As Hollywood obsesses over superhero movies, power has shifted from directors to producers. Just ask Edgar Wright and Patty Jenkins — two veteran directors who dropped blockbuster projects after learning Marvel Studios was in charge, not them. But there is one director who continues to buck the trend and maintain his legacy as a true auteur: Christopher Nolan. Nolan’s claim to fame was the 2000 indie¬†Memento¬†which wowed critics and audiences alike with its unique story-telling style. From that point forward, Nolan earned the right to do whatever he wanted — a right he’s never lost.

Nolan’s latest film is Dunkirk based on the true World War II account of the British army trapped on a beach in France with no way out. Nolan once again employs a unique approach to the story, covering the event from land, air, and sea. Dunkirk is more than a movie; it’s a full-on cinematic experience. Nolan shoots in 70mm film stock with IMAX cameras to deliver a journey that can’t be replicated at home. The result is another incredible film in an already impeccable career. Nolan will continue to make movies as he sees fit, and we will always be there to see a master at work.

Join Jon and Tim as they discuss how to avoid Alzheimer’s, Christopher Nolan’s filmography, the difference between 70mm and IMAX, why Dunkirk is a British film, common themes in Nolan’s work, the Body of Christ, and the true meaning of heroism.

  • Amos Michael Markos

    Thanks for losing sleep and risking alzheimers for us! I actually never knew Nolan did Memento.

  • DocRLS

    WOW, Jon and Tim. I had heart palpitations when you initially omitted “Inception” from Noland’s filmography. What a great, mind-bending movie. Showed it to my youth group and they were (okay — for the most part) blown away. It is on my top 20 since 2000. You kinda made up for it but still gave it short shrift. (IMHO “Interstellar” is not even in the same league.)

    But another great podcast discussion. “Dunkirk” was a very good movie (I saw it on IMAX, you lucky stiffs that have 70mm available to you locally need to count your blessings.) But surprisingly it seemed a little sterile… lacking emotion? I usually have tears in a movie like this (I can choke up reading the church bulletin… wait until you get to be 70 yo, you young whippersnappers.) But nothing here. Still gave it an A but not an A+ like I had hoped for. (or an A-… gosh Jon, are you hard or what?)

    Did it bother you at all the way the editor (and Nolan I am sure) once again plays with time? In the middle of a dog-fight the film cuts away for 10 minutes to a ship scene etc. Then back to the dog-fight. Sometimes even going from day to night and back. To what purpose?

    And Mark Rylance — he could play a stump and be outstanding. What a wonderful actor. Surprised you never mentioned him. (Well at least Jon, as I know Tim gives almost no credit to acting at all — Grin.)

    • I literally pulled over to Google Inception to make sure it was Nolan – that I wasn’t misremembering. By far my favorite of his films. It’s too bad Batmans 1-3 will most likely be his legacy. Not terrible films but boring compared to what’s going on in Inception.

      • Sorry for almost forgetting Inception! I need to give that one a
        re-watch. I remember loving it in college, but it’s been too long for an
        in-depth discussion.

    • Agreed about Interstellar not touching Inception… that major logical flaw of doing what your future self tells you to do so that you can be your future self to tell yourself what to do overshadowed a lot of the beauty of the film — Inception accomplished much more on all levels (visually, thoughtfully, and story wise).

    • My one criticism of Dunkirk was the same one you had – it was emotionally underwhelming. I do think part of that is Nolan’s British style that he was going for here which Tim referenced. Still, it’s my sole reason for the minus. A straight “A” means perfection. If there’s even one thing wrong with movie, it gets downgraded. That’s why I don’t hand them out too often. What a joy to give out two last year!

      As for Nolan playing with time, I think it’s one of the film’s greatest strengths. Not only does it keep things interesting, it also provides a feeling by the end that we’ve seen Dunkirk from every angle. I was struck even more by this on the 2nd viewing. The way he tells the story is pure genius.

      By the way, I did get a chance to catch it in 70mm IMAX in New York – on a four story screen no less! Absolutely breathtaking.