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The famous 2000 film that put Christopher Nolan on the map tells the story of a man on the hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

"Memento" Q&A with Chris Nolan and Guillermo del Toro

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Location: Secret Canadian Bunker
http://www.movieline.com/2011/02/when-nolan-met-del-toro-10-highlights-from-their-memento-qa.php?page=all

Highlights:

10. Nolan has never seen the re-ordered cut of Memento.
One of the best Easter eggs on the original DVD release of Memento (“A great artifact,” applauded Del Toro) is a hidden cut of the film, re-edited in chronological order. When it came to him for approvals, Nolan only watched the opening sequence in reverse: “What I got a kick out of was David Julyan’s music, for the first time in his career, became happy when it was played backwards… so I said, ‘You can put that on there, but only as an extra.’”

9. Nolan on the similarities between his films and the works of Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges:
“I’m a huge Borges fan. I think Inception is very much inspired by things I’ve read of his; I think Memento is a strange cousin to Funes the Memorious - about a man who remembers everything, who can’t forget anything. It’s a bit of an inversion of that. What I was after was sort of the precision of a Borges story. I think his writing naturally lends itself to a cinematic interpretation because it is all about efficiency and precision, the bare bones of an idea.”

8. On Bob Berney, who took a chance releasing both Nolan’s Memento and Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth when other distributors balked:
“He is a man with a high testicular content,” Del Toro added, recalling his own experience with Berney, who released Memento while at Newmarket Films and distributed Pan’s Labyrinth via Picturehouse. “He said, ‘I like it’ when everybody was saying it was difficult, it’s not going to find an audience, it’s too complex.”

7. Nolan on why there would be no Inception without Memento:
“It took a long time to write, and for me to learn how to make a film on the scale that I needed it to be. But it was born of a belief, when I sat at the Toronto Film Festival and watched Memento with an audience and heard them responding to it in a very mainstream way — a very clear-cut, communicative relationship between the audience and the story. I felt like you could do that on a big scale. You could do a big version of that and people would get it, would respond to it.”

6. Del Toro and Nolan agree: The best actors are “restless until [they] find the truth.”
“I think the best actors are,” said Nolan. “Guy, Christian, Leo — they are restless. They’re looking for something, they’re looking for the essential truths of the character. When they find it, it’s a wonderful thing to watch an actor settle into that.”

5. When a film has an unreliable narrator, the director must have all the answers.
“You couldn’t cheat when you have a structure like this, and Inception’s very much the same,” explained Nolan. “When you’re demanding of the audience that they engage with this game, it’s very important that you not cheat. And it’s also important that you provide answers; there are ambiguities in the film, but the ambiguities themselves are answers, I suppose. It’s very clear to the audience the things that they can’t know. You have to feel there’s a person behind the film that knows what’s going on.”

4. But don’t hold your breath — Nolan will never divulge the truth of Inception.
After explaining Memento to viewers at the Venice Film Festival, Nolan’s brother (and story writer) Jonathan told him why he should stop. “He said, you made a film where it’s ambiguous at the end specifically because you’re in the head of a guy who doesn’t know the truth. So if you tell people as the creator what the truth is, you’re violating the terms of the story. And we’ll make much more money if you don’t tell them.”

3. Nolan, who’s nominated for Best Screenplay for Inception, says his brother is the writer in the family.
After expanding on Jonathan’s original short story idea as the basis of Memento’s script, Nolan began working more and more with younger brother Jonathan: “I started to realize that my little kid brother had figured some things out, had a talent, and I’ve been exploiting it mercilessly ever since.”

Del Toro: “I feel brother envy right now.”

2. Nolan, acknowledging influences of Ridley Scott and Terrence Malick in Memento:
“I was so struck by Blade Runner when I saw it, and when I look at this film again there’s so much concern with memory and identity that I carried over from that film, because it made such an impression on me. I also see a lot of attempt to do what I saw Terrence Malick doing, in terms of the portrayal of mental states and memory. If you watch The Thin Red Line, that was a revelation to me. He’s cutting to memories and flashbacks with simple cuts; there are no wavy lines or dissolves. There are moments [in Memento] where Guy’s character is remembering his wife that were taken very much from that film.”

1. The biggest current obstacle for both Del Toro and Nolan: Retaining the “madness” of youth.
“The real challenge is maintaining spontaneity, retaining the energy and excitement of what you did when you were young and had nothing to lose,” said Nolan. “One of the reasons I’ve kept a tight team together and we try to carry on working in the same ways is that they know what’s important to me… not let things get locked down even though the machinery is now very weighty.”
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Very detailed and interesting interview, love it!
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Awesome, thanks for posting. :)

And LMAO Chris "exploiting" Jonah. That's what family is for. :mrgreen:
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I wish we could get the video.
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"I’ve been exploiting it mercilessly ever since" :clap: :clap: :lol: :lol:
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Incredible interview :clap:
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Such a great interview. I hope they work together in the future in some capacity.

He said, you made a film where it’s ambiguous at the end specifically because you’re in the head of a guy who doesn’t know the truth. So if you tell people as the creator what the truth is, you’re violating the terms of the story. And we’ll make much more money if you don’t tell them.
:lol: So true. But that's only one of the many reasons why his films make so much money.

Someone posted a small part of the interview. It starts at about 1:41 into the video.
Here's the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ovp9aG4NYM
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Location: Cardiff, UK
Cheers for that cracking interview :thumbup:
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Location: Florida
My buddy Cris Mertens (2 time guest host on the NF Podcast) got to ask Nolan a question at this Q&A. He said he had 3 minutes of uninterrupted eye contact with Nolan. I then proceeded to tell Cris I hate him and never want to speak to him again. :lol:
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TeddyBlass wrote:My buddy Cris Mertens (2 time guest host on the NF Podcast) got to ask Nolan a question at this Q&A. He said he had 3 minutes of uninterrupted eye contact with Nolan. I then proceeded to tell Cris I hate him and never want to speak to him again. :lol:


What did he ask Nolan?
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