This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is amnesia. The idea of an individual somehow losing their memories, whether due to injury, illness, psychological trauma, or some other factor and the subsequent confusion and disorientation that comes with it can be an interesting subject to explore in a narrative. It can be very effective in establishing mystery as the protagonist struggles to piece together who they are or what's been happening up to this point. Lots of films have covered this and taken it in very different directions.
I have to pick three and two were easy, the third was harder to select because I didn't want to pick one that was too obvious and the only other possible candidate I could find was one I was reluctant to use because explaining the amnesic aspect of the story would ruin the twist ending of a great horror film. Still, I think the one I do have should work.
Dark City (1998)
An unusual case in that the amnesia in the hero comes not so much from losing his memories as it does from never having them in the first place (it's complicated). This guy wakes up in the middle of some dingy bizarre city knowing almost nothing beyond the fact that he is apparently married and has a mysterious desire to get to some place called "Shell Beach" which he can never seem to find. The other strange thing is that he has a few bizarre superhuman powers, and also no idea how he got them. This ends up being a crucial part of the story, as his inability to conform allows him to notice some really strange things about the world he lives in that other people do not.
This is a slight variation on the concept of "amnesia" since the main character technically can remember who he is and most of his life, but only up to the point where he was attacked and suffered brain damage that impeded his ability to retain any memories created after. He actually does have a pretty effective system to keep himself organized which includes writing himself notes that remind him what he needs to do and always keeping a camera on hand to help him keep track of people he meets and places of immediate significance. It seems to work quite well, perhaps a little too well as we find out at the end.