Search results for: the-cinema-of-christopher-nolan

The Cinema of Christopher Nolan

Author : Jacqueline Furby
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Over the past fifteen years, writer, producer and director Christopher Nolan has emerged from the margins of independent British cinema to become one of the most commercially successful directors in Hollywood. From Following (1998) to Interstellar (2014), Christopher Nolan's films explore philosophical concerns by experimenting with nonlinear storytelling while also working within classical Hollywood narrative and genre frameworks. Contextualizing and closely reading each of his films, this collection examines the director's play with memory, time, trauma, masculinity, and identity, and considers the function of music and video games and the effect of IMAX on his work.

The Traumatic Screen

Author : Stuart Joy
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Christopher Nolan occupies a rare realm within the Hollywood mainstream, creating complex, original films that achieve both critical acclaim and commercial success. In The Traumatic Screen, Stuart Joy builds on contemporary applications of psychoanalytic film theory to consider the function and presentation of trauma across Nolan’s work, arguing that the complexity, thematic consistency and fragmentary nature of his films mimic the structural operation of trauma. From 1997’s Doodlebug to 2017’s Dunkirk, Nolan’s films highlight cinema’s ability to probe the nature of human consciousness while commenting on the relationship between spectator and screen. Joy examines Nolan’s treatment of trauma – both individual and collective – through the formal construction, mise en scène and repeated themes of his films. The argument presented is based on close textual analysis and a methodological framework that incorporates the works of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. The first in-depth, overtly psychoanalytic understanding of trauma in the context of the director’s filmography, this book builds on and challenges existing scholarship in a bold new interpretation of the Nolan canon.

Time Memory Identity The Films of Christopher Nolan

Author : Stuart Joy
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Master's Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject Film Science, grade: none, , course: Film Studies, language: English, abstract: In spite of the diversity of Christopher Nolan’s body of work, the director’s experience of time, memory and identity has perhaps remained an integral part of his filmmaking. From Following (Christopher Nolan, 1998) to The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) his films are debatably rooted in a cinematic experiment to interrogate the construction of time and the malleable nature of memory and identity. It is this examination of time and identity that unites the wide range of Nolan’s work. Indeed, in many respects Nolan has arguably sought to develop a filmic language that concretely resembles the abstract structures of memory function and systems of identity. With this in mind, this thesis examines the representations of time, memory and identity in Nolan’s films in order to attain an understanding of identity in contemporary cinema and thought. The paper will consider the reflexive strategies and implications behind Nolan’s obsession with identity, not only in terms of his body of work but more importantly, in terms of what it can reveal about cinema's own relationship to issues of identity. More specifically, I contend that the insights of scientific, psychological and sociological literature on identity and memory as well as those of contemporary filmmaking are engaged in communicating the complex relationships amongst memory, identity and post-modernity. To pursue this thesis, the text will analyse a number of Nolan’s films such as Memento, (Christopher Nolan, 2000) Insomnia, (Christopher Nolan, 2002) and The Prestige (Christopher Nolan, 2006) utilising close textual analysis to inform my arguments where appropriate as well as using substantial theoretical underpinning to justify my assertions.

The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan

Author : Jason T. Eberl
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As a director, writer, and producer, Christopher Nolan has substantially impacted contemporary cinema through avant garde films, such as Following and Memento, and his contribution to wider pop culture with his Dark Knight trilogy. His latest film, Interstellar, delivered the same visual qualities and complex, thought-provoking plotlines his audience anticipates. The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan collects sixteen essays, written by professional philosophers and film theorists, discussing themes such as self-identity and self-destruction, moral choice and moral doubt, the nature of truth and its value, whether we can trust our perceptions of what’s “real,” the political psychology of heroes and villains, and what it means to be a “viewer” of Nolan’s films. Whether his protagonists are squashing themselves like a bug, struggling to create an identity and moral purpose for themselves, suffering from their own duplicitous plots, donning a mask that both strikes fear and reveals their true nature, or having to weigh the lives of those they love against the greater good, there are no simple solutions to the questions Nolan’s films provoke; exploring these questions yields its own reward.

Christopher Nolan

Author : Darren Mooney
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"Christopher Nolan is one of the defining directors of the 21st century. His films have a rare ability to transcend audience expectations, ranging from gritty crime thrillers to spectacular blockbusters. They push the boundaries of possibility. This critical history covers his complete filmography, tracing his career from film student to indie darling to Oscar-nominated auteur"--

Christopher Nolan and the Art of Anamorphosis

Author : Farzad Kolahjooei Alvar
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This dissertation explores the cinema of Christopher Nolan over a 15-year period. It focuses on the portrayal of the subject in five of his major films: Memento (2000), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), and Interstellar (2014). In its chronological critique of Nolan's cinema, this project explores subjectivity, to use Lacanian terminology, as a distorted vision provided by the desire for the impossible objet petit a. It records a shift of perspective in Nolan's later characters, which endows them with a better understanding of their relationship with the object cause of desire. The dissertation studies the relationship between the subject and the objet petit a through the encounter with the anamorphotic gaze, which reveals the impossibility of fantasy at the heart of desire. In doing so, this project provides several ways through which anamorphosis proves to be a point that exposes the limitations of what Lacan calls the Symbolic Order. This dissertation proposes the term structural anamorphosis to introduce the Lacanian gaze as a temporal point in the film's narrative. Structural anamorphosis is what retroactively uncovers the futility of fantasy and reveals the distorted views of the spectators. In its discussion of subjectivity, this dissertation shows that the quest for the objet petit a, which is the essence of desire, is similar to capitalism's obsession with objects. In his films, Nolan shows how the subject's desire is shaped by ideology unconsciously. By doing so, Nolan dismantles ideology and provides a space for rethinking the surrounding world: the spectators who watch the films of Christopher Nolan understand that they need to reconsider what they have taken for granted as normal.

The Cinema of Sean Penn

Author : Deane Williams
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Although best known as an Academy Award winning actor, Sean Penn's directorial works The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), The Pledge (2001), and Into the Wild (2007), consist of some of the most interesting and singular films made in the United States over the past twenty years. Each of Penn's directorial films and much of the cinema he has acted in are set in an immediate past in which a "stalled" time and a restricted locale apply narrative constraints. At the same time, these films all feature a sophisticated web of intertextual relations, involving actors, songs, books, films, and directors, and the political lineage to which Penn belongs, which reveal the deep cultural structures that concern each particular film.

The Cinema of Hal Hartley

Author : Steven Rybin
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Over the course of nearly thirty years, Hal Hartley has cultivated a reputation as one of America's most steadfastly independent film directors. From his breakthrough films – The Unbelievable Truth (1989), Trust (1990), and Simple Men (1992) – to his recently completed 'Henry Fool' trilogy, Hartley has honed a rigorous, deadpan, and instantly recognizable film style informed by both European modernism and playful revisions of Classical Hollywood genres. Featuring new essays on this important director and his films, this collection explores Hartley's work from a variety of aesthetic, cultural, and economic contexts, while also looking closely at his collaborations with actors, the contexts of his authorial reputation, his reworking of the romantic comedy and other genres, and the shifting economics of his filmmaking. This book, up-to-date through Hartley's latest film, Ned Rifle (2014), includes new scholarship on the director's early work as well as reflections on his cinema in connection with new theories and approaches to independent filmmaking. Covering the entire trajectory of his career, including both his features and short films, the book also includes new readings of several of Hartley's seminal films, including Amateur (1994), Flirt (1995), and Henry Fool (1997).

The Fictional Christopher Nolan

Author : Todd McGowan
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From Memento and Insomnia to the Batman films, The Prestige, and Inception, lies play a central role in every Christopher Nolan film. Characters in the films constantly find themselves deceived by others and are often caught up in a vast web of deceit that transcends any individual lies. The formal structure of a typical Nolan film deceives spectators about the events that occur and the motivations of the characters. While Nolan's films do not abandon the idea of truth altogether, they show us how truth must emerge out of the lie if it is not to lead us entirely astray. The Fictional Christopher Nolan discovers in Nolan's films an exploration of the role that fiction plays in leading to truth. Through close readings of all the films through Inception, Todd McGowan demonstrates that the fiction or the lie comes before the truth, and this priority forces us to reassess our ways of thinking about the nature of truth. Indeed, McGowan argues that Nolan's films reveal the ethical and political importance of creating fictions and even of lying. While other filmmakers have tried to discover truth through the cinema, Nolan is the first filmmaker to devote himself entirely to the fictionality of the medium, and McGowan discloses how Nolan uses its tendency to deceive as the basis for a new kind of philosophical filmmaking. He shows how Nolan's insistence on the priority of the fiction aligns his films with Hegel's philosophy and understands Nolan as a thoroughly Hegelian filmmaker.

The Cinema of Aki Kaurism ki

Author : Andrew Nestingen
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Aki Kaurismäki is an enigma, an eminent auteur who claims his films are a joke. Since 1983, Kaurismäki has produced classically-styled films filled with cinephilic references to film history. He has earned an international art-house audience and many prizes, influencing such directors as Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, and Wes Anderson. Yet Kaurismäki is often depicted as the loneliest, most nostalgic of Finns (except when he promotes his films, makes political statements, and runs his many businesses). He is also depicted as a bohemian known for outlandish actions and statements. The Cinema of Aki Kaurismäki is the first comprehensive English-language study of this eccentric director. Drawing on revisionist approaches to film authorship, the text links the filmmaker and his films to the stories and issues animating film aesthetics and history, nostalgia, late modernity, politics, commerce, film festivals, and national cinema.