Looting Versailles

Looting Versailles
My first book of poems, just released by Alabaster Leaves Publishing

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Christopher Nolan

The criticisms of Nolan's last effort were misguided. I'm talking about the supposed inaccuracies of "Interstellar." The point of cinema is not Presenting Fact, is not to be didactic. It's to amaze for the sake of renewing experience, to enrich it again for the easily bored and easily intrigued or fascinated, those of us whom are pleased in a state of fascination.

Anyway, the world of Interstellar is at once frightening and magical, words not readily applied to daily living in the relatively comfortable US or UK.

It reminds me of the anger directed at the ending of "Inception." That anger was founded on the incorrect notion of what a story ought to provide, in this case the film was perceived as failing to provide a "proper" ending. It was left ambiguous, forcing us all to keep thinking about it, to talk about it, to feel something about it other than satisfaction. But the success of most art depends on being talked about, thought about - and though the audience wasn't aware, the acts of talking and thinking about the film were the satisfying results of the film. The audience doesn't realize how it'd bemoan a lazy, predictable, "Hollywood" ending with equal ire and disdain.

This was the same problem for the Showtime series Dexter, whose ending angered many or disappointed many -- and in doing so, was successful, that is, successfully unpredictable. Breaking Bad managed to be satisfying, as did Mad Men - though those endings were happy, as both ending with a satisfied look on the Protagonists' faces. Sopranos rather brilliantly ended without ending...

I wanted to really blog about Mr Nolan to praise his work. He explores the ideas of today in brilliant and fascinating ways: The mind, The universe, Morality. These are eternally fascinating ideas, but he uses the knowledge we've gained via the Scientific Method to create contemporary narratives around the same things that captured the imagination of ancient Chinese, ancient Greeks, ancient Babylonians, ancient Hebrews...

To me, Nolan seems an extension of Kubrick, building cerebral narratives with similar musical atmospheres and deep, eye-catching camera work. I can sense he's obsessed with the Material world, and has a sort of outsider's view of the Subjective. It doesn't strike me, though, as imitative, just of similar character by happenstance.

Another great director of our time - Woody Allen - does strike me as imitative. To me, he seems to aspire to be one of the novelists taught in colleges before the white man was struck down: Fitzgerald, Dostoyevsky, Tennessee Williams. Rather than knowing what is great, he's imitating what has been called great.

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