Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Christopher Nolan as Kubrick's successor?



With the positive reception of Inception, there's a fair bit of chatter at the moment about whether the commercially and artistically successful filmmaker Christopher Nolan is comparable to Stanley Kubrick. Naturally this is because he already is in many ways: British; an early, self-financed film to kick start his career; mainstream success with movies that could reasonably be described as 'arthouse'.

I think that Nolan is a very good, fearlessly ambitious filmmaker (his ambition is another quality commensurate with Kubrick's). Though the range of his films isn't yet as comprehensively far-reaching as Kubrick, he manages to cover a great deal within the thriller-drama in which he excells.

However, I think that another part of Nolan's make-up which draws him into close comparison with Kubrick and which ought not to be overlooked is that of the quality of his images. Wally Pfister has been Nolan's DoP for all his commercial films (i.e. except the first, Following). For all the sophistication in special effects and narrative chicanery that Nolan's films exhibit he has clearly not lost sight of the principal draw of a buying a cinema ticket - the projected image. This attention to detail is an echt-Kubrickianism (if you like) and makes a good case for the comparison to hold.

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