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Photo: Christopher Nolan
If you’re familiar with the film industry, or the world of Cinema, then you’ve most likely heard of director Christopher Nolan. Known for his films that pull you into an absolutely atmospheric world that takes you on a multitude of journeys; Nolan is iconically praised within Cinema as being one of the greatest directors (and overall creative minds) of our current time.
You may be wondering as to how Christopher Nolan is regarded as being such a fantastic director, and what makes him stand out from being grouped in with other directors who create similar films; and to that, I’d have to say that there’s certainly a lot to Nolan that lies underneath the surface. So much so that the techniques that make Nolan such a fantastic director are subtle, yet are incredibly vital to his films at the same time. Now, let’s finally dive headfirst into discussing the beauty and meticulous hard work that Nolan accomplishes through his films; and the reasons behind why he’s so beloved.
Christopher Nolan: A Careful Creative
Before we go into the specifics of his directing in film techniques, let’s take a brief second to discuss Christopher Nolan in a general sense.
Christopher Nolan is a British-American film director who is best known for the ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy, ‘Inception’, ‘Dunkirk’, and so many more incredible cinematic masterpieces. Personally, one of my favorites definitely has to be ‘Memento’; there’s so much allure and pure thrill that comes from that film. With that said, Nolan’s filmography spans many decades; and if you’ve seen his films before (which, if you’re an avid film-watcher, you most likely have) then you’ll fully understand the magical worlds that he builds within his projects. With meticulous care for his work and methods of non-linear storytelling, Nolan does all he can to create the iconic and traditional movie magic that audiences have all come to know and love.
It’s fair to say that with Nolan’s extensive line of work in film, there will always tend to be a movie of his that anyone can enjoy; truly, there is something for everyone in his art. This is most likely because of the different genres and atmospheres that Nolan explores as he creates more and more films as the years go by. On top of this, Nolan’s growth as a director has ultimately been formed from creating a multitude of projects as well; which, in turn, likely becomes the reason behind why Nolan has formed such precise attention to how he directs his films.
Truthfully, there’s entirely a lot more I can say about how magnificent Nolan is as a director when perceiving his films from a simple film-enjoyer perspective. However, as opposed to a more analytical perception? Well, this is where things get more interesting when discussing Christopher Nolan and his determination to give true love to the details.
The King Of Hidden Details
Now, I know I may sound like a broken record here; but I do want to reiterate just how fantastic of a director Christopher Nolan is. We truly do have a myriad of wonderful directors of our time that get all the love and attention they deserve, and lest they also never be forgotten. But, I overall feel as though Nolan deserves the same amount of love that he gives his movies. There has been a multitude of people that I’ve talked to at my film school, and they typically tend to tell me how “overrated” Christopher Nolan is; and to that, I have to say that he isn’t truly overrated at all, but rather underappreciated.
It isn’t simple to make a film; let alone, create a great film. It is due to Nolan’s tedious amounts of time that he pays attention to in his films that turns a simple film into a masterpiece. I personally believe that if anyone else had directed the same story in Nolan’s films, they wouldn’t nearly have been as perfect as the original. There is a strong reason why he’s such a beloved name in the film industry; and why audiences crave new work from him no matter the story.
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You may now be wondering to yourself as to how specifically Christopher Nolan pays attention to detail. Well, you’re in luck because I have a plethora of examples to give your wonderful film-loving selves. Think of this section of the article as though it’s a speed round of Christopher Nolan filmography facts.
To start, it’s notable how Nolan destroyed linear storytelling within ‘Memento’; from one scene to another, there is no complete linear timeline in the story, leaving the audiences completely wondering what’s to come next and being interestingly confused at the same time. Next up, we have the exaggerated effort taken into account with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’; Nolan hired multiple crowds of extras to fill out sets for a more realistic look rather than using CGI, along with having the designers take two years on Bane’s jacket to get the details just right. Lastly, let it not be forgotten that with ‘Interstellar’, Nolan had spent punctilious time on the film; taking real physics into account and making sure the score had perfectly encapsulated what the film was truly all about.
Those are simply a few examples that I can give you guys of how Nolan exactly plays out his attention to detail in directing so wonderfully without entirely talking your ear off. It’s incredibly impressive, and it’s interesting to see the lengths Nolan will go to make his film feel more real to audiences; even if they don’t notice it themselves.
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Nolan: The Cinematic Auteur
After reading this article, I do encourage you to go watch some interviews with Christopher Nolan himself; along with finding other examples of how which Nolan cements small details in his stories. How Nolan accomplishes his method and artistic style of cinematic art is incredible, and it’s something that’s certainly made its impact on the film industry. Whether or not you’d consider him “overrated”, I find that he’s earned the title of being well-known in Cinema in any way.
Christopher Nolan is a film auteur, and he will seemingly remain that way until the end of his career. His little clues and hints that stay at the foundation of his films leave such a wonderful element of surprise and thrill when you finally figure it all out (or notice the small details), and this aspect mixed in with his enticing stories can engross just about anyone. His themes of identity and time make us contemplate ourselves and our lives, and just how we’re living day-to-day. And that is something that will never be overrated.
By Leah Donato
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