Commercially and artistically, Christopher Nolan is one of this century’s most powerful film-makers – and his take on Dunkirk is one of this summer’s must-sees. But he was little known in 2000 when he released his second feature. Memento, based on a short story by his brother Jonathan, is an audacious temporal puzzle within a sunbaked LA noir. Guy Pearce is suitably taciturn and laconic as an insurance investigator with short-term memory loss who must leave notes and Polaroids for himself everywhere – some are literally tattooed on his body. His shady backstory is revealed through two parallel timelines in colour and black-and-white, which unfold chronologically and in reverse, with Nolan gradually drip-feeding us information. This unique structural device, endlessly infuriating then revelatory, is abetted dramatically by Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos). You can get tangled up in the timeline or enjoy a super-intelligent whodunnit.
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