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Memento Remake: A Nightmare

RohanM RohanM Back in 2012 Colin Farrell said, Hollywood. It lacks originality. Remake sucks, although the man himself starred in the remake of the hit early 90s classic Total Recall, which not only bombed at the box-office in 2012, but was also an abysmal product at all levels.

I've been watching films ever since I was a kid; the idea of remaking a film, even the bad ones, in my opinion is indolent in nature of an attempt at making a film. If you ask me, there's always more room for the mind to invent ideas. For a writer, his/her imagination is vaster than his/her own purpose of existence. Any writer, to write down an idea into a story, should always set their story in its own unique universe, for a new idea represents a new world, an ultramodern era for cinema. The world we are in doesn't lack originality, nor does the film industry that we the aficionados so dearly cherish.

However, unfortunately, the very film industry, driven by the men and women, eschews the term and its meaning that is known as 'originality.' An original product, creativity, is labelled as risk. Instead, what the men and women prefer is to rely on either the comic book adaptation, a novel here and there, or, worst of all, remakes. It took writer/director Christopher Nolan ten years and two films based on the comics (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) to achieve an opportunity to make Inception (2010). This fact, saddens me as a screenwriter, a dreamer, for as Mr. Nolan, I, too, hold such passion in my heart.

Christopher Nolan, not an ordinary filmmaker/screenwriter, is a contributor to cinema whom, like Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, M.Night Shyamalan, Denis Villenueve, Andrei Tarkovsky, David Fincher, comprehends the absolute purpose of cinema—he's in the process of communicating with the world, with his admirers, and the passer-by on the street. Even via his action-packed blockbusters such as The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception and Interstellar, Nolan, as a concerned artist, is in the process of defining that cinema has no boundaries. The medium, respectively, dares to, and can, touch any subject and corners that only some minds, like his, can travel towards.

Nolan's artistic language came to the surface of the film world when he completed his micro-budget mystery thriller, Following (1998). Two years later, he wrote a script based on his younger brother's (Jonathan Nolan) short story, titled Memento Mori. According to Nolan, the idea of Memento enticed him when he was driving from Chicago to Los Angeles with his brother. His unique mindset as a director deciphered the structure of the script. Only, a filmmaker like Nolan can achieve such a powerful piece of art such as Memento. The film isn't a masterpiece due it being re-watched over and over; it is a masterpiece for its pacing, style, color, score, performances, first and foremost, the way it's been structured on the page and directed cogently by the great Nolan. However, even a masterpiece like Memento isn't safe from the claws of the same men, women in the film industry of ours, who deem originality as risk. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news a few days ago that Memento is getting a remake by the folks behind AMBI Pictures after launching a $200 million film fund. You can read the full article here. This boggled the mind of mine. It's already insane to remake a film, but devastating when it comes to doing a remake of what's already and will always be considered perfection.

AMBI Pictures, operated by Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino, have the rights to Memento. They have the rights to Donnie Darko, another classic, as well as Cruel Intentions and Sliding Doors. As the news got me inquisitive, I had to find out as to what the AMBI Pictures has under its belt, perhaps to put my mind at ease. However, there's nothing worth seeing when it comes to their past, present and future projects. As my research on the remake of Memento continued, perhaps in the hopes of reading that AMBI pictures have changed their minds, I came across an article published by the Guardian, which I to some extent agree with except, of course, I'm not going to be in agreement with Mr. John Patterson's take on director Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner sequel. For it's a sequel, and not a remake. But read their take on the remake of Memento. It's interesting.

Guy Pearce as Leonard in 'Memento'
Guy Pearce as Leonard in 'Memento'

Ms. Bacardi, in a statement acquired by THR, said, “Memento is a masterpiece that leaves audiences guessing not just throughout the film, but long after as well, which is a testament to its daring approach. We intend to stay true to Christopher Nolan’s vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic and award-worthy as the original. It’s a big responsibility to deliver something that lives up to the mastery of the original, but we are extremely excited and motivated to bring this puzzle back to life and back into the minds of moviegoers.”

No. It won't work. We, as cinema-goers, are not foolish to fall for the false promises of a team whose intentions, first and foremost, are to make money based on the ideas of the passionate artists. If Ms. Bacardi and her business partner Mr. Lervolino are true film aficionados and producers, they should instead re-release Memento nationwide and invest time and energy with new writers/directors on original materials, so under their banner they can launch a few careers. If Memento gets a re-release by AMBI Pictures, I will be the first one to show up, although I own the film on Blu-ray.

AMBI Pictures I don't think are in the film-making business, nor in the business of contributing to the cinema, for their purpose now is to use film as products with no artistic value, all for the sake of what to them is essential: making more money.

Director Christopher Nolan with Carrie-Anne Moss
Director Christopher Nolan with Carrie-Anne Moss

Who is going to write, direct and star in this remake, I wonder. The Guardian article has a point here by asking, "Will we see a new, gun-for-hire director do his best to recreate an age of dial-up internet and mobile phones the size of ice cream sandwiches set to the music of Santana featuring Rob Thomas?"

Believe it or not, I had a nightmare last night. It's past midnight; dark; silence. I heard a noise outside my room, in the hallway—footsteps. Strange... A few seconds later, the door to my room opened wide, but slow. A man entered, known as Gus Van Sant with a smile on his face, throwing, in slow motion, a copy of the Memento DVD at me. As the DVD landed over my chest, the cover said, Memento. A Film by Gus Van Sant. Then I woke up. Sweat glistening my face.

Posted in Memento,

RohanM RohanM

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