Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Nolan’

christopher_nolan_104502277

Christopher Nolan Shares DIY Shooting Tricks

filmmaking

download

Nolan Remembers ‘Memento’

Memento is a great film, and the interview has a few interesting tidbits.

 

memento-1

Raindance posted a collection of the Nolan Brothers’ scripts.

 

Revised: 9.8.14

Few movies make such an impact and burrow into your brain so deeply as Christopher Nolan’s first real movie with a budget, Memento.  This tale of amnesia introduced Guy Pearce to America, and he is phenomenal as a brain damaged guy who can’t form new memories, but who must find and kill his wife’s killer in the name of vengeance.

This movie made me a Nolan fan.  His next project ripped off a very good Norwegian film that already worked perfectly fine without American studio exploitation.  I took a step back and started questioning Nolan right then and there.

memento_image_3

But Memento stands apart as an original twisted cinematic ride that is visceral and probably Nolan’s best film, although The Prestige may be up there in the running.

 

But back to Memento which brings Joe Pantoliano back to the screen, whom I hadn’t seen much of since Guido the Killer Pimp.  Come to think of it, he’s also in The Matrix.  These two, Pantoliano and Pearce, try and piece together how the hell Pearce has gotten here and why.  But Pearce has covered himself with tattoos to establish the facts of his existence. When he thinks certain of something he draws it into his skin, so that when he inevitably forgets everything he can quickly return to his quest.

Nolan’s got something, and it really operates on a different level than most people.

The style is much like a noir, a flashbacked mind bent noir with big questions at the heart of the quest.  It is, after all, about a blinding drive for vengeance.  The act of vengeance is brought to life in a way that nobody had ever seen before.

Memento is cited by many as a film to put on a list of mind bending titles (my own list). I hope you youngsters are keeping track of these gems … oh wait, Transformers 12 is coming!

 

Must say I haven’t yet seen Dark Knight Rises. Perhaps I’ll find a free version somewhere, so as not to support it financially.

What I’ve seen of the story disturbs me: the blatant exploitation of current political realities to rake in bucks. The people’s protest is yet another tick on a list of items to twist into a plot point. The rule by billionaires is included — but in what context, and with what message? That only a weirdo billionaire can save us poor dumb rabble who are so easily manipulated into being evil?

ROLLING STONE has a new interview with Nolan, and asks him some of these questions. His answers are to be expected (all big Hollywood types resort to these stock answers about politics), and feel quite disingenuous. By the way, this is the cliche Hollywood response throughout history to all such questions of propaganda and political messages:

NOLAN: We put a lot of interesting questions in the air, but that’s simply a backdrop for the story.

Nothing to worry about here; just buy the damn ticket.

NOLAN: What we’re really trying to do is show the cracks of society, show the conflicts that somebody would try to wedge open. We’re going to get wildly different interpretations of what the film is supporting and not supporting, but it’s not doing any of those things. It’s just telling a story.

Repetition is key. Go back to sleep.

NOLAN: If you’re saying, “Have you made a film that’s supposed to be criticizing the Occupy Wall Street movement?” – well, obviously, that’s not true.

Really? The people’s uprising in the film is easily hijacked by a demagogue warlord. Perhaps as could, and has happened in real life. To say that this plot development is meaningless? The man is lying.

NOLAN: If the populist movement is manipulated by somebody who is evil, that surely is a criticism of the evil person.

And says nothing about the people who create and participate in the movement? Nothing about the concept of protest? The legitimacy of popular uprisings? The rights to assemble and demand change? In the real world version of these movements, we have the movements attacked by organized, militarized, unlawful police violence. That has been the real world result of popular struggle over the last year. To put his head up his ass and pretend it’s all a story with no bearing on the world, despite looking a hell of a lot like the TV news is disingenuous in the extreme.

I had a major problem with Nolan and his Batman in The Dark Knight. He thought it would be fun or “interesting” in his parlance, to have Batman torture the Joker in the police interrogation room. The hero, the champion who tortures? That is an infuriating immoral aspect to a lot of Hollywood films today, a sign of the debauchery and immorality of those in power to edit the scripts that become the films shoved down our collective throats. When the “hero” Batman resorted to torture, I was quite disgusted in the extreme. For all its budget and and technical wizardry, The Dark Knight left me worried at the current state of comic book films and their power to alter and affect young minds.

This fear was solidified as The Dark Knight okay’s the total surveillance of Gotham — NSA spying on us all — to save us, of course. Every police state is saving us. Every totalitarian is saving us. Every fascist regime is saving us. It’s all for our own good, according to Christopher Nolan and his Batman. As Dick Cheney found it easy to identify with the “Dark Knight,” who apparently got the memo and was operating in “the shadows,” we should be very wary of the propaganda threaded throughout these films.

Not everyone is as sophisticated at analyzing them as you and me. They’re called children (and a lot of the poorly educated public).

Christopher Nolan is of course a brilliant filmmaker.* No one could deny that. He’s also well on his way to becoming a billionaire and joining the ranks of the 1%. To do this, he must rake in the money of the 99% while appeasing his 1% paymasters. That’s his game. That’s his motivation.

As should have been painfully obvious on the opening night of this film, the messages and the ideas thrown against the wall matter. The spree-killing “Joker,” with bright red hair found quite a bit to chew on in the previous film. It was he whom The Batman tortured in the cell. It was he whom he idolized and modeled his behavior on. The real-life Joker wired his apartment with bombs, much as the on-screen Joker would have done. The real-life Joker had similar nonsensical motivations for his actions. They were pointedly pointless.

When you play with fire, you get burned. But in this case, it was a lot of innocents getting burned, and not those responsible for putting those ideas out there.

 

————————————————-

* Leni Riefenstahl (Hitler’s propagandist) was also an undeniably brilliant filmmaker, as was D.W. Griffith (Ku Klux Klan proselytizer). It’s not enough.