The nominations for this year's Oscars just got out very recently,
and I was really incredulous that Christopher Nolan got snubbed for Best Directing...again! Just to refresh your memory, Nolan is the director and screenwriter of Inception (2010) and The Dark Knight (2008) just to name a few. He is one of my favorite screenwriters/directors along with Gus Van Sant (Elephant, 2003) and Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004). Christopher Nolan is well-known for his films' non-linear sequencing of events and fragmented storyline, which could be quite mentally demanding, but guaranteed to be intellectually satisfying and enthralling. If you're a fan of the series Lost with its flash-forwards, flashbacks, and flash-sideways as motifs, you'd know what I am talking about. It's like you're encouraged to discover the story on your own, like solving a bizaare puzzle. And everytime you watch his films, it's likely that you'd discover new things in it. He deals with the psychological and mental potential of a film, always engaging and out-of-the-box. I haven't watched all his films yet but I am starting to get the trend. He has this fascination with time-twisting, and the world he creates somehow revolves around some rules or guidelines that give the the story a cohesive structure. And very shocking twists too! Anyway, here's my top 3 films from this genius of a writer and director:
3. Following (1998)
This film is in black and white. I know what you're thinking, but trust me. This is the first black and white I've seen in the modern era and I loved every second of it. The monochromatic tone actually sharpens the mysterious feel of the whole film. This is about the story of Bill, a frustrated writer who follows random people (shadowing as he calls it) to develop his characters. But things start to unravel when he decided to follow a man, who turns out to be a burglar named Cobb. Why does that name sounds familiar? :P It got a 78% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
2. Inception (2010)
This is a mix of everything, from Freud to Occlumency to Matrix! What's mentally demanding about this film are the complex and intricate rules that govern the dream state, but they are also the ones that made this movie so fascinating. It's strength lies in the whole idea of it-- the smart, innovative concept. The stunning visual effects is just the tip of the iceberg. This is the best dystopian/sci-fi film I've seen in years. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 86% rating.
1. Memento (2000)
This film is the one that catapulted Nolan to where he is right now. The film tells the story of Leonard, a former insurance adjuster suffering from antegrade amnesia, a condition preventing him from making new memories. With the aid of a man claiming to be his friend, a barmaid, his tattoos, polaroid photos, and notes, he hunts down the man who killed his wife. So how can you find someone if you can't make new memories? What's really cool about Memento though is that the plot is divided into two parts: One is moving backwards, while the other moves forwards, both eventually meeting at the middle. So basically, the middle is the end. Pretty cool eh? And "Ditto" says Rotten Tomatoes with a whooping 96% on its Tomatometer.
I'm planning to watch Insomnia (2002), review The Prestige (2006) and try to find some of his shorts. So...who's you favorite director?