Chapter Five:Recast

Like many serious directors, Christopher Nolan creates movies that play with viewers’ minds. One early work was Memento, in which the hero desperately searched for the murderer of his wife, and did so with a huge handicap. The hero, Leonard, has clues tattooed on his body and notes crammed everywhere because he is on his quest for justice with a raging case of amnesia.

In a diner over a meal, Leonard explains the general limits of memory to a colleague he regularly forgets that he knows: “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.”

Later on, alone, thinking about the wife he loved, Leonard describes the specific ...

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