's got it figured out because he's overcome the handicap by relying on facts versus what we would maybe rely on as emotional feelings or, you know, oh, I remember this happening this way. Um, but then as the movie progresses, even that falls apart, His tattoos that are facts one through six, you start to realize like, Hmm.
Andrew: Was that a fact actually?
Rob: Yeah. You, you do start to question this, this quote as well of like, again, like memory versus facts, you know, and then all of a sudden you're like, okay, well, facts are also blurry and subjective. At least the way that he is using them in this movie. I do think there's, there's a lot of layers of meaning to it.
Rob: One of the layers that I got is just the tools and things that we use to function and get through life. Like I've even found myself since this movie came out. All of a sudden I used to kind of plan my day and just be able to make my way through my day. And I kind of knew where I was going and what I was doing now, these days, if I don't have my calendar in front of me telling me exactly like what zoom meeting I'm supposed to go to next, where I need to be, like, I have all these tools alerts going off notifications.
Rob: There's all this stuff. That's actually. Extra and my life, my version of my Polaroids and those sorts of things that actually helped me through my life and help me kind of make my way. And I was thinking about all those things while I was watching this movie of like, oh, what, what interesting things do I do to kind of make sense of my life?
Rob: This one is also kind of like if you ever had a roommate. Okay. So you've got a roommate. You learn that your roommate is weird, right? Like I'm assuming your roommate did stuff that you're like, that's weird. Why would you do that? Why would you function like that? Why would you, you know, like why do you sleep then?
Rob: When do you eat? Like all these weird habits and things that we do when we kind of get into our own house and close our own doors that you don't really know until you have a roommate, that's actually what this movie felt like to me of like, this is a bizarre guy that we're learning all these weird sort of things that he does to make his way through the world.
Rob: And I was actually like, thinking about those things, watching this film. And so that's a little bit more like on the surface, but I think it's an interesting tapestry that like pulls through this whole story.
Andrew: Yeah. I think that, it's interesting because I do think that is like the most meaningful part of this movie is the idea of.
Andrew: Memory and how we, how we keep track of information, right? Even me watching this thing, like a detective and trying to put together the story. Right. And I think that comes maybe less from the story itself, you know, of like thinking out who the drug dealers are and who John G is and all, all of those from the individual mysteries that the meaning of the movie really does come from the concept of how it's laid out.
Andrew: Okay. So
Rob: another thing where this movie founds, this meaning is as film noir, um, which as you get to know me, and as we talk about more films, most people who know me think like, oh, I'm the star wars guy, or I love scifi, that sort of stuff. I love that stuff. It's fine, but where I just geek out and where I, what the movies that I love, love, love our film, nor these sort of movies that.
Rob: Talk about the darker side of our souls as we try to wrestle with them. And this is one of the most unique pieces of Neo noir that we've had in the last 20 or 30 years. Sure. Yeah, for sure. I remember
Andrew: when we first met, you were just going on and on about Chinatown and how it was like your favorite movie, how much you loved it.
Andrew: And I was, I was pretty young back then. I think I was like 17 or 18 and I went and watched it and I was not old enough to understand Chinatown. I was like, this movie is depressing at, I do not understand why it is Rob saber movie. And I, now a few years under my belt, I like more and more love Llumar cause it's just, everything is gray.
Andrew: Every, there, there are no heroes or villains. Every character is just caught in the sea of everything, trying to make sense of it. You know, I
Rob: actually have a definition of war here, which is, uh, an, a common war storyline, a man often embittered by life or tarnished by his past means a beautiful, mysterious woman.
Rob: he is sexually and fatally attracted to her. Either as a result of their relationship or because she manipulates him, he cheats murders or attempts to murder a second man attached to the woman with whom she is unhappy. This causes the destruction of one or all of the group. And here's my really weird hot take is I think he has his own femme fatale.
Rob: Like I think the, like the black and white Leonard is actually manipulating the Leonard and the blue shirt, tan, you know, whatever else, like he acts and more, more specifically with using the memory of his wife, his wife, his wife has deceased wife, actually his, his fin fatalities. And so I think that's such an interesting thing, which
Andrew: is a, in every Nolan movie, which we could get into later.
Andrew: But every movie he makes, there's like a dead wife who is haunting the.
Rob: Absolutely. It's it is one of the big themes and it's one of the big Nolan criticisms is like he has these female characters who really their job is just to be more of a haunting ghost memory, right? Like inception is another one where like, his wife has kind of that she's this haunting ghost memory presence.
Rob: Um, and so this movie definitely dials into that, but it subverts so many things about foam noir in a way that it like really uses film nor structure, but also like twists and turns into different ways. I'm wondering if the people who listen to the Spiderman podcast are just like, where am I at right now?
Rob: Right. And then film, nerd. I'm like, what's happening? It's all right, man. It's all right. This is,
Andrew: this is the film where if you walk into film school and, you know, 2007, like I did, everyone was like, oh, memento, you got to watch memento. Like this is the nerdiest early two thousands indie movie. There probably was.
Andrew: And it is because it's like people who love filmmaking and storytelling through film, like this is the one of the most innovative, still, I would say in the last 30 years, innovative ways to make a movie and tell a story. It's using all the tools in the toolbox.
Rob: And I think the reason I wanted to do an episode about this movie is it's one of those movies that gives you a lot of clues, but you have to be a detective and you have to wrestle with the meaning itself.
Rob: And I do think that's part of the meaning of the movie. Quote, unquote, it's not just about. Hey being hurt as bad and whatever. It's not like that on the nose of a lesson, it's actually like, what does this do to you as a viewer? Who do you identify with? Who are you rooting for and what are you doing with this information you're presented with?
Rob: Like, that's part of what the meaning of the movie actually is. Yeah. You know, you mentioned Carrie Moss before and while we're still on, like she was your most meaningful scene. Can we have a carry on mosque conversation? Let's have the carrion mascaras. She's awesome.
Andrew: And she's so good. I think she's better in this than all of the matrix films.
Rob: agree. I, at least she has more interesting stuff to do, you know, she's so kind of sweet and she seems like this kind of sweet battered women at first, he was like, oh my gosh, he's got a black eye. What happened? And you're kind of rooting for her. And then they like have this scene where they like kiss and make love.
Rob: And it's the middle of the night. And it's like so beautiful. And you're like, wow. He finally finds like tenderness and care. And then like in the second half of the movie, she's like spitting and his beer, she's tricking him and saying, I'm going to manipulate you to do whatever I want you to do. And the way she plays, both those characters is really awesome.
Rob: And Nolan gets knocked a lot for like having like flat uninteresting female characters, like we were just talking about. Yeah. But this is one of the ones that I'd point to where it's like, this is one of the best female parts he's written in all of his films. I think
Andrew: so, too. And it's so interesting how it turns the like film new our thing on its head with her.
Andrew: If you think about the story in chronological order, like an actual order offense, the towel normally comes in acts like the sad put upon woman, but then reveals herself to be manipu. Right. And that, that was an act. And that's how this plays out in the film because we're watching it backwards. If you think about who her character actually is, she starts out headstrong and find someone that she can manipulate.
Andrew: And then whether it's through guilt or shame or finding an actual, like humanity in this guy, the scenes where she is sweet to him, I think are actually authentic. The, like the nice things she does for them, for her comes after all the bad stuff. And she would have no reason to do any of those things. If she didn't honestly like have a heart for him.
Andrew: So she actually in reality goes through sort of the reverse femme fatale journey, but we see it in the traditional way because we're watching
Rob: it backwards. It's such a great point, man. The first scene that we meet her, it seems to be someone who really cares and is worried about him. And I think that's true, like rewatching it when I knew who she was, I was like, oh wait, she actually cares about.
Rob: And then, but the first scene that like, and the timeline that she gets to know him, she's spitting in his beer, having the other dude, the mustache dude spin his beer. He spits in his own beer. You know, like that's their first conversation, like outside of quickly running into each other by the dumpster.
Rob: But their first real conversation as she's like, Hey, I'm going to have everyone spend your beer. And that's probably case in point of why Leonard short-term memory does not work because that scene almost made me gag. And there's no way, dude. He is drinking that if he actually thought if he actually knew what was in it, you know,
Andrew: let's go to a, is there something, I mean, in this movie, everything like knits together, it's like pretty tight movie, but was there something in this movie where you were like, ah, this feels like we're yeah,
Rob: there was actually, I wrote the whole section where the escort comes over.
Rob: She lays in bed. She kind of puts the, you know, stuff and then he wakes up and like, it's. Reinforcing the fact that like he lives in this sort of nightmare where like every night he wakes up and thinks his wife is still there. And then he has to, like, he's trying to find another way besides killing John G to make.
Rob: His memory work, right? Like, like he's trying to fix himself. And so this scene kind of does that, but even the way I just described it, I think it was a little bit more meaningful than what the movie actually presents. It's just, I felt in this watch, it was just kind of like killing time, like, okay, he's going to get the clock and the little Teddy bear, and then he's going to go burn it.
Rob: And I was like, we're not really moving the story forward. It's just these weird kind of two or three flashbacks where I was probably least interested in what was happening and felt very little steaks during that part of the story.
Andrew: I feel like I was generally watching it with fresh eyes when I watched it back through this time, because it had been so long again, I knew broad brush strokes of kind of like what was going to happen visually the major twist in the middle, but everything else, I kind of forgot the causality of everything.
Andrew: And I didn't feel that way about that because like we were talking about earlier with the mini mysteries of like, why is he burning this stuff? Okay. That's what this stuff is. Um, at that point, you don't really know much about his wife. Like, you know, that she was there and that like, you know, he's after her, her killer, but that's like pretty generic.
Andrew: I was saying like Harrison Ford and the fugitive, like any guy he says, like off to revenge, his dead wife. And so giving us this moment where you see this kind of hard-nosed tattooed detective guy, actually having emotional struggles, like trying to figure out how to deal with that trauma and like how much he's seeing her.
Andrew: It made me feel for like, oh, this guy like deeply loves his wife in the way that we see Sandy Jenkins deeply loves his wife and wouldn't have killed her. I think, I believe that guy Pierce really loves his wife because of that scene. You don't want
Rob: interesting as like, he's never that doting or loving on her and the flashback, like the flashback that I really like is she's holding the book and he's like, why do you read that?
Rob: And she's like, I just like it. And he's like, yeah, but you've already read it before. And he's kind of. The prick banker insurance guy, more so than like a loving husband and those flashbacks. Like you never really see a tender sweet moment between them that I can remember. Maybe there's one, but I can't remember off the top of my head a moment where I was like, oh, they're really in love.
Rob: You care about her. Cause she looks beautiful and you're cutting these like sunlit shots of her. And so you're seeing these like beautiful memories of her, but you're not seeing a scene where it's like, oh, this is a couple that really cared about her. And the way that I've thought semi Jenkins and, uh, his wife cared about each other.
Andrew: I think as we like look back on things with regret, which obviously like no longer having your wife and losing your wife too soon, that's something you regret driving, able to protect her. Oftentimes you remember your worst self and have been so picking on her for rereading the same book was, is kind of this like self-loathing and while she's the one that's great in the moment.
Andrew: And I was the one that sucked, I feel like that's kind of how you remember stuff when you remember with regret. So I didn't think I didn't really hold it against him because I felt like that was the Headspace he was in when he was remembering his own relationship.
Rob: I didn't either there, and it was just, it was just more of an interesting point, but I do think that's a great counter, which is like, we do beat ourselves up and we do think like, oh, if you've ever lost, even in a breakup, right.
Rob: If you've ever lost someone that you really cared about, it's like, oh, she was always so great. Now with scum, at least. I've thought in like breakups or friendships that I've lost or, you know, definitely like when I think about my grandparents and that sort of stuff, I think of like all the amazing things they did and in my memory, I'm never awesome.
Rob: I'm never like, oh, I was so great. I'm always just kind of like a bystander, right? I wish I
Andrew: could have done that moment better. Why didn't I do that better?
Rob: Which again, like that's what this movie is about is about memory itself and the way that memory functions and the way that even our own memories we do shape and we do pick and choose certain things to remember for sure.
Rob: Did you ever lease meaningful scene?
Andrew: Honestly, I felt like the black and white stuff got a little long for me. I understand its function, but I kind of felt like some of the Sami Jenkins stuff, bumper stayed. It's welcome. And it's interesting that it was like your most meaningful scene. And I think the climax of the Sammy Jenkins stuff where he ends up accidentally murdering his wife is super mean.
Andrew: But I could have used the last of the, like, like the scene where the wife comes in and asks them, like, do you really believe it? And he says like, I don't think he's faking it, but I don't think it's physical. He'd already said that in the previous scene, I felt like they kind of kept going back to the Sammy jank as well.
Andrew: And him talking on the phone just to kind of buy time in between classes. To allow us to keep cutting until we got to the point where we needed to catch up. So there was a moment in the black and white where I was like, I don't really need this.
Rob: No, I think that's true. They're definitely like milking it.
Rob: And maybe that's why the payoff was so big to me because they're milking it, milking it, milking it. And you're like, okay, I kind of get it. And then the big reveal is like, oh, this is so much worse than I thought. I thought this was just a parallel that he was talking about. Not this like devastating ending that happened to this couple.
Rob: Yeah. But, but it is true. They keep going back to that. Well that's um, although I did love the flashback where Sammy's picking up the different things and he keeps picking up that triangle and shocking himself, and then he flipped them off and like, they keep doing that over and over again. I thought that was really just interesting storytelling and right.
Rob: I love, I
Andrew: love that safest role. It was after that scene. And before the insulin seen kind of everything that ran in between there, I was kind of like. No, I didn't, I didn't need to, I guess, sit through that. Like, he was just kind of leading us in this place of the white struggling to deal with, uh, her husband's diagnosis, which was not to me as interesting as the mystery knew our thing that was happening in the other, other plot line.
Andrew: So that was probably me just being like, you know, wanting to get back to the mystery.
Rob: Okay. Let me ask you this next category. And we've kind of talked about this, but were you rooting for Leonard, especially on the rewatch when you knew what he was up to? Yeah. So on the
Andrew: rewatch, the thing they remembered was that he had given himself some wrong information to purposefully kill Teddy.
Andrew: That was all I remembered though. And it took me a while for, I remembered what that was, that it was the license plate. So I knew that he had manipulated himself into the final murder. I knew that, and I knew that he had killed a lot of John Jay's up until. But I feel like I was rooting for him because you see so much humanity in all those moments also you're in his head.
Andrew: So you hear him hanging. He seems like a good dude. And so even though I knew he had done that one thing, I felt like I hate Joey pants more. So there's a weird part of me. That's like gets it. Yeah. So I don't think it even knowing, I don't think it fully like turned me off to rooting for him as, as a hero, even though cause like a lot of the stuff, like I do feel like he's doing such a good job of keeping his life together.
Andrew: He's such an underdog. The fact that he's able to succeed at all, even though he really is getting played by a lot of people. Uh it's just like you got to root for that guy. I don't know. It's
Rob: incredible thing that he is both the hero and the villain of his own movie. Like, I don't know, off the top of my head.
Rob: I can't think of another character who is quite like that. Who has literally. The hero and the villain of his own movie, kind of like battling against himself and fighting against himself or even fighting with himself. It gets really confusing to talk about, but like it's such a weird experience to actually know who he is and then watch him on this journey.
Rob: Once you kind of know the magic trick, you know, what's happening. But it's so incredibly constructed that I can't help, but like root for him to like, figure out where he is and what's going on. Like every single time with those mysteries, even though I'd seen this movie a bunch of times, like I said before, when I rewatched, I was still like, okay, where is he?
Rob: What's he trying to do? How is he figuring this out? And like being on that journey with him, I was just rooting for him to like, okay, how did you get here? How did you find Teddy? How do you find Natalie that you're driving to the discount in? Do you even know how to get there? Like, I mean, imagine driving a car for him, this is before apple maps and Google maps and anything else like that he's driving around.
Rob: Like, um, I guess if he knew the streets well enough, you know, he would know how to get around. Like I could still get around Austin pretty well, because I know like if I learn lost my short-term memory, I would still know. How to get around some, but I don't know, just getting in the nuances of all that, like him functioning at all is so amazing.
Rob: And so watching that, I was just rooting for him. I think there's
Andrew: a lot of like plot holes. If you really like dive into it of like, okay, if he can't make new memories, how does he remember like, how to use that or that kind of stuff? Like, like the, the map that he has rolled up in his backpack that he like puts all the pictures on in order to like orient himself.
Andrew: Like when he, when he,
Rob: when he takes it, he know to do that. How does he know to look at his pictures?
Andrew: Maybe that was like, part of the conditioning is what they're saying. That like, if you keep things close to you enough, it's not a memory. It's just like an instinct. So maybe they, they aren't plot holes that I would imagine that Christopher Nolan really did think most of this through is the demand that it comes to his brain structure is very, very good, but that's kind of like also, like not the point, you know, and I think this is worth a rewatch because it's so dense that trying to connect all the dots.
Andrew: Like even this time when I was done. Who were the drug dealers and who is Jimmy and who was like, who are the other, why did Carrie and malice want him to beat up that guy? Like, there was so many questions that I, I still had, I think after a bunch of free watches, you probably have it sorted out similar to like inception.
Andrew: Like, ah, I got all the layers. I, I wonder like, is the story compelling enough on its own? Once you know, all the mysteries, like after enough free watches. And I guess it's like a question to you is the story itself compelling on its own once? Like you're not asking the questions of what happens next. I
Rob: think it is it's, it's definitely a chicken and the egg.
Rob: Like, it's impossible to think about this movie without thinking about the structure. Right. But I still think, I think it's a smart story. Right. Which is like this guy going, he's trying to figure it out. He's being manipulated. He's who do we trust? That sort of stuff. It's still all there, whether it's front or back, you know, like it's just, you learn that information.
Rob: A lot earlier, I'm a big rewatch or in general, I think a lot of times for me, a movie I get more out of and I like more on the second and third rewatch. I think a good movie is worth being studied and thought about. And so it's not just kind of washes over you and I'm done. I want to rewatch it, but I especially think even if you're not into rewatching movies and somehow you're in this podcast and like, oh yeah, I saw this 10 years ago.
Rob: Like take the Pepsi challenge, go see Momento again. It's incredible.
Andrew: Really, really is like, I was jazz when I started watching it again. And I was like, oh, this is blight fall.
Rob: We talked about this a little bit, but do you have a most meaningful character beside Leonard?
Andrew: There's only really three characters in this movie.
Andrew: I mean, there is Sammy Jenkins, I suppose there's a Leonard there's Natalie put Macquarie and Moss and there's Teddy played by the great Joe. Pantoliano
Rob: and this is right after the matrix, right? This is the year 2000. I think this comes out in. And so we've just left the matrix and like, you know, two thirds of the matrix, like I half expected Laurence Fishburne to just appear in the movie, somehow the head forgotten
Andrew: that first time I watched this, I was having all those matrix thoughts in my head, like, ah, ciphers, not nearly as cool in this movie.
Andrew: That was my introduction to both of them as
Rob: a you're like, let her take the blue pill is that I wasn't even
Andrew: thinking about it the step, but I feel like Natalie is the most interesting character to me, sorta for the reasons that I said before. One, I think it's Carrie on Moss's best performance. I think she has all of his art.
Andrew: She has all her heart EDS that she like normally has than her softness when she like, starts to actually feel for Leonard is I think it's really heartfelt and really, really, really. I also think she's just like fascinating aracter of person who sees an opportunity like her and Teddy are kind of similar in the sense of someone who sees an opportunity and just like takes it.
Andrew: It says like, Hey, this might be able to work to my advantage. I think that is maybe something that we kind of do in a much less extreme sense in our own lives all the time is, you know, we, we accidentally just like, oh, this person's able and willing, like have them jump in, do this thing for me. Then you realize like, ah, I've been taking advantage of this person.
Andrew: Like, uh, I dunno, there was just, I think so much humanity and in her character, she didn't feel like the cartoon in a story that was just so crazy. It had been very easy to be a standard fem Patel, I guess. And she felt very, very.
Rob: And she's probably the one character who, like we said, before she arcs and this, she does seem to change her motivation.
Rob: She does seem to change her relationship with Leonard. And so, you know, I stepped on my thoughts on her a little bit earlier, but it really, she really does give this really nuance kind of interesting performance as she goes throughout the whole thing. So I think she's a great choice. What about you? So for me, it is Teddy.
Rob: I would agree there's if we're not talking about Leonard, there's really two choices. It's Natalie or it's Teddy. And I mean, you could always
Andrew: talk about the guy who owns the hotel. I
Rob: like that guy to Bert or
Andrew: whatever. He is a Christopher Nolan staple, whoever that actor is, he, that pops up here and there anyway.
Rob: no, for me, it's Teddy because you're, so every time he comes on screen, he's so smarmy he's so, you know, kind of like. Just like, what's this guy up to you, you just assume he's up to the worst. You just assume this guy has trouble. He also has this interesting thing. Like there's this other mini mystery in the film of like, and all the black and white scenes, there's this telephone call that's going on.
Rob: And for me watching it the first time, especially, I was like, who is he talking to? I was so curious about that. And so, um, again, watching. This it's like, oh, you realize he is talking to Teddy the whole time. And you think Teddy is manipulating him and playing him the whole time. And the answer is he sort of is, but mostly he's almost doing like a good deed service, which is like, okay, I'm going to keep giving you stuff to do and maybe make a little bit of money on the side from it, but you need this to survive and I'm going to let you do this.
Rob: And when I think about like, meaning, like I mentioned before that big reveal scene, but it's worth noting this reveal and the movie I'm in, it's up there with fight club. It's up there with six senses. It's up there with usual suspects and the like shocking jaw drop. Oh wow. I was watching one thing and this moment makes me completely re analyze everything I've watched up to this point.
Rob: Like Teddy gives that speech. And I think the thing that he does really well is he. Smarmy, like I said earlier, but all of a sudden in that scene, you do see this exasperated guy and he holds up that picture of Leonard with his shirt off smiling. And that sort of Stephanie's like, I took this picture of you and I thought you would hold onto it and you'd remember it, but you don't, you never did it never stuck.
Rob: You're still looking for John G and I can't fix this in you. And so Leonard actually goes and burns that picture of himself, which is really interesting because he doesn't, he doesn't even want to face that reality and then goes, and like actually decides, like gives himself the mystery to go kill Teddy.
Rob: So anyway, that whole relationship and that whole scene and the way Joe, pat Liano like sells that scene, um, I think really gives that movie a lit a lot of depth and it's such an incredible performance for him there. I
Andrew: think it's, it's really interesting that you see him. Almost not a good Samaritan, but like someone who's like just trying to help a hundred out a little bit.
Andrew: Cause that is a really interesting way of looking at his head of his character. And he does give that final speech in that way. I feel like I've always seen him as like the dirty cop who is also just using Leonard to like take out bad guys without getting his hands dirty. Kind of how, how I saw him.
Andrew: It's just like using Leonard as a gun and that he sort of did deserve to die. And I felt that maybe less this time around, but I didn't fully kind of like feel for him, I guess.
Rob: He's just doing stuff that like you wouldn't do if you're just using a guy like he's on the phone with Leonard for a long time.
Rob: As he's talking about Sammy Jenkins. Like there's no reason for him to be on the phone there because what's so incredible about that relationship is you can be as carry on, Moss showed us, you can be a complete jerk to him and he's not going to remember, so you don't have to do anything nice for him.
Rob: And when Leonard gets in trouble with Dodd and it's like, what's going on, but he calls Teddy and like, Hey, you have to come help me. And Teddy goes and helps him. And he's like, you know, I forgot what he says, but he's like, I've had, you know, ex-wife relationships that are more rewarding than this or something like that.
Rob: He has a throwaway line there. I butchered it. But you see that he is investing in this relationship and he's questioning him and that sort of things. And I honestly felt and feel that he cares about Leonard and he's almost giving them these quests, like, yeah, Why not earn a little bit of money on the way, but again, the way you trust that you said you trusted Lennar.
Rob: I actually trust Teddy too, of like, he's just kind of giving them stuff to do and like, okay, if I can get a little money on the side, great. But Lennar needs this to live and survive. I was hoping you wouldn't, but you need that.
Andrew: That's so fascinating because now I'm like rethinking how I feel about the movie and it makes me like Leonard way less for like having done the thing to motivate himself to, to kill Teddy.
Andrew: Oh yeah. Maybe, maybe 10 is not that bad when, you know, like, I don't know. Maybe it's the fact that he's played by Joe Pollyanna, that I'm kind of like, well, he's gotta be a scout back, but like maybe he isn't because Joe does
Rob: a great job. I mean, he's playing in the typewrite for the whole movie until that scene.
Rob: And I think for me, like that makes that death a little more heartbreaking because it's like, again, we don't know what happens after that picture, but it's like really Teddy was the only person in the world who Leonard had left. You know, like he had isolated, everyone. He had killed his own wife, you know, accidentally, but he still did it and there was nothing left for him, but Teddy.
Rob: And so it's like, okay, he did the mystery and did it. But what happens to Lennar now? Like is he just like wandering around, around that warehouse? Like what even happens to them without the one person who was actually helping them and cared about him. So
Andrew: that's a really interesting way to look at it. No, I want to go watch the movie again and like, think about it like that.
Rob: Um, okay. So final thing is this we've talked around it. We've talked about it, but what is this movie trying to say? Final argument. Anything else you want to add to this, Andrew? Um,
Andrew: I don't think I would add anything else. I mean, I think like the meaning of the movie really is like, how much can you trust yourself and how much can you.
Andrew: Trust your memory of the past. I think we all have those moments where like, someone else is telling a story where like you were there and someone's like telling their friend like a story of this, of this moment and you sit there and you go, that's not how this happened. Or like, where are you? Like your parents are telling something about like, what happened to your kid?
Andrew: And you're sitting there going, I don't think it happened like that, you know? And it's interesting to sort of see just how we relate to our own narratives or own stories through memory that may be good or bad. But if I'm being honest, I think like the meaning of this movie is like, we can tell a really, really cool story and watch how we can do it.
Andrew: And that's just really fun. It's like, it's meaningful, but it's also like just film nerd central of how do we use all the tools of filmmaking to do something really, really.
Rob: I think for me, the reason this movie has depth is because it's something that most of us do, which is lie to ourselves. We construct these lies and this is probably really cynical.
Rob: I don't know, but like I know, so I I'm cynical now, but I think it's really easy to construct lies to get ourselves through the day of like, oh, this is why I am where I am in life right now. This is why my business didn't work. This is why my marriage didn't work or relationship didn't work. We kind of tell these stories to ourselves and they're there enough facts, but they're incomplete.
Rob: And then we tell those and we repeat them over and over again until we believe those things about ourselves. And so I think this movie is actually about the lies that we tell ourselves and how damaging they are and how even sometimes we don't have the capability to really see like what actually happened and what brought us here and where our lives are because of our own mistakes and failures.
Andrew: that's that's it. That's, uh, that's the meaning of the movie, ladies and gentlemen, Rob Senate, everyone. Rough Senate, big, big round of applause. I have nothing to add to that. I was
Rob: saving that. That was my mic drop. Yeah.
Andrew: That is the microphone. I have nothing to add to that. It was a really cool takeaway, uh, that I agree.
Andrew: I think I'm also that level of cynicism, but was just so enraptured by how cool the movie was. It didn't like dive into that as a meaning, but that's yeah, that is a really cool takeaway for how this movie reflects us. I love that about this podcast that we sort of talk about how movies are oftentimes a mirror to our own experience and how they help reflect our own humanity.
Andrew: That's that's a really good, really good takeaway from this.
Rob: I think it's the big powerful take that are really got this time. And what's so interesting about rewatching a movie as well. Not just rewatching them a rewatching it later in life. I mean, this is 20 years apart. Like I said, I saw this movie when it first came out in the theaters.
Rob: I think it's 2000 you can write in or join our Facebook group and yell at me if I got that date wrong. But I'm pretty sure it's the year 2000 that this movie came out and, um, that's 22 years ago. And so what's so interesting for me is watching it 22 years ago as a young man. And now watching it 22 years old or older, and then the takeaways and themes, the different it's the exact same movie.
Rob: Right. But there's a different Rob watching this movie and using it with different meanings. And I think that's, what's powerful about this exercise as well. Well, um, last thing, Andrew, if you like memento, you might also like, this is like our, the bookshelf at the bookstore where if you like this author, you might also like, or if you're, even, if you can remember, if you're old enough being at blockbuster Friday night, who cares?
Rob: The staff picks, like, if you like blade runner, you might also like, and it has a list of movies. What's your one from a mento. If you like memento, you might also like this. Oh,
Andrew: man, I hate that. I had to pick one because I think there's two really good ones. So I'm going to cheat because there's only two of us today.
Andrew: I think there are two great movies. One is Christopher Nolan's the prestige. It was the next movie he made. No, he made this three movies after a memento cracked, but he also does a really fun stuff with the narrative structure of that, of how he's telling it and messing with the order of the scenes in order to reveal information in a really cool detective.
Andrew: Um, and who can you trust and who can you not? And who's withholding information who isn't and how are we manipulating one another really, really, uh, just great craft of filmmaking from, from Nolan. If you like the sort of Neo noir of this, the like film noir detective thing, but in a more modern setting, I would say Ryan Johnson's brick.
Rob: Oh, what a great recommendation.
Andrew: Uh, Ryan Johnson's brick is fantastic. Uh, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and, uh, in a Ryan Johnson film, he's now in all of Ryan Johnson's films, even if it's just a cameo and he plays a high schooler who is, um, trying to investigate the death of his, of his girlfriend in a high school, but it plays out just like a film new are with all those same kind of kind of characters.
Andrew: Um, but it's a set in a modern high school and it's really, really cool
Rob: that second week in a row, we had Ryan Johnson of. Recommended. And I haven't thought about brick for awhile, but I adore that movie. That's another one I saw in the theater and was just like, what in the world is this just of Gordon Levin, who is just the awkward kid from third rock from the sun, all of a sudden it's like this really great performance.
Rob: And so I love that recommendation.
Andrew: One of my favorite indie flicks experiences, art house experiences, and in theaters was the brothers bloom by Ryan Johnson. So, you know, maybe, maybe we, uh, we just love some rain Johnson over
Rob: here. We're big fans. Um, so my film that I'm going to pick is Donnie Darko. It's young Jake Gyllenhaal, uh, Patrick Swayze, one of his last films.
Rob: He has his cameo, but it's this really interesting movie that like, uh, deals with time deals, with reality deals, with structure deals, with you're watching a story, go through one way and then it kind of bends and you watch it. And on a rewatch, the movie takes on a whole different meaning. And so, um, it's also got a really, uh, great score.
Rob: Awesome mom beyond we didn't talk about the score Mo Momento. I talked about the weird black and white stuff, but I really do like the Synthi kind of Norrish like score that goes on in this movie. It's actually really cool. And Donnie Darko does some of the same thing that Scott, this kind of like pop, synth, um, vibey thing going onto it.
Rob: I'm not very good at describing music, but those are my words.
Andrew: Yeah, and it, it, it came out just one year after memento. So it's sharing sort of the same, the same kind of Zeit Geist, uh, that we were at as culture.
Rob: Uh, so those are our picks. A final thing that we have today is we're doing something new, new feature for our podcast, which is a friend of the show.
Rob: Dave, Minkus left a voicemail. And so if you want to actually call and leave us a message, you can do that. I'm going to leave our line in the show notes. And so you can call, leave us a voicemail, but I'm going to take a moment right now. What Dave Minkus shared with us about our last episode from Spiderman.
Rob: No way home. Hey, what's up Jen? This is Dave. Congratulations on the podcast. You guys are absolutely knocking it out of the park. You're doing a great job. Love every episode as they come out, keep it up. I had a little bit of feedback on the noway home episode. I'll try to keep this short. I kind of feel like Marvel was doing two things with this movie at the same time, and somehow pulled them both off.
Rob: First of all, they said, essentially, Hey Sony, we know you screwed up the entire Spider-Man franchise for the most part for the past 20 years. And we're going to fix it all at once. So like, they just don't even talk about Spider-Man three, which is perfect because if you care about the franchise, you don't force your Sam Raimi to put a character in who he doesn't like.
Rob: That's why we got Spiderman three. Then just beat everything, go out with a grace note. That was just absolutely beautiful. I thought it's a phenomenal film. I didn't even mind it. It was two and a half hours long, which is tough for me. I'll be, let's be really honest. Uh, my favorite part was that like in there will be carnage.
Rob: The Sony's was like, Hey, you can use venom if you want. He got sucked into no way home. And Marvel essentially said lull. Nope, he's getting drunk with Danny from Ted lasso. So that was just an absolutely nice touch. The other thing they did. Didn't tell us that the previous three Spider-Man movies were pre-cool for Tom Holland.
Rob: I did not know that was going to be the case I'm here for it. I thought it was a fantastic thing that they pulled off because at the end of this third movie, yes, he had all the stark tech. He had all these things, but he started, he ends this movie at the same place, essentially where Andrew and Toby Spider-Man started, which is with nothing on his own, having to figure out what everything means on his own.
Rob: And that's where we've known Peter to always be starting from and how he builds into the Peter, who we know he can be. So I think it was a heck of a gutsy move on both sides of things. Andrew, you gave me PTSD, man. I gotta be honest. I'm a massive Trek nerd. Uh, Rob knows this and I walked out of the star Trek reboot from JJ Abrams, opening night, just beaming.
Rob: I was ecstatic. I was like, they can go anywhere. They want with this. This is not your daddy's star Trek, but it's very true to the heart. This can go anywhere and do anything. And I literally said, as long as they don't do Kahn, next I'm in.
Andrew: Yeah. So,
Rob: uh, you guys are doing a great job, keep it up. And I look forward to leaving
Rob: and hopefully not annoying you, Dave.
Rob: Thanks so much, man. That voicemail is incredible. And listeners, if you're going to leave your own voicemail, uh, Dave just set the bar really, really high, because that was a plus. That was an A-plus voicemail. Wasn't that great. That's your first time hearing that right now. And it was my first time. That's
Andrew: that's awesome.
Andrew: I love how engaged he was and what we were all talking about. I'm like, ah, man, we should have had Dave in the room to talk about Spider-Man with us.
Rob: He's actually a podcaster and a world famous podcaster does great stuff. And so I'm honored that he listens to this show and I'm honored that all you listen as well.
Rob: My hope is that this is a community. We have a Facebook group. If you're looking to jump on, we have all sorts of conversations that are happening all the time. And so if you want to keep this conversation going, like, we love to hear from you. We have some thoughts, but we're just two podcasters who care.
Rob: And we know you're listening to these episodes like Rob, Andrew, John, you got this wrong at this part. Like, we want to hear your thoughts. We want to hear your views. Where are we? Right. Where are we wrong? We love to hear from you. And so feel free. Leave voicemails. Join our Facebook group. Are you with us?
Rob: Leave reviews. Um, let's keep the conversation going, Andrew. Good job today, man. Thank you very much. Love being here. Hey everyone. Thanks for listening. Remember to review, subscribe, and we will see you next time on the meaning of the movie.