Chris Nolan’s Blind Spots

The list of filmmakers who have made 7 good films during their career is surprisingly short. There's nothing wrong with that. Making movies is difficult, and making a good one is even more so. So think about how hard it must be to make 7. Now think about what it takes to rattle off your first 7 in a row and not only have them each be good but also have a few amazing, genre defining ones in there as well.

Sounds impossible, right?

Well, it is. Unless you work for Pixar...

Or your name is Christopher Nolan.

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Somehow in just over 10 years this guy has gone from unknown to one of the safest bets in the film industry. And that isn't just a safe financial bet, but a safe bet in terms of quality.

Jim and Clarkson decided to sit down and have a chat about this amazingly talented man and see if we can pin down what makes him so great. Join the conversation.

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  • Jarret

    You guys did a great job with that. It was a fun and fascinating discussion of an incredibly fascinating filmmaker. I agree with the idea of Nolan’s films not having twists; rather, the narrative is structured in a fashion which, allows it to unfold through the point of view of a psychologically disturbed protagonist. The psychologically flawed point of view is what blinds the character, as well as the audience, from seeing what usually ends up being a very simple and plan truth. What Nolan does is smart yet simple. A guy who kills his wife and cannot or does not want to remember it or someone having a twin that nobody else knows about are ideas that are not in and of themselves mind blowing; the way Nolan infuses these kinds of ideas or secrets into the structure of his narratives, however, is what makes these ideas or secrets mind blowing. To quote a line from The Prestige, “The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.” As you guys noted, the over the top “Oh, yeah the whole village is really just a farce we’re really all just aliens” twists get really old and stupid really fast. I also agree with the idea of Nolan being “Spielbergian” in the sense that I think he will one day be a filmmaker who redefines hollywood filmmaking in his own image. While Spielberg is credited with creating the blockbuster with films like Jaws, ET and Indian Jones, Nolan is redefining what a blockbuster can be with films like The Dark Knight and Inception. It’s going to be interesting to see what he does in the years to come. If his films continue to be financially successful, which I have a good feeling they probably will be, then he’ll continue to get blockbuster size budgets to tell the stories he wants to tell the way he wants to tell them with out anyone infringing on his creativity. I also think that, like Spielberg, Nolan will be one of the few directors that will be able to get a film made on his name alone. I think that people the world over are going to be excited to see what he does next for a very long time to come. Once again, I think you guys did a great job with this. Keep up the good work.

    Jan 5, 2012 at 2:20 am