Memento tells the story of Leonard Shelby, a man with short term memory loss on a hunt for his wife’s murderer. The psychological thriller is comprised of interesting visual direction that have made it a critically acclaimed film. I will compare the visuals created in Memento with those in Zarate’s work in Freud for Beginners.
Throughout the film Christopher Nolan, director, weaves in a scene in black and white. In this scene the Leonard is having a phone conversation. It is a bit of a trick to the viewer as to knowing what time frame this scene is in and trying to figure out who he is talking to. The whole movie, minus the black and white, runs from end to beginning. This is a motif that is also found in the characters reason. He will continue to search even after he has found his wife’s killer, this motif creates a cycle of confusion and time warp up until the end of the film when to two meet. You are taken through the life of the main character through their eyes.
This way of seeing the story is similar to how Zarate illustrated Freud for Beginners. Zarate illustrated the book as though the reader is viewing through the eyes of Freud himself. Freud also appears to comment and share is thoughts throughout the book. This aspect is much like the black and white motif shown in Memento. Freud and the Leonard are each guiding you through the story and doing so through their perspective, which explains the time warping effect shown in Memento.
Another interesting similarity between the two different mediums was how the viewer could see the main characters doubting themselves by putting themselves in others situations. In Memento, Leonard is seen telling the story of Sammy Jenkins who had ended up in a home after having killed his wife. Leonard suffered a similar memory disability as Jenkins. As he tells the story, however, Sammy is shown in his hospital chair staring off into nothingness and suddenly, for a slight second, Leonard takes his place. This visual doubt, which again, is shown in Leonard’s perspective, is also present in Freud for Beginners.
Freud is shown popping up in the middle of cases, putting himself in his patients predicament. He is the often shown with some kind of speech bubble trying to justify his far stretched hypothesis. It is interesting that how similar types of visual direction can be shown in different mediums about varying subjects. It seems to be that this practice of visual trickery and playfulness with the viewer is fairly similar throughout a wide range of mediums, still or motion picture.
Lastly, the amount of detail with each direction of the individual stories are very much a part of the impact of the mediums. Going back to the black and white scene in Memento, this is what makes people interested. It keeps them coming back to the basis of the story. In Freud for
Beginners this is also shown with the written text by Richard Appignanesi. There have been many similarities and differences but all in all, one can confirm that these mediums are both ones to be highly regarded.