Showing all posts tagged: Christopher Nolan

Could Christopher Nolan make an exceptional horror film?

28 March 2024

Pretty much anything British/American film maker Christopher Nolan touches, turns to gold. The Batman saga, Inception, Interstellar, Oppenheimer, Tenet, Dunkirk, The Prestige (which I wrote about way back in 2006), Memento. You name it, they’re all winners. Then consider how well Nolan can go from one genre to another, almost seamlessly, be it action, sci-fi, period, war, whatever.

Word then that he’d like to try his hand at making a horror film will probably come as no surprise to aficionados of Nolan’s work. But only if he can find a “really exceptional idea”.

That’s because making a good horror film is a lot like making a good comedy film: difficult. Gore and jump scenes have limited currency because they’re so common. What drives a great horror movie is suspense. “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it,” as Alfred Hitchcock once quipped. The really exceptional idea would therefore need an abundance of suspense. And a layered, labyrinthine story, but that’s something Nolan already excels at.

But horror is not my thing, even though I have a few horror titles in my old DVD library. Even if Nolan made a truly Nolan-esque horror film, I’m not exactly sure I’d go and see it.


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Barbie nukes Oppenheimer on opening weekend in America

24 July 2023

Still from Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig

Still from Barbie, a film by Greta Gerwig.

But all of these box-office taking numbers are staggering:

One of the prime records Barbie is breaking this weekend is the best domestic start for a movie helmed by a female director, with $155M. That figure beats 2019’s Captain Marvel, which was co-helmed by Anna Boden and had a $153M start. Globally, at an estimated $337M, Barbie is the second-best start for a movie from a female after Captain Marvel, which did $456.7M. Big numbers: the entire global haul for Gerwig’s awards-blockbuster crossover 2019 title, Little Women, was $218.8M.

I can’t say I’m surprised, and I think Barbie-mania was as big a thing in Australia as it was the United States. There was no missing the groups of young women and girls especially, adorned in pink, who were on their way to, or from, seeing Barbie at the movies. And this in a small town a couple of hours drive north of Sydney, where we’ve been the last few days.

The numbers for Barbie’s opening rival, the Christopher Nolan made Oppenheimer, are still impressive though. I wonder if the J. Robert Oppenheimer bio-pic will pick up on the long tail what it might have missed on the opening weekend.

Update: here are the Australian box office numbers for last weekend, the period Thursday 20 July through to Sunday 23 July 2023. Movies typically open on Thursdays in Australia (because, who wants to go to the movies on a Friday), hence the four day reporting period. Whatever, you can see Barbie well out in front of Oppenheimer.


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The fiery brilliance of Oppenheimer was achieved with no CGI

11 July 2023

Oppenheimer, American filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s bio-pic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American scientist often referred to as the “father of the atomic bomb”, opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 20 July 2023.

This is a film that stands to be remarkable for many reasons, but few people would have ventured to say that would be on account of computer-generated imagery (CGI), or, as the case may be, lack thereof. But according to Ryan O’Rourke, writing for Collider, Nolan has said Oppenheimer contains no CGI whatsoever.

Take a look at all fiery explosions we see in the trailer. Is the absence of CGI incredible, or what?


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The Prestige, a film by Christopher Nolan, with Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale

30 November 2006

First an aside, I wonder if The Prestige was the team behind 2005’s Batman Begins deciding to apply their collective acting and producing talents to a completely different story? We have Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and director Christopher Nolan, all from Batman Begins, present here.

The Prestige traces the unhealthy obsession (is any obsession healthy though?) friends turned rivals, Alfred Borden (Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), have with each other’s magic acts, and the ends one will go to, so as to out do the other.

Caught up in this rivalry is Scarlett Johansson as stage assistant, Olivia, who becomes romantically involved with both men during the course of proceedings. And though I knew David Bowie was also in the movie, I didn’t recognise him as Tesla, an American inventor competing with Thomas Edison.

Originally published Thursday 30 November 2006.


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