The films in detail
Shown at The Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge on Tuesday, March 15th 2011
Director: Christopher Nolan. Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano. USA 2000. 109 mins.
A classic example of film noir, but with a twist: Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) tracks down the man who not only raped and murdered his wife, but also robbed him of the ability to lay down new memories. But should Leonard trust anyone in his hunt for the elusive ‘John G.’ when he can only remember his life in 15-minute segments? Told in an innovative style combining backwards and forwards narrative, MEMENTO was inspired by descriptions of the cognitive abilities of real life amnesic Henry Molaison (H.M.), whose life and amnesia will be introduced by Dr. Tim Bussey of the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, prior to the film.
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (15)
Shown at The Queen's Building, Emmanuel College, on Monday, March 21st 2011
Director: Michel Gondry. Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne, Elijah Wood. USA 2004. 103 mins.
Following the traumatic break-up of his relationship, Joel (Jim Carrey) decides to undergo a medical procedure that promises to erase all his memories of his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet). However, as his memories start to disappear, he remembers why he loved Clementine in the first place. A clever and moving film on the nature of memory and love, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND also raises questions about the possibility of suppressing traumatic memories, which will be discussed by Dr. Michael Anderson of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit prior to the film.
FINDING NEMO (U)
Shown at The Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge, on Saturday, March 26th 2011
Directors: Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. Voices: Albert Brooks, Vicki Lewis, Alexander Gould, Ellen Degeneres, Willem Dafoe. USA 2003. 96 mins.
After his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) goes missing, clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) teams up with amnesic regal tang Dory (Ellen Degeneres) to try to find him. Vegetarian sharks, surf dude turtles and a giant blue whale are all part of the fun as Marlin and Dory track Nemo down to Sydney Harbour! Praised by the National Society for Epilepsy for its depiction of Dory’s amnesia, FINDING NEMO is educational and fun for the whole family. Learn more about the brain, memory and amnesia by attending the free scientific activity sessionheld in association with the Cambridge Science Festival immediately prior to the film.
THE HANGOVER (15)
Shown at The Queen's Building, Emmanuel College, on Monday, March 28th 2011
Director: Todd Phillips. Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms, Heather Graham. USA 2009. 99 mins.
Waking up in Las Vegas after a boozy stag party, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) not only have no memory of what happened the night before, but have also lost the groom, Doug (Justin Bartha)! A stolen tiger, Mike Tyson, and a baby in a closet are all parts of the puzzle that they need to piece together in order to find Doug, and get him to the wedding on time. A comedic view of memory loss following drinking, THE HANGOVER will be introduced by Dr. Jon Simons of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge, who will talk on the phenomenon of state-dependent memory retrieval.
TOTAL RECALL (18)
Shown at The Queen's Building, Emmanuel College, on Monday, April 4th 2011
Director: Paul Verhoeven. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Ronny Cox, Rachel Ticotin. USA 1990. 109 mins.
When mild-mannered construction worker Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) decides to treat himself to an implanted false memory of a dream trip to Mars, difficult events start to unfold when he discovers that he already has false memories implanted, and may not be ‘Quaid’ after all. How can you trust reality when you don’t know which of your memories are real? TOTAL RECALL is a sci-fi epic that questions the reconstructive and potentially untrustworthy nature of memory, a topic that will be introduced by Dr. Amy Milton of the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, prior to the film.