Christopher Nolan


“Sometimes a man rises from the darkness. Sometimes the pit spits something back.”

When we drill down to sum up The Dark Knight trilogy in simplest terms, what many will see emerge is a guy in a bat suit. There is no getting around it, and probably why The Dark Knight was shut out in 2008. At the same time, Nolan’s epic also represents the crest of a changing tide in Hollywood away from adult-centered dramas and towards films aimed at younger audiences. They are the most reliable ticket-buyers, after all, even as the voting adults in the Academy sit back with their arms folded across their chests thinking, not on my watch. In general, I side with the Academy on this simply because I am bored by most of the effects-driven films Hollywood puts out, sequel after sequel, utterly predictable, the wow factor fading not ten minutes after you leave the theater.

But to me, Christopher Nolan’s handling of The Dark Knight surpasses expectations, and ultimately elevates a well worn, exhausted genre. For that reason, his last film in the series deserves to be recognized. The Dark Knight Rises is the only true epic in the trilogy. Yes, I said epic again. Yes, I know it’s about a guy in a bat suit. It is still an epic narrative with epic scope. While delivering all the usual thrills of a typical superhero movie: the villain/hero unearthed by Nolan reveals deeper ideas about humanity as a whole.

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By Guest Contributor Chris McEwen

“These are films that have really presented an epic vision of America that goes well beyond the parameters of what we might think of when someone says ‘comic book movies,’” noted Film Society of Lincoln Center associate program director (and soon-to-be head Village Voice head film writer) Scott Foundas when describing Christopher Nolan’s hugely influential Dark Knight trilogy, before introducing Nolan himself at a special Lincoln Center event last evening. However, when Nolan revealed how he first came to the character of Batman, his answer could not have initially seemed more removed from his own franchise’s gritty underpinnings.

So what was Nolan’s first Batman memory? Naturally, watching the 1960s Adam West series as a five-year-old. “You have no concept of the campiness… the primal feeling of the character comes through to a young boy,” added Nolan.

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In each of the five films nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild yesterday, overcoming an obstacle to become a winner drives the main characters. Micky needs to rid himself of his brother’s shadow and his own lack of self worth, Nina needs to rid herself of her repressed, infantilized vision of herself to become a perfect dancer. Cobb needs to overcome the guilt he feels in planting the idea in his wife’s head that the dream was the reality. And finally, George VI needed to overcome his fears of being King, of speaking publicly, of rising to the occasion and ruling a country at war.
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Inception dominates the Central Ohio Film Critics’ Awards with wins for picture, director Christopher Nolan, original screenplay and original score.

Best Film
1. Inception
2. The Social Network
3. The King’s Speech
4. Black Swan
5. Toy Story 3
6. True Grit
7. 127 Hours
8. The Fighter
9. Winter’s Bone
10. Exit Through the Gift Shop

Best Director
• Christopher Nolan Р(Inception)
• Runner-Up: David Fincher Р(The Social Network)

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Like a well-oiled dream machine, the run-up to Inception’s premiere this summer amped up anticipation with nimble precision. The same savvy dexterity is on full display as Warner’s releases this elegant Behind the Scenes FYC promo to begin screening across the country in key locations, Dec. 31.

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