Christopher Edward Nolan has donned several hats of Directing, Producing, Screenwriting, Editing over the years. Known as the most influential director of the 21st century Nolan is behind numerous box-office hits. He is famous for his counter-traditional experimental films including Memento, The Dark Knight trilogy, The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar.
His first independent film was neo-noir crime drama Following, (1998) bringing forth the concept of conflicted anti-hero. The movie delves into cognitive psychology as the protagonist unknowingly acts in ways you cannot think of. The compelling story was well-received by critics.
His next big venture was an adaptation of brother Jonathan Nolan’s story Memento Mori. It was into Memento (2000). His projection of the mental state of an anterograde amnesiac hero won him rave reviews. Here, he violates the traditional narrative technique and forces you to comprehend things from the damaged protagonist’s perspective. The movie was both commercially and critically a success.
He followed suit with The Dark Knight Trilogy which includes Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. Your conscious perceptive mind cannot stray away from getting personal with characters in Nolan’s take on Batman.
The time construction and non-linear pattern of storytelling in Inception, which can be seen in its constant shifting and merging, is a masterpiece. Whereas, Interstellar is credited for its scientific accuracy. No wonder his films have garnered 26 Academy Award nominations.
London-born, Nolan has been interested in filmmaking since childhood. At the tender age of 7, he paid homage to his favorite movie Star Wars by creating Space Wars- a stop-motion animation. Since then there has been no stopping.
He enrolled himself at University College of London because they had filmmaking facilities. A student of Literature and President of Union’s Film Society in college, he made short films Tarantella (1989), Larceny (1995), psychological thriller Doodlebug (1997). He admits that he received “a stack of rejection letters” during his career.
“I paid for my first feature myself and made it with friends. Used to noodle around with cameras but I didn’t go to film school.” – Christopher Nolan
Quotation source: 48filmproject
He worked as an Editing Assistant in Genghis Blues and helped make documentaries.His innovative style in Following and Memento Mori made Steven Soderberg sit up and take notice. He, with Section 8 Productions fought for Nolan to direct the Warner Bros. headed Insomnia (2002), a remake of Norwegian film of the same name. The director’s rendition of Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s original piece was widely praised.
The self-taught filmmaker has the unique ability to convert ordinary human beings into numerous conflicting persona. He frequently uses multiple courses to storytelling and maintains complex inter-relationships between the characters in his films. He formulates an exceptional approach to narrating a story which can be seen from philosophical, sociological, ethical lens.
“A very organic approach of understanding all the various bits of craft. From sound recording to editing or music. And absolutely everything I did was simply because I was passionate and wanted to try stuff. You’re never going to learn something as profoundly as when it’s purely out of curiosity.” – Christopher Nolan
Quotation source: 48filmproject
Bonus: Do not miss out “The Quay Brothers in 35mm” (2015), an 8-minute short film