Christopher Nolan’s second feature was a sleeper hit on the independent circuit and brilliantly presents a decentred identity. Leonard Selby (Guy Pearce), has no long term memory and so has too he literally has to inscribe what he knows onto his body. Using the convoluted narrative of noir the film grips from its uncanny opening, where blood runs upwards, to the (possible) revelation that… well, no spoiler here. I particularly liked Carrie-Ann Moss’ femme fatale who we first see – as the narrative is running backwards in chunks of five minutes or so – as loving before ‘becoming’ the ‘hard boiled bitch’ of the genre.
If we want to get auteurist about Nolan we can see he’s interested in heroes divided from themselves and the role of memory in identity. It would be interesting if he could investigate this through a female protagonist.
Bechdel test: Fail (4/2)
Protagonist: Male (0/3)