Professor Firstdraft’s GOODTIME SCRIPTORIUM

Dispatches from the far reaches of the WGF.

Screenplay 101: MEMENTO

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Here’s the deal: Throughout 2014, we’re posting pages from every script on the WGA’s list of the 101 Greatest Screenplays, as chosen by Guild membership, because we have every one in our library. Sure, we have other scripts that didn’t make it onto the list, either because they didn’t make the cut or because they were produced after the list was generated (presumably SHARKNADO, which we totally have a copy of, is only in the latter category).

Number 100 on the list is Christopher Nolan’s MEMENTO, based on the short story MEMENTO MORI, written by his brother Jonathan, and starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Ann Moss and Joe Pantoliano.

The pages we chose for this one are kind of a cheat. Because of the nature of the way MEMENTO is told – it starts at the end and works its way forward to the beginning – we can’t tell you too much about this scene or what it eventually leads to, since that’s stuff that happened¬†before the scene and oh god now everyone’s heads hurt.

But we¬†can tell you that this scene is between Leonard (Pearce) and Natalie (Moss), and that Leonard is a man trying to solve his wife’s murder while dealing with a nasty case of anterograde amnesia, which prevents the short-term memory from functioning properly. Which is why Leonard is asking Natalie so much about herself – because he hasn’t been able to form a memory of whether or not he knows her.

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