Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thoughts on Chris Nolan's current state of mind

I didn't post yesterday because I was moping. I learned that I will need hand surgery soon, surgery that is just as likely to do nothing as it is to fix the problem. Funsies.

I saw Inception Monday. I am definitely in the Holy Crap That Was Amazing camp. I was totally blown away by how well the exposition was handled, because I went in thinking I'd probably feel like I do when I see a David Lynch film - angry and confused. Instead, I followed every beat of the story perfectly well. And I loved that this pulled off being a heist film while feeling like a serious drama. I always say you can have explosions with subtext. Well, Inception had explosions with subtext.

What made me smile was thinking that Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Caine don't really need to be in this film since they have bit parts; Nolan could easily have used less recognizable actors for such small roles, but why bother? If this is your dream project you get your dream cast. After Dark Knight Nolan can have what he wants, and he wants Michael Caine and Pete Postlethwaite.

I wonder if while Nolan was screening the finished film for the first time, did he cringe at certain scenes and think about how he should have done them better? Or do you think he just sat there and went HELL YES.

Nolan has been working on this script since he was 16. Imagine that. Imagine that one project you've been dreaming of making for most of your life suddenly coming to life with a complete budget and a cast full of perfect actors and screening to great reviews and solid box office. Imagine how that must feel.

That must feel amazing.


  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Sorry Emily.
    This movie INCEPTION is crap.
    How come they did not make a video game out of it
    And how come all the people in the theatre were 30 and over
    And how come 2 people walked out
    And how come after the movie was done, I heard one boo

  2. Because astonishingly, not everyone on the planet has the same opinion as everyone else.

  3. I loved it, too ... it may be my favorite film all year.

  4. I agree about the deft handling of the exposition. It could have brought the movie to a grinding halt, but Nolan knew just how to pace it out.

    I liked it so much I'm scared to see it a second time for fear that I'm going to find that one loose end that will cause the whole film to collapse on itself.

  5. Anonymous2:15 PM

    What's the big deal. It's just a film projected on screen!!!!!
    Nolan will never be James Cameron.
    When I to the movies I don't want to see an eccentric directors work on screen, I WANT AN EVENT.

    Inception is big xbox game-like.
    Done Deals Pro loved this movie but most of the posters there could never write a non-linear screenplays. What's the point?

    Nolan is famous now and rich who cares about his movies. His movies teach us zero about screenwriting that Robert Rodgriquez advocated.

    Who cares about Nolan???

  6. You are one weird dude.

  7. re: hand surgery - Is that for carpal tunnel, or something similar?

    Have you tried massage? It can be tremendously helpful. Since you've probably already committed to the surgery - I won't suggest massage instead, but it would be a very good idea to add it while you're recovering (with your doctor's OK.)

    You will improve your chances of a positive outcome.

    If you think you can't afford regular massage - look at Massage Envy.

    (Just hate to see someone overlooking a simple approach that can help!)

    And yeah, Anonymous is an odd duck.

  8. I have a physical therapist on deck for after the surgery, but thanks for the advice. I've also been recommended acupuncture.

  9. Anonymous9:54 PM

    yeah pretty average. i've read script like this written by 2st year arts students. weird and wonderful, but definitely not a great tsory by any means. don't love. don't hate it. it feels like an immature 16 yo movie.

  10. Anonymous4:17 PM

    I loved this movie. Loved, loved, loved it. Great choice with the ending - I've never heard everyone in the theater gasp simultaneously at the last shot of a film before.

    What I kept thinking about, as I went home was something Terry Rossio said at AFF a couple of years ago: When you make an action film, you have to make it COOL. This means taking full advantage of the possibilities afforded by the alternate realities of your film, and oh man did that get pulled off here. Three action sequences going on simultaneously with complete different pacing, where the actions in one impact the physics of another. How fucking badass is that?

    It's not easy to make one 15 second sequence last 45 minutes in a way that builds suspense without being boring. Bravo.

  11. "It's not easy to make one 15 second sequence last 45 minutes in a way that builds suspense without being boring. Bravo."

    I completely agree.

    I loved the storytelling touch that kept the dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream sequence from becoming terribly confusing: one character stayed behind in each scanerio; the audience could quickly and easily identify where they are. Such a simple, effective element.

  12. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Any comments left by an anonymous user anywhere means that they won't offer their real name to stand behind their statements (isn't that the whole point of 4chan to hit and run comments?) ANYWAYS, I personally enjoyed the movie myself, and even though it had some flaws, I still enjoyed it. It wasn't the absolute mind-blower it is hyped up to be in my opinion, but it's still entertaining.

    Also, irony.


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