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“Do not answer the phone” is one of the notes that Leo Shelby has tattooed in Memento. The film begins with a telephone that rings insistently so that the protagonist picks it up to hear a voice that he does not remember.
A ringing phone is always disturbing. Who’s calling? What do they want? As children, when mobile phones did not yet exist, the sound of the telephone at home broke the silence. We waited for someone to pick it up and for a few seconds, we were waiting to see if the call was for us. It could be a friend who wanted to hang out with you or it could be your girlfriend to tell you that she didn’t want to see you anymore. The truth is that one never knew the exact moment when the phone would ring or who might be behind the call. A phone call was always a mystery.
In the case of Memento there is an added factor: someone forbids us to take the call and that is challenging. It is very difficult not to press the button when someone forbids you to press the button. Curiosity to know what will happen inevitably pushes us to break the rules. That is why we press the button or pick up the phone. That is what kills the cat.
When suddenly the phone rings in the first chapter of unmemory, it is exciting to see the reaction of the people. A surprised grimace or even a little jump. It’s designed to sound just when you discover the safe (and the gun) and add more tension to the scene. Then you have to remember that there was a phone at the beginning of the chapter, scroll back while it does not stop ringing, and pick it up to hear Jamie’s voice asking for help. This is the first puzzle in unmemory, a small tribute to the first scene of Memento and to the irresistible power of phone calls.
Alice in Wonderland
Most ARGs begin with a “Rabbit Hole”, a small hidden or highly disguised door through which you enter a new world. Just like Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic.
That added to the fact that the work is a classic from our childhood and is also in the public domain (so we could use its content) was the reason for including Alicia’s book in unmemory. However in the end, instead of “In Wonderland” we chose “Through the Looking Glass” because it worked better for us for the puzzle of the painting.
The Red Notebook: Paul Auster meets Twin Peaks
Personal diaries are a great source of inspiration. Some of them are literary masterpieces and others have turned into successful films, plays, or television series.
They are definitely morbid. I guess because they are intimate and personal because we hide secrets that we do not tell anyone. I remember visiting an exhibition in Barcelona a few years ago (I can’t specify what it was called) but it had almost 100 teenage diaries on display. In them, you could find confessions, encrypted messages, declarations of love, and even murder plans. Like a phone call, a personal diary that falls into your hands is hard to ignore.
I think it was here when the idea that the Killer Kittens (Debbie) should have a diary was born. Somewhere they would confess their secrets, where they show their personality. There was a debate if it should be a collective newspaper, of the artistic group, but finally, we opted for it to be only Debbie’s, that it was through her eyes that we could better understand the history of the Killer Kittens. We found it interesting to turn the newspaper around, so that it ended up being a work of art, the group’s latest performance, and in its pages hiding the clues to find and open the DEBASERs.
As fans of David Lynch and Twin Peaks, Debbie’s story and her diary are inspired by The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. The idea of the Red Notebook comes from Paul Auster. In his New York Trilogy, a character eagerly searches for a Red Notebook that contains something very important that we never know what it is. It’s a mystery. It is probably a reference to another work by Paul Auster “The Red Notebook”, which contains personal anecdotes whose common point is the coincidences.
In short, our “Red Notebook” is a narrative artifact, which allows filling in the gaps left by the story, delves into the life of Debbie and the rest of the characters, and above all serves as a treasure map of an unfinished work of art *
Today that notebook continues to be written in 6 hands and we hope it will see the light soon.
* Hidden in Kim’s room in the Betrayal Chapter is the letter that Debbie sends to some of the media explaining the true purpose of the Red Notebook.
Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Since we first heard about her in Boing Boing, we have always been fans of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Pastafarianism. So much so, that being aware that its inclusion in the story was an anachronism, we decided to use the reference. That’s why Debbie appears with a pasta strainer on her head in her member card photo.
Clerks: RST Video Inc.
The video membership card inside Debbie’s wallet belongs to one of the most famous video stores of the 90s (with permission from Blockbuster) This is the RST, the video store that appears in the Kevin Smith movie Clerks, and where Dante, Randal, Jay and of course, Silent Bob hang out together.
Diane + Debbie: Mulholland Drive
The photo found inside the black briefcase is a picture of Diane and Debbie.
Debbie is the girl who appears dead in the apartment (her photo corresponds to the one on the video store card) and Diane was her girlfriend. They lived a short but very intense love story, like Betty (Naomi Watts) and Diane (Laura Harring) on Mulholland Drive. In fact, Diane’s name is a nod to the character of Rita in David Lynch’s movie.
Date tattooed: Donnie Darko
When they find her dead in the bathtub, Debbie has several tattoos on her arm. Turning the arm you can see a number: 1973. The date is personal but the fact is inspired by the tattoo that Donnie finds on his arm when he wakes up on the golf course in the Richard Kelly movie Donnie Darko.
That date was originally written in Roman numerals (MCMLXXIII) but the puzzle forced some testers to look for its equivalence on the internet, so in the end, we decided to simplify it putting it back to common Arabic numbers.