Let’s review the filmmaking styles that have created an ‘unmistakable’ mark of the talented director Christopher Nolan.
Through two decades and 11 works, Christopher Nolan has not only become a monument in the hearts of movie enthusiasts, but also has always been named in the list of pioneering and most respected filmmakers of the 21st century . The value of Christopher Nolan’s works is proven through both the huge box office and the endless praise of professionals. Most especially, Nolan’s style and vision are consistent across every film, making his name an indisputable endorsement for a quality work.
On the occasion of INCEPTION’s return to the big screen and Nolan’s latest super product, TENET, to be released, let’s review the filmmaking styles that have created the ‘unmistakable’ mark of the talented director.
1. Challenging the laws of space and time
Christopher Nolan is one of the few ambitious filmmakers who dare to challenge the laws of space and time. From the very beginning, Nolan seems to have been obsessed with storytelling that disrupts the unique timeline.
In Memento (2000), he challenges linear storytelling when he pushes the audience into the conundrum of the true identity of a man with short-term dementia. The two lines of time interwoven with the technique of ‘storyteller’ ‘unreliable’ make the audience somewhat confused but also constantly curious about the extremely attractive and haunting story.
Science fiction is also a subject that Christopher Nolan is passionate about pursuing through many works, and Inception (2010) is a typical example. The film became a monument of modern Hollywood thanks to its unique idea of the world of dreams. In the world he created himself, Christopher Nolan did not hesitate to bend everything about time and space and create his own laws.
2. Maximum investment of production value
Most of the works of Christopher Nolan are blockbusters with a modest investment budget, usually ranging from 100 million to more than 200 million dollars. But Nolan has always proven that every co-investment in his vision ahead of his time is worth it. Effects is a tool that Nolan makes the most of in his works.
However, Nolan did not use this expensive tool without bluff, but had his own philosophy in the process of weaving dreams on the big screen. Nolan thinks that no matter how delicate and expensive the visual effects are, they will be artificial without certain physical elements. Therefore, he prefers to use camera modeling and techniques to aid the visual effects, resulting in more realistic images.
Typically in a scene in Inception, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt has to fight the ‘security agents’ in a dream in a non-gravity corridor that is constantly turned upside down. Instead of using the whole technique, Christopher Nolan decided to build and shoot in a special studio designed as a real rotating hallway.
Similarly, in Interstellar, Nolan did not use a green screen, but chose Iceland as the setting for the scene where Matthew McConaughey explores a cold planet in space. Even in a work not in the genre of science fiction like Dunkirk, Nolan also carefully considered to make the right decision about the combination of camera technique and VFX to create a feeling of leg. most realistic scene of bombs falling shot.
Coming to TENET, Christopher Nolan also aggressively staged a collision with a real Boeing 747 plane, crashing into a real building to create a grand scene of fire and explosion. TENET has less than 300 scenes to deal with, even less than a love movie.
IMAX cameras have also been Nolan’s favorite tool for many films since The Dark Knight (2008). Although not the first filmmaker to use this technology, but Nolan is a pioneer in taking full advantage of IMAX and making it a prerequisite for creative decisions. For these reasons, audiences are confident that they will enjoy an unforgettable experience every time they enter the theater with Christopher Nolan.
3. Break the boundary between good and evil
‘Are a saint completely holy? Was the murderer absolutely brutal? ‘ Christopher Nolan’s stories aren’t just about heroes. There are many of his characters who initially appear side by side with the main character but gradually appear to be antagonists or anti-heroes or vice versa. Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) in Memento, Angier (Hugh Jackman) in The Prestige or Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in The Dark Knight are such characters.
These characters are not created for the purpose of making the audience hate, but really deepening psychology to strip the root cause of their crimes. Even in the protagonists, Nolan often implements moments that make them morally disturbed in their own decisions.
4. Impressive endings that make viewers remember forever
Christopher Nolan is a master at engaging the audience to the very end. In Memento or The Prestige, Nolan retains key details to help the audience thread the entire story and provide a shocking new perspective to the entire experience they’ve just gone through. This unexpected turning episode is always carefully arranged by Nolan so that every episode has no logical gaps.
However, the last scene of Inception is still the end that is discussed the most by fans when talking about Nolan. The image of the spinning top, continuously rotating and swaying, pushes the viewer into suspicion whether everything just happened is real or just a dream. Whether explicitly or unanswered, Christopher Nolan’s ending ways always bring the audience’s feelings and satisfaction to the climax.
In the upcoming TENET work, these stylistic marks can be seen, continued by Christopher Nolan. The film revolves around the main character recruited by a mysterious spy organization, using a weapon capable of manipulating and reversing time, on a mission to prevent World War III before its happening.
With a budget of more than 200 million expensive dollars, TENET of Nolan continues to promise the elegance and creativity of any previous ‘brainchild’, and will definitely be a blockbuster worth enjoying not only to fans of Christopher Nolan in particular, but to all movie lovers in general.