Orr closely examines Memento's film fabric as well as its broader cultural implications, presenting it as the result of a natural progression in a decade marked by the transformation of classic film noir into a low-budget identity noir. Nolan's dis-linear identity noir opens a black hole of perception, making the audience share the same amnesiac quality with the beleaguered, lost protagonist. This creates an intensifying suspicion of what the truth is and whether it actually exists. Orr deconstructs Memento as an intersection of popular film genre and experimental montage, discussing Nolan's mise-en-scene reduction to pure image. The author examines the narrative loop of the film as a subject to disorientations, playing forward and backward in time without a serial return to the present. Orr juxtaposes this approach to the fast-forward culture of today, calling it a perverse culture of the rewind. that plays on electronic culture's fatal flaw of .impatience with the slowing image. Nolan makes this perverse reverse dependent on the art of simple montage, creating a protagonist strikingly independent of electronic paraphernalia Leonard does not use the tools of the contemporary investigator, such as bugs, camcoders, computers, or mobiles, but is instead reliant on text and image. This, Orr argues, makes him a fable for the information age, his lack of memory storage both a match and a metaphor for the disaster bound to strike if all the world's electronic technology were to crash. Leonard is thus reduced to pure hard copy, from the tattoos covering his body to the multitude of notes lining his inside pockets. In this respect, Nolan.s protagonist becomes the antithesis of the Kubrickian cyborg monster, a de-programmed humanoid whose retrograde amnesia mirrors this technological retrograde evolution.
Evans examines the relationship between memory and history in Chaucer's romance Troilus, using Christopher Nolan's Memento to illustrate the important historical differences between the medieval and the postmodern. The essay draws on the work of French cultural historian Pierre Nora, who argues that history exists because memory no longer does and society is haunted by this loss. Memento, the author proposes, illustrates the contemporary obsession with .the precariousness of memory. and the crucial relationship between memory and identity. Evans argues that Memento serves as a .surreal projection. of what memory might look like if it were exteriorized and we were incapable of storing it in an internal filing system that allows us to retrieve it as needed. Due to the protagonist.s failure of this psychic archive, he creates a mnemonic system that employs a range of .prosthetics for memory,. such as tattoos, photographs, and notes. Evans compares this system to the techniques medieval monks utilized in the arts of preserving memory through authoritative texts. At the same time, the author suggests that because these are records of discrete and disconnected moments of objective reality, they are detached from a unifying chain of meaning and therefore useless to Leonard in structuring his past, present or future. This places the protagonist in a nightmare of double loss that of his wife and of his reliable mnemonic system. Evans deconstructs scenes from Memento to explore the film's distinctly humanist suggestion that memory is fundamental to one's survival as an individual and juxtaposes it to Chaucer's Troilus, which shares these anxieties of memory but without the radical separation between memory and history. The author stresses the distinctly occidental nature of this separation and argues that while medieval writers did not conflate memory and history, they had a dramatically different understanding of the relationship between the two.