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T I T L E
S E Q U E N C E
A N A L Y S I S .
M E M E N T O .
• Memento is a mystery crime thriller film.
• Directed and written by Christopher Nolan.
• Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie – Anne Moss and Joe Pantolaino.
• Released in 2000.
• Follows the story of a man with short – term memory loss, who is trying to find the
murderer of his late wife. He creates a unique system to help him remember things, in
the hopes of finding the killer.
• The title sequence for ‘Memento’ immediately builds up a sense
of darkness and tension through the use of low – key lighting.
Darkness implies that something may be going on in secret,
something is being hidden away. This fits in with the typical
conventions of the thriller genre, something strange is going on
that the audience are not fully aware of, making it an enigma.
This will make the audience want to continue watching the film
to find out what is happening.
• The font used in the title sequence is blue block text in
uppercase. The text is thin and appears similar to fonts used in
other crime thriller media texts, such as the television dramas
‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot’ and ‘A Touch of Frost’. The target
audience for this film may be familiar with these programmes,
therefore, may be able to make a link between these shows and
the font used in ‘Memento’, letting them know that the film fits
into the crime thriller genre.
The font used in the ‘Memento’ title sequence.
Fonts used in ‘Agatha Christie’s
Poirot’ and ‘A Touch of Frost’. A
similarity can be seen between the
three, they all use thin block capital
• The sequence shows the process of a man shooting another, taking a picture and then
developing the Polaroid. However, the sequence is played in reverse. This may confuse
the viewer at first. This is typical of a crime thriller as the aim is to keep the audience
guessing and on the edge of their seat. The sequence being played backwards creates
the idea that something strange is going on, again another common convention of
thrillers. It also creates an enigma code as the audience will wonder what is going on,
why it is happening, and who is doing it.
• The music used in the title sequence helps to reinforce the idea that this film is a crime
thriller. Slow sharp string sounds can be heard, string instruments such as violins are
commonly used in the soundtracks for thrillers as they help to heighten tension in the
viewer. When the action begins (the man takes the picture, then shoots the man), the
soundtrack changes, the string sounds become quitter and slower, they also become
distorted / warped. This may be due to something unusual happening (someone being
shot), the warped sounds also help to create confusion in the viewer, typical of a crime
• Technical codes:
- Low key lighting is used to create a dark and sinister atmosphere. It also creates the
impression that something that is happening that must be hidden, and that’s why it’s
taking place in the dark.
- Tight close up angles are used and this creates a sense of mystery and doesn’t give the
viewer too much insight into what is going on, creating a lot of enigmas and questions.
• Symbolic Codes:
- A Polaroid photo is being held throughout the sequence and shows an image of
someone laying in a pool of blood, this is conventional of a crime thriller as it
immediately shows that a crime has taken place.
- The bullet informs us that the person has been shot.
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