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Abstract

Adrian Gargett, in his paper "Nolan's Memento, Memory, and Recognition," analyses Christopher Nolan's film Memento. Gargett employs Deleuzian film theory in a general consideration of the relationship between thought and film. Gargett proposes that Memento acts as a type of intellectual stimulant that has the viewer deciphering a puzzle in process: what is identified in Memento is the way in which memory and the work of memory are presented in the film's narrative construct. In his analysis Gargett argues that memory is not added on; rather, it is already present, and that the Deleuzian abstract quality does not lie in the negative relation to representation, externality, and figure. And it is there in the way memory is present: abstraction is not present simply because memory lacks a given determination, and thus all that is apparent in the film is memory in the abstract. Abstraction here means a particular type of filmic presentation and it is the employment of abstraction as an already determined form of film construction. This presentation and what allows the film to be abstract is the confrontation with the conventions of abstraction. Engaging with abstraction within abstraction must be understood in terms of the construction and in terms of a response to the construction/structure of the film, in which narrative/subject matter can only be identified with their emergence from the way in which particular sequences/scenes work.

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