Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and produced by Suzanne and Jennifer Todd. The film's script was based on a pitch by Jonathan Nolan, who later wrote the story "Memento Mori" from the concept. It stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.
Pearce stars as a man who, as a result of a past trauma, has anterograde amnesia (the inability to form new memories) and has short-term memory loss approximately every five minutes. He is searching for the persons who attacked him and killed his wife, using an intricate system of Polaroid photographs and tattoos to track information he cannot remember. Memento is presented as two different sequences of scenes interspersed during the film: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of color sequences shown in reverse order (simulating for the audience the mental state of the protagonist). The two sequences meet at the end of the film, producing one complete and cohesive narrative.
Memento premiered on September 5, 2000, at the Venice International Film Festival and was released in European theaters starting in October. It was acclaimed by critics who praised its nonlinear narrative structure and motifs of memory, perception, grief, and self-deception, and earned $39.7 million over a $9 million budget. It received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing. The film was subsequently ranked one of the best films of the 2000s by several critics and media outlets. In 2016 it was voted 25th among 100 films considered the best of the 21st century by 117 film critics from around the world. Memento was considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the US Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2017, the first narrative feature film from the 2000s to be honored.