…because the Memento VCD available for rental here in Taiwan is NOT Memento! Instead of the award-winning movie itself, the geniuses at Deltamac have for some reason (incompetence? some more active form of idiocy? who knows?) given us (without a word of warning as far as I can see) the ‘chronological’ version as featured on some special edition DVDs.

I dont know for sure, but this presumably applies to the VHS version as well. In fact heck for all I know this was the version that they showed in theaters here too. Sometimes I despair of this place I really do.

Originally posted by JohnEG: In fact heck for all I know this was the version that they showed in theaters here too. Sometimes I despair of this place I really do.
I saw it at Warner Village in the correct format. Great movie. Make sure you see it in its original form. Preferably after you've inhaled a lot of second-hand marijuana smoke. (I wouldn't want anyone to think I was promoting illegal drug use. As long as you're not one of the 4 people in your car smoking it, you're still obeying the letter of the law!) [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

…you mean the “correct” version isn’t chronological?..

Ah Maoman, I should very much like to have seen it in its correct format, but unfortunately it’s a bit late now – I already watched the whole thing in this poxed up variant form. And unlike Lennie, I still remember what happened, so that kinda messes up the experience really.

And Wolf, yes, the whole point of this movie is that the story is told backwards – it’s a bit of a gimmick of course but quite an appropriate one since the protagonist has no short term memory, ie he doesnt know what just happened any more than the audience does.

Originally posted by JohnEG: it's a bit of a gimmick of course but quite an appropriate one since the protagonist has no short term memory, ie he doesnt know what just happened any more than the audience does.

He lost his LONG TERM memory. Great movie. Must see for people who appreciate original stories.

John, I was being sarcastic. Or trying
I saw the film in DVD in the States and it was correct, ie in the backtracking sense. I bought the video tape for a friend here but I don’t know about it since he hasn’t watched it yet!
Interestingly, the DVD had some other bits but not the rearranged version. It did have the complete text of the short story that the film is based on.

Wolf, I still don’t know about the local VHS version but I can now confirm that the local DVD version also shows the wrong (ie the ‘chronological’ version, not the original version) of the movie. The correct version may also be somewhere on the DVD (as you probably know, different regions have different special features of one sort or another; for instance, according to www.imdb.com regions 2 and 4 have both versions), but even if it is there on the region 3 DVD, it is not the default.

Urbanjet, yes youre quite right! All the reviews etc talk about Leonard’s loss of short term memory, but in fact his problem is that since the ‘incident’ he’s unable to form any permanent (ie long term, as you say) new memories; ie he forgets everything that happens to him about 15 minutes after it happens.

That movie is definitely a play on the short-term memory loss associated with marijane and alcohol abuse. Very clever, but totally boring, actually… I am sick and tired of all these movies in which someone has to kill someone else, and nowadays, for no apparent reason… Like the drug dealer that “Teddy” tried to substitute for himself… Lenny kills him and doesn’t even know why… The dealer’s bartender girlfriend doesn’t bat an eye, and when Lenny comes back, she asks, “Did you kill him?” in the same innocuous tone one would use to ask a pal if he’d remembered to take out the garbage… The banality of life and death in today’s cinema certainly reveals the state to which our civilization has descended. As a concept, the movie was very clever. But the actual content of the movie is utter shit; except the spoof on drug use: note the notes he was making on his flesh about “access to drugs.”

Any of you who have ever done ‘too much’ marijane know the consequences for the memory, if not the sensibilities… Anyway.


So that’s what Roger Ebert was talking about. Yes, you guessed it, I saw the boring chronological version here. And enjoyed it. Maybe I should just play it on slow rewind to see it the “COOL” way…

But, I don’t know, maybe messing up the chronology is not such a bad idea. Do you think it might improve Police Academy 6 or Ernest Goes To Camp?

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. - Marshall McLuhan

I think it was a crappy, empty-hearted movie… Banal life-taking… Is that the best American culture can do…? An ingeneous form cannot save a movie, much less the entire American culture, from its insipidity, shallowness and general empty-headedness… Perhaps the director was merely also trying to express his frustration and distress about the general lack of life today… Nevertheless, I am afraid that I shall stand my ground, no matter how much you want to efface those of us who insist upon thinking for ourselves from the face of this dirty Earth… Civilization is old and evil. But, apparently, not old and evil enough for America…

Isn’t the director a Brit?

Perhaps it would be useful, for those of you who have seen the “wrong” version, to identify how this can be spotted early enough for a viewer to stop watching and find a “correct” version. I have only seen the backwards, “correct” version.

if he is a Brit, then that would probably qualify the idea that he is commenting on American culture, since the protagonist is the kind of guy you find hanging about in gym-clubs all over L.A… Also, if the director is British, then that would also lead one to accept the fact that American cultural norms have insidiously penetrateded into all cultures… Just look at how “american” french action movies have become… One could find many examples of this homogeneous effect…

My illogy is simple: I can’t kill myself, so will save my money to waste on little girls, instead.


You’ll know its wrong if, instead of the normal “movie opening” sequences, it starts with the end credits rolling against a black screen, so you’ll have plenty of time to switch it off.

Sandman, yes I think director Christopher Nolan and his brother (Jonathon?) are both Brits, although Christopher (at least) is now presumably living and/or working in the US.

Wolf, good idea! So:-

The wrong (ie chronological) version begins in black and white with Lennie in a hotel room.

Whereas as far as I can piece together, the correct version – Wolf please correct me if Im wrong – starts (in color?) with a polaroid snapshot of a dead guy (and Im not giving anything away here; remember this is the start of the real movie) that ‘undevelops’. and then next you get the scene in which the dead guy in the polaroid was shot…

Correct. The version you want to watch is of a Polaroid pic developing backwards as the begining of the movie.

Actually, if you think about it, the movie goes in a kind of circle in backward and forward parts, ending where (sort of) it started.
Still, it’s quite an interesting film, not your standard Hollywood movie.

I saw the wrong version that starts in B&W, only this weekend… Where can the cinema-released version be had?

Originally posted by popo: I saw the wrong version that starts in B&W, only this weekend... Where can the cinema-released version be had?

Thats what Id like to know too Popo. Ive tried contacting the local distributors (Deltamac) and the nice ladies at my local video store have said they’ll check with them too, but so far I havent heard anything back…

thank goodness you guys started this thread. i was just mentioning to my cousin last week about this movie and was going to go out and buy her the vcd or dvd. if anyone finds out where i can get the real version of this movie here, i’d like to know, as well.

i’m not really sure what the point is of seeing this movie in chronological order. that kills all the suspense and intrigue of the whole film. i find it hard to believe that someone somewhere thought people in other parts of the world would need to see the movie in chronological order to appreciate it…

Update on Memento situation:

I was just over at Blockbuster and it looks as if the DVD version of Memento has the original version (that’s what the Chinese label says), so you can see it just as the director intended…

Art is anything you can get away with. - Marshall McLuhan