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Claire Molloy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637713

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637713.001.0001

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Memento as Noir

Memento as Noir

(p.86) 4 Memento as Noir

Claire Molloy

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter is concerned with film noir and an analysis of gender difference within Memento to reveal the extent to which notions of disability problematise constructions of masculinity. The concerns of classic films noirs with women's social power were expressed and resolved through the femme fatale. The description of neo-noir fits Memento with glove-like ease. The mirrored reflection of the femme fatale in films noirs acts as a metaphor for duplicity or narcissism. In Memento, Leonard's body is displayed on a number of occasions, when he undresses himself and when he is disrobed by Natalie, inviting careful and repeated contemplation. Memento is not alone in depicting the spectacle of masochistic suffering of the white male body in the search for a coherent sense of masculinity.

Keywords:   film noir, gender difference, Memento, masculinity, social power, femme fatale, Leonard, Natalie

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