Thursday, July 29, 2010

C. Nolan

Excuse me while I pick up the pieces of my mind...

Writing a review about "Inception" now would be even more useless than the one on "Toy Story 3", so even I won't go there. You've all seen it, or are about to see it. Yes, it is huge, yes, it is great, yes, you do have to pay attention every freaking second, yes, it does have some plot holes, yes, there are a few things mister Nolan could've done better, yes, it has the most original action sequences since "The Matrix", and yes, there will be a bunch of anti-mainstream hipsters, who will not like simply because everyone else does, who will have arguments such as: "Too many special effects", "I didn't like the cinematography!", "Sure, it had an original concept, but I just didn't buy it, it missed that "Matrix"/"Bladerunner" [insert cult SF title] magic", "The acting was good I admit, but I didn't buy it, you know what I mean? I saw that it was good, but I didn't feel it wasn't acting", even though it is the same people who panned "The Matrix" and other such films (yes I mean "The Dark Knight") for the same reasons. Meanwhile we will ignore those irrelevant fuckers, and watch it again and again and be amazed every time how many details we missed the last times. Because that's how it is when you watch a Christopher Nolan film. You aren't rewatching it because you didn't get it the first time, no, Nolan has a talent to present complicated plots in ways you can actually follow, but because there are so many minor details, that it is like a new viewing every time.

So where did Nolan pop-up from? Or am I the only who feels like this guy, despite several great and successful films, suddenly appeared out of nowhere and jumped right in front of you?

First there was "Memento"; you probably didn't see it when it came out (I am talking 20 something age group here), you saw the trailers, it seemed interesting, but you were too small to catch it in the cinema, and the internet wasn't yet developed enough to allow the cultfollowing it does today. Then some friends kept telling you about it, "Man, it's weird! I mean it's all reversed, but not like going backwards! Well actually it is, but going forwards at the same time." [questioning look from you] "It's like the first scene is between minutes 120-130, then the next one is from minute 110-120, then 100-110, you get it? Here, I'll make you a drawing!" "Well, sounds good, who did it?" "Ahm, can't remember his name, nobody famous anyway, but it's really good, I mean Spielberg good!" And after many conversations you half-heartingly started watching it, and after two hours your whole idea of how a movie should be is gone. I mean, WOW! WTF? Even so, did you remember the guys name? Nope, he hadn't done anything else really, so...

Then came "Insomnia", you saw the trailer, you were intrigued. Al Pacino playing a worn-out cop, and Robin Williams playing a villain. This has to be good. But it seemed like the kind of long, weary film, and Hillary Swank did not convince you. You missed it on the screens again, and you couldn't be bothered to watch it when it ran late-night on HBO. Occasionally people would mention it, but too rarely for you to take real notice."

"The Prestige" you did see, maybe you missed it on the screens, but you downloaded it as soon as a good dvdrip came out. This was another one your friends bugged you about "You won't 's so fuckin' believe it! It's so complex, but you follow it, sorta, well everytime you think you got it, it twists again, and the ending, duuuuuuuude!" And truly it was so. It had Wolverine in it, twice, and that guy from "Equilibrium", twice, and Scarlett Johansson, and David goddamnmotherfucking Bowie. And because this time you had IMDb at your command you were surprised it was done by the same guy who did "Memento" , cool. Did you remember his name? Probably not.

When you heard about "Batman Begins" coming out, at a time when superhero movies were all over the place (Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil, Elektra, Hulk to name a few) you first thought was: "Really, that's what we need? Another superhero summer blockbuster?" Somehow you couldn't shake George Clooney's nipple suite from your mind, and it all seemed like a bad idea. Some guy named Christopher Nolan was making it. Who? Still you went and saw it. And even though at the time you didn't realize how big this film was for the superhero genre, you knew it was good. And when you were on IMDb once more, it made click, and you knew who the guy behind was.

A couple of years later "The Dark Knight" came out, and nothing would be the same again. And the name of the director who somehow always managed to evade your memory was forever etched into you brain. C H R I S T O P H E R N O L A N. It suddenly all made sense, you suddenly saw methodology, and similarities in themes, and effort for detail, and perfectionism. Yes, this is the man who delivered those awesome films, those films which were a bit heavy, but thoroughly entertained you, and made you think, and make re-evaluate your concept of film and story. This is THE MAN!

And now his new baby, "Inception" is out, a project he has been working on since before he dreamed up "Memento", a project for which he didn't feel mature enough until now. And his talent has only been confirmed. Exceptional entertainment, for the dumbest movie-viewer whose favorite actors include Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude van Damme to the movie professor who will teach about this film in seminars in a couple of years from now. Action, story, characters, drama, philosophy, intelligent ambiguity. It is all there.

And although I have a few bones to pick with the film, such as the whole premise being a bit small for the concept as a whole (all that great stuff just because of some business competition?), I am sure those bones will diminish in numbers with every new viewing.

To you Chris Nolan, you came from nowhere to sit down directly with the greats

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