As Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece, ‘Interstellar’, will soon be released this week, let us have a brief look at the biography of this filmmaker in The New York Times.
Nolan’s movies require this thick quotient of reality to support his looping plots, which accelerate in shifting time signatures, consume themselves in recursive intrigue and advance formidable and enchanting problems of interpretation. “Memento,” the Sundance favorite that brought him instant acclaim at age 30, is a noir thriller with the chronology of reverse-spliced helix. “Insomnia,” the only one of his nine films for which he did not receive at least a share of the writing credit, was somewhat more straightforward — a moody, tortured psychological thriller — but its real trick was to gain him access to studio work and studio budgets. “The Prestige,” a Victorian dueling-magician drama, is a clever bit of prestidigitation, as well as a canny commentary on film and technology (Nolan on digital filmmaking can sound a lot like Ricky Jay on David Copperfield). “Inception” was a heist movie that took place in a series of nested dreamscapes. Nolan’s Batman movies, though basically linear in structure, resonated broadly as shadowy political allegories.
Part of the reason his work has done so well at the box office is that his audience members — and not just his fans, but his critics — find themselves watching his movies twice, or three times, bleary-eyed and shivering in their dusky light, hallucinating wheels within wheels and stopping only to blog about the finer points. These blogs pose questions along the lines of “If the fact that the white van is in free-fall off the bridge in the first dream means that, in the second dream, there’s zero gravity in the hotel, then why is there still normal gravity in the third dream’s Alpine fortress?????”