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Non-Review Review: Interstellar

Interestingly, Christopher Nolan seems to have generated a reputation as a rather detached director. Common wisdom around Nolan’s films suggest that the film-maker is perhaps too cold and clinical in his approach to the material; that his films lack warmth or humour. This reputation is probably a result of the director’s fascination with non-linear storytelling. After all, The Dark Knight is his only straight-arrow-from-beginning-to-end film.

Probably also due to the narrative contortions and distortions of films like Memento or The Prestige, Nolan is generally presented as a film-maker who constructs visual puzzle-boxes. His films are frequently treated as riddles to be solved. Consider the discussion of narrative “plot holes” in The Dark Knight Rises that fixates on how Bruce Wayne got around back to Gotham, or the discussion on the mechanics of the final shot of Inception. This approaches to his work tend to divorce the viewer from his films.

Everything burns...

Everything burns…

Interstellar will likely be Nolan’s most polarising film to date, replacing The Prestige or The Dark Knight Rises. The film offers an extended two-and-a-half hour rebuttal to accusations that Nolan is detached or distant. Much has been made about the attention to detail on Interstellar. The physics on the movie were so exact and precise that physicist Kip Thorne actually made theoretical advances while working on the film.

However, at the same time, one character posits love as a force more powerful than gravity or time. Interstellar might be precise and meticulous, but it is not a film that lacks for an emotional core; it is not a movie that lacks for warmth. Interstellar feels like a conscious attempt to cast off the image of a cynical and cold film-maker.

Out of this world...

Out of this world…

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Non-Review Review: The Player

I love The Player. I really do. When I was in college, I used to organise movie screenings – we’d show The Player once a year and it would always pack out. It was just one of those films that everybody had heard nothing but good things about, but never got a chance to see. Indeed, I would go so far as to say The Player, with all its wacky fourth-wall meta-ness, is my favourite Robert Altman film.

Who would want to kill this producer? Answers on the back of a postcard...

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Three Dimensions of Drama?

Hmm… Last year I wasn’t so sure about 3D being the future of movie-making that everyone was lauding it it to be. And, being honest, part of me is still on the fence. The two biggests revolutions in the distribution of popular cinema have been the advent of sound and the introduction of consistent and effective colour. Home media is probably third, but that’s probably not what the major studios want to hear as they attempt to milk every possible cent out of the big screen in this era of pirated movies and downloads and such. Avatar pretty much knocked the digital 3D thing out of the park and demonstrated that the concept had a life beyond kids flicks like Coraline and Monsters vs. Aliens (the only time I mention those two together, I promise) and horror flicks like My Bloody Valentine and The Final Destination. James Cameron has taken what Alfred Hitchock memorably derided as a seven-day fad and made it matinee fare. And, of course, Hollywood has noticed. Clash of the Titans, one of the early summer blockbusters this year, is being reworked into 3D before release – probably as a direct result of Avatar’s success. Still, if 3D is to be as huge a game changer as colour or sound was, it needs to become the norm for films produced – it needs to become dominant. So when we are we going to see 3D prestige pieces?

The way things are meant to 3D?

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