10 Ways to Tell If You're in a Christopher Nolan Movie
Christopher Nolan makes good movies, so it makes sense that you’d want to be in one. But how can you be sure the guy has directed the movie you’re in? The following should be able to help you figure that out.
1. Do You See Michael Caine?
No director likes Michael Caine as much as Christopher Nolan likes Michael Caine. The filmmaker has used the actor in more than half of his movies, so you know it’s a good sign if you see him on set.
2. Is There a Twist?
Christopher Nolan loves to bring everything together with a massive twist ending. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has one – ditto the ‘The Prestige.’ He was using them even way back in his ‘Memento’ days.
3. Is Anyone Doing Magic Tricks?
Magic and illusion supply a big part of what Christopher Nolan is up to. This is especially true in ‘The Prestige,’ but also appears in movies like ‘Memento’ and ‘Batman Begins.’
4. Is the Film Giving Off Mixed Emotions?
The Christopher Nolan emotional spectrum runs deep, but sappy emotion rarely appears. That might all change with ‘Interstellar,’ if its tear-inducing trailers are any indication.
5. Does the Film Look Beautiful?
With the exception of ‘Interstellar,’ Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister has shot all of Christopher Nolan’s films and they tend to look absolutely beautiful. From the gritty black-and-white scenes in ‘Memento,’ to the misty vistas of ‘Insomnia,’ all of the director’s films convey an impressive visual scope, in large part to this very skilled DP.
6. Are Large Chucks of the Movie in IMAX?
A huge champion for film over digital, Nolan loves to shoot in IMAX. As a result, more and more sequences in his films are shot to be massive, 70mm experiences. Few directors take such advantage of the technology, and deliver such impressive results.
7. Are There Big Ideas at Play?
Even with his Batman movies, Nolan grounded the action within a sweeping crime epic – one centered on big emotional themes like morality and heroism. And with ‘Interstellar,’ he investigates the whole universe while asking questions about what it means to be human. You can’t get any bigger than that!
8. Does it Almost Feel Like a James Bond Movie?
Many directors love James Bond, and Nolan is definitely among their number. But instead of making his own James Bond movie, he’s infused those sensibilities into his own films -- particularly with ‘Inception’s’ big action finale and the tense aerial heist which opens ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’
9. Is There a Lack of Romance?
People fall in love in Christopher Nolan movies, but it doesn’t happen often. Usually, there are way more important things happening, so “making out” tends to be an afterthought. That’s okay, though, because his films are pretty full regardless.
10. Does it Have Great Special Effects?
Few modern directors use special effects in such classy, practical ways as Christopher Nolan. This is illustrated best by ‘Inception,’ though ‘Interstellar’ might end up giving that thriller a run for its money.