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Christopher Nolan: The Life

by on February 13, 2013
Nolan has directed eight feature films to this point in his career. I am fortunate to own each and every one on DVD (some on Blu-ray!).

Nolan has directed eight feature films to this point in his career. I am fortunate to own each and every one on DVD (some on Blu-ray!).

By Taylor Gaines

Christopher Jonathan James Nolan was born on July 30, 1970, in London, England. From an early age, he began tinkering with film making, using his father Brendan’s Super-8mm camera to shoot short movies, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Raised in Chicago, Nolan attended boarding school in England and later University College in London. At University College, he shot several short films for the college film society including “Tarantella” (1989), according to his biography on Yahoo! Movies.

Nolan made the short films “Larceny” and “Doodlebug” in the mid-1990s with actor Jeremy Theobald.

Nolan and Theobald made the leap to the big screen together, spending a year (shooting only on weekends) with a $6,000 budget to make “Following” (1998), the story of a writer who spends his time following around strangers to spark ideas for his books.

Nolan used the momentum and financial backing he received from the release of “Following” to release “Memento” (2000). Nolan’s film was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Original Screenplay at the 2001 Oscars.

The film was revolutionary in that it was shot entirely in reverse, a twist on chronology that has become a Nolan trademark.

He followed up the critical acclaim of “Memento” by casting Al Pacino and Hilary Swank for “Insomnia” (2002), a psychological thriller about a Los Angeles detective investigating a murder in a little town in Alaska.

After a passionate pitch to Warner Bros. to revive the “Batman” franchise, Nolan began work on one of the most acclaimed film trilogies of all time. He started with the coarse, modern and down-to-earth “Batman Begins” (2005), which delved into the psychological motivations and pitfalls of Batman (Christian Bale).

The film brought a revolutionary look to the Batman franchise, setting the stage for “The Dark Knight” (2008). After casting Bale and Hugh Jackman in the vastly underrated film “The Prestige” (2006), Nolan directed, co-wrote and produced “The Dark Knight”.

The film received eight Academy Award nominations and garnered $534.9 million in the United States, fourth all-time according to Box Office Mojo.

Two years later, Nolan made his most captivating and complex film yet in “Inception” (2010). The movie, about stealing and planting ideas through people’s dreams, was written, directed and produced by Nolan.

“Inception” was iconic for the way it discussed point-of-view in movies and for its trailer, which revealed little to no information about the movie beforehand. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, receiving four including Best Cinematography and Visual Effects.

Nolan then returned to Gotham City to conclude his epic “Batman” trilogy with “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). Warner Bros., hoping to build off of the success of the “Batman” reboot, enlisted him to help produce “Man of Steel” (2013), the revamping of Superman.

His style and work have been revolutionary to the film industry and over the course of the next few months, I will delve into some of the advancements and changes Nolan has inspired among the film community.

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