Why Christopher Nolan Should Be in Charge
Here’s the thing: I rarely watch behind the scenes information about movies. Sure I’ll read about casting choices in articles, but when it comes to actually sitting down and listening to how someone filmed a scene, I’m very selective. My sister, on the other hand, lives for the “behind the scenes” glimpses. And so it happened one day that she was watching an interview with some director I had never heard of, and a movie I wasn’t familiar with. The director was talking about how the first script pages he received were actually the last, and how he was essentially filming the movie backwards. Confused, I listened in.
The movie was Memento. And the man was Christopher Nolan, aka. the man I would later admire.
Most people are fans of the work produced by the Nolan boys (Christopher often co-writes with his brother Jonathan on projects). In fact, I have yet to meet someone who downright dislikes Christopher Nolan. He’s the guy people either love or begrudgingly respect. In fact, I would have no qualms about making him the King of Hollywood for a number of reasons.
Let’s be honest: when have you ever seen a movie like Memento or Inception before? Probably rarely, if ever. Both movies are one-of-a-kind products brought to you from the mind of a great moviemaker (and, on occasion, his brother). Christopher Nolan is one of the masters when it comes to bringing a good story to life, and is exceptionally good at getting the audience invested in the lives of the characters. He’s also not afraid to make movies outside of the typical linear form that we’re all used to. What makes this great is that even though his storytelling can be non-linear, it doesn’t ostracize any viewers. I’ll never forget a close friend of mine coming out of Inception, turning to me and saying “That was one of the first smart movies I’ve seen where I didn’t get lost and it didn’t make me feel stupid”. Trust me, Mr. Nolan, that’s the highest form of praise there is.
Okay, so the man can dream up ideas out of anything. But he can also put a new spin on some older ideas. I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t love Nolan’s re-imagining of the Batman franchise. The last attempt at a Batman film had been the flop Batman and Robin. If there was a film series that wanted to be taken seriously again, it was Batman. So, what to do with a billionaire superhero? Add one of Hollywood’s best directors, let him darken the tone and mature the mood, and set the films loose on the world. Nolan must have done something right to have audiences flocking to the theaters: EACH of the sequels to Batman Begins ended up grossing over a billion dollars worldwide. And if there’s one thing Hollywood loves, it’s money.
Want a murder mystery? Check out Memento or Insomnia (or Nolan’s next project, The Keys to the Street). Want something completely out of the box? Inception is available. Want a dash of fantasy with your thrills? Check out The Prestige. Superhuman? There’s always The Dark Knight. How about science fiction? Wait a little longer, and Interstellar will be the answer. No matter what genre, Christopher Nolan has a way of taking the elements that we all know and love and making them his own. For him, the genre is just a starting point. It’s Nolan’s style and way he works with the genres that make him great.
Well, what do you think? Should Christopher Nolan become the new King of Hollywood? Or is he completely overrated? Weigh in with comments below!