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#21 redbill

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:07 AM

Well, I was mainly thinking it was clever due to Marion Cotillard being known for her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf.


In an interview I read with Nolan, he said he had the Edith Piaf song picked out long before he chose Marion for the part.

#22 sexy rancheros

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 03:56 PM

Well, it's still an interesting coincidence.
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#23 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 11:00 AM

I've noticed that Nolan has a thing for pessimistic endings. I've not seen Following but everything after that, all of which I've watched when first released, leaves the viewer with severe unease. ... I think, given what Nolan has done in other films, that the ending for Inception isn't even that debatable. Seems pretty clear to me.
...


Following is no different in regards to the ending. However, what an auspicious start like the first works of Robert Rodriquez's El Mariachi and Kevin Smith's Clerks (though those cost a lot less :D). It certainly predates particular themes which you would see in later Nolan work including the mentor, shifting chronological order and the Doppleganger. Much has already been said about the Batman sticker on the apartment of The Young Man. Talk about your prescience.

While the ending was tricky (I won't give it away), it felt a bit too much for me. With the psychological aspects of the two males worked so well in the beginning, I felt cheated by the double-twist (unfortunately due to the time period of the first twist I just knew there was going another one coming) and the ultimate ending. I do personally feel Nolan is too addicted to "the ending".

The movie is well worth watching though. It fascinated me because of the loner character who follows people, creates his own rules of following and ultimately finds a mentor Cobb who teaches him about burglary and puts his "talents" to good use. A friendship/mentorship that reminds me a bit of the one in Fight Club.

Interesting point Clyde on how a director's previous work can determine how we pontificate his later work.
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Now I only have Insomnia to watch of the Nolan directed full-length films. I hope it doesn't have a huge twist at the end :).
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#24 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:23 PM

Posted this on Jim Emerson's blog post on Following:

There are quite a bit similarities and themes between Following and Nolan’s later work besides the use of “the twist” and fragmentized chronology. These help not only explain Nolan but the movie as well.

The use of the mentor: Cobb becomes The Young Man’s mentor. Nolan has exploited this relationship later in Inception (the architects with an overriding father figure in Michael Caine) though Batman Begins with Henri Ducard (and Michael Caine as the father figure) is more similar with Ducard and Cobb both later becoming the antagonist. The mentor is also used in The Prestige as well as Michael Caine as the father figure.

The use of the Doppelganger: while Nolan has not used this device anywhere near Johnnie To’s use, it is still a device throughout many of his movies most well known with its literal use (and other implied elements) in The Prestige. The Young Man becomes Cobb through the film (its spelling out of why is another problematic reoccurrence in Nolan’s work as you mentioned earlier that everything is over-explained).

The combination of the mentor/Doppleganger in this film was used later to great affect in Fight Club.

The façade: Following is ultimately about what Memento, The Prestige and Inception (possibly) is about – that what we had thought is an illusion. This I think is why I feel his work can feel pessimistic. Whether we continue the illusion is a different story.
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#25 Izo

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:13 PM

The pessimism may be among the primary reasons I like Nolan's work so much. For whatever reason I identify with pessimistic films, especially endings. Look at my 100 Blows. I'll save you the time, here's the top 20:

1. Canyon Passage (Tourneur)
2. Ran (Kurosawa)
3. La Jetee (Marker)
4. Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone)
5. Contempt (Godard)
6. Young Mr. Lincoln (Ford)
7. The Searchers (Ford)
8. Rio Bravo (Hawks)
9. Notorious (Hitchcock)
10. Samurai Rebellion (Kobayashi)
11. Anchors Aweigh (George Sidney)
12. Audition (Miike)
13. Werckmeister Hamonies (Tarr)
14. The Decalogue (Kieslowski)
15. Rififi (Dassin)
16. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Leone)
17. High and Low (Kurosawa)
18. Vampyr (Dreyer)
19. I Walked With a Zombie (Tourneur)
20. Night and the City (Dassin)


You can count on one hand, with fingers left over, how many of those films end in a happy ending. I realize this post doesn't have any sort of critical worth, but at the same time it explains (to me at least) why I respond so strongly to Nolan's films.

#26 sexy rancheros

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:28 PM

Is Audition one of the happy ending films?
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#27 Duke Togo

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:41 PM

But I think there is much more to offer here outside of pessimism, and I never really saw that as exclusively identifying regarding Nolan. If I had to point to anything as a draw, it would be his fascinating concepts within the narrative. Following moved from the tense activities of following people to the tense activities of robbing people. Memento nailed the reverse-chronological order of the narrative, as well as being peppered with fascinating little ideas like Leonard's tattoos or the increasingly paranoid inter-cut B&W scenes. The Prestige was an interesting focus itself with the illusionist angle, but got really cool when we started to ponder if Tesla's machines really worked. The Dark Knight had a lot of fine super hero film moments, but was able to keep things interesting with the political mind game.

I haven't seen Inception yet, but what little I've allowed myself to see looks interesting. I'm not trying to say anyone is wrong here, because there is certainly a heavy pessimistic tone that seems to follow his films around, I just think he excels at making his films fascinating on so many levels. I hope he can keep this up, because he has set the bar for himself quite high, and I would hate to see him crash and burn like Shyamalan.

#28 Izo

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:44 PM

Is Audition one of the happy ending films?


Ha, no. Without getting too into it, I was only counting Rio Bravo and Anchors Aweigh.

#29 clydefro

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:09 PM

Interesting point Clyde on how a director's previous work can determine how we pontificate his later work.

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Perhaps, but beyond that it's all imagination because
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#30 sexy rancheros

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:07 AM

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#31 clydefro

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:23 AM

^ Yes, agreed. And that was part of my original point a few posts up. It's absolutely irrelevant to the main ideas Nolan is interested in, I think.

#32 apsyhn

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:18 AM

I realise this isn't the most constructive of comments. It's early and I saw Inception only last evening.

I liked it well enough but couldn't help thinking "eXistenZ... eXistenZ... Ocean's 11... eXistenZ."

I'll sit on it for the rest of the day and expand my comment when I'm more awake and am on my computer.
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#33 mr.bagel

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:41 PM

I really like inception, but after seen it few time, I'm still a little bit distant about his narrative approach. Honestly, I don't really like the first half of the movie. I feel it's too huge, too compact. I always had the feeling that Nolan has too much to said but not enough time to really did it. It goes too far in many explanations. I would have like Nolan just let the images speak and don't try to bash our head for 1 hours before the film really start. Anyway, that's just a fast opinion I had the first time and still have after 5 times. (Don't beat me plz :rolleyes: )

#34 sexy rancheros

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:39 PM

Jim Emerson wrote a good piece at MSN Movies on Nolan because I agree with it.
http://movies.msn.co...istopher-nolan/
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#35 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

His early short film. It is only a couple of minutes and it is somewhat interesting. For you completeists.


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Previous Editions: 2,
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#36 mikesncc1701

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:04 PM

Just got back from an IMAX showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Yeah, I loved it. I'll probably go see it again very soon. I think it's outstandingly excecuted and it never feels close to its 2 hour 45 minute runtime. Anne Hathway was terrific and by the end of this film you'll feel a bit fatigued because the climax is insanely intense. I've chosen a two word review for this film: "Methodical Chaos". And when you see it, you'll understand exactly what I mean.

#37 Izo

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:54 PM

The Dark Knight Rises

Nolan's "Dark Knight Trilogy" ends reasonably strongly. For me, it falls somwhere between Batman Begins and the all-out great The Dark Knight as far as quality goes. Like all of Nolan's films, the film is incredibly plot-y and thematically rich, but the director manages to juggle at least a half-dozen important characters and plenty of twists and turns admirably. The film doesn't feel as long as it's nearly three-hour runtime, and that is one hell of a compliment. Having said that, this isn't going to be the picture that will convert anyone on Nolan. There are plenty of examples of confusingly-edited action sequence where the actual geography of the locations is hard or impossible to decipher. For whatever reason, these kinds of things don't tend to bother me as much as they do many others, though. There are also some less-than-fleshed-out characters, but I really admire Nolan's smart casting decisions. By casting, for example, Matthew Modine as a cowardly police officer, we tend to forget that the character's screentime doesn't amount to much and he becomes more memorable than he otherwise would be.

My favorite character in the series remains Gary Oldman's Jim Gordon, and that's unchanged here. The new characters are, on the whole, very well done as well. Joseph Gordon Levitt - who I am predisposed to liking anyway - is excellent in his meaty role, as is Anne Hathaway as the un-named Catwoman. Hers was the character I was most sceptical of going in, but Hathaway never hits any wrong notes and the smart writing skirts around a lot of the potentially silly aspects of her character to make her very compelling. Marion Cotillard, through no fault of her own, doesn't fair as well. On the first viewing, her character's apparent power and fortune in Gotham don't quite make much sense, and late-film revelations seem almost tacked-on and obligatory - though one aspect of it works very well*.

After the fiasco that is Batman & Robin, I was honestly not looking forward to revisiting the Bane character, but as with Heath Ledger's casting as the Joker, I am very pleased to have been wrong. Tom Hardy is excellent in the role, which is no small feat given the fact that the only part of his face you can see are his very expressive eyes. Hardy's voice is perfect in the film, hitting all of the right notes and having a real sense of blunt, refined intelligence, which is something the hunk of meat in the earlier film lacked.

The film's best extended set piece begins with the football stadium sequence and goes on for quite a long time. It's as good as anything found in any of these films. In the end, I feel my enthusiasm for the picture is enough for me to declare that I love it, just like The Dark Knight and several of Nolan's other films. Granted, I'm a fan of Batman in general, so perhaps my opinion is a bit skewed. In any case, I highly recommend The Dark Knight Rises.



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#38 mikesncc1701

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:15 PM

The Dark Knight Rises 9/10.

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#39 Izo

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:48 PM

The more I've thought back on it, the more one aspect of The Dark Knight Rises' plot bothers me. I apologize for the unsightly spoiler-post, but there really is no avoiding it.


Spoiler


I love the film, but thinks little logic holes like this make me think that The Dark Knight is far superior.

#40 mikesncc1701

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:49 PM

The more I've thought back on it, the more one aspect of The Dark Knight Rises' plot bothers me. I apologize for the unsightly spoiler-post, but there really is no avoiding it.


Spoiler


I love the film, but thinks little logic holes like this make me think that The Dark Knight is far superior.

How does it not make any sense? I saw it again today with my Pops and I still can't find any of these plot holes everyone's talking about.




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