Memento wasn’t Christopher Nolan’s first feature film, it was his second. His directorial debut was a film called Following, which was almost like a short film, going on for 69 minutes. It featured Nolan’s known non-linear plot structure, which was probably displayed at its best in Memento.
Memento was nominated for 2 Academy Awards, adapted from a short story Memento Mori. The film presents two sequences of scenes, going in opposite order. One is black and white, shown in chronological order, with the color sequences shown in reverse. The opening credits actually display the end of the movie, or the end of the story line.
Reddit user Antiqueman created a graphic map of the film, to help out those who never really fully figured out the chain of events and the opposing directions of the story line. The film is depicted by three lines. One with an orange line describing the colour scenes, the going backwards scenes. The grey line describes the ones going in straight order, which begin with Leonard, portrayed by Guy Pearce, talking on a phone in the hotel room.
Leonard has anterograde amnesia, which is an inability to create new memories. A sucky condition to be in, but a nice pitch for a film.
During filming, Guy Pearce was the only actor to be on the set all through the filming, while Joe Pantoliano, playing Teddy, and Carrie-Anne Moss, playing Natalie, were each on set for a week. The whole threesome was only together for one day of filming only.
The film made nearly $39 million in the Box office, obviously covering its $9 million budget. It’s Rotten Tomatoes score is 92%, and is considered by many to be one of the best films of the previous decades. Nolan’s career, as most know, skyrocketed after the success of Memento.