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Old 11-14-2014, 03:33 AM   #571
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His Owen Wilson was perfect.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #572
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His Owen Wilson was perfect.
Yea
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:03 PM   #573
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This is a fascinating read on the scientific and metaphysical elements of Interstellar that blew me away.

I already consider myself a fan of the film, and I think this manages to reconcile Nolan's shortcomings (or poor choices) as a director and writer with some of the truly unique things that it has to offer as an overall production and story.

https://medium.com/@somebadideas/on-...s-ef59ee28fd8e
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:56 PM   #574
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That's a wonderful piece of criticism; those synaptic connections and arguments are compelling. I just have a hard time ascribing that level of thought to a filmmaker so painfully literal, especially when Nolan subjugates his possibly transcendent ideas underneath the weight of shitty plot mechanics. Seriously, Nolan having this much autonomy while Fincher is churning out trash novel adaptations is a form of injustice. It's like the a master craftsman working at Sears.

David Bordwell's take on Nolan's narrative, formal, and thematic strategies might be the most fully-formed and articulated argument on the man: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/20...olan-vs-nolan/

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Can you be a good writer without writing particularly well? I think so. James Fenimore Cooper, Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, Sinclair Lewis, and other significant novelists had many virtues, but elegant prose was not among them. In popular fiction we treasure flawless wordsmiths like P. G. Wodehouse and Rex Stout and Patricia Highsmith, but we tolerate bland or clumsy style if a gripping plot and vivid characters keep us turning the pages. From Burroughs and Doyle to Stieg Larsson and Michael Crichton, we forgive a lot.

Similarly, Nolan’s work deserves attention even though some of it lacks elegance and cohesion at the shot-to-shot level. The stylistic faults I pointed to above and that echo other writers’ critiques are offset by his innovative approach to overarching form. And sometimes he does exercise a stylistic control that suits his broader ambitions. When he mobilizes visual technique to sharpen and nuance his architectural ambitions, we find a solid integration of texture and structure, fine grain and large pattern.
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:33 AM   #575
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I don't think Fincher is being forced to do this crap, to be honest. I don't think he's being very adventurous right now, for whatever reason. And like Soderbergh, he's looking at these projects as formal problems to solve.

Bordwell gets at the Nolan conundrum astutely, per usual. The main issue is that he doesn't do the things we expect a director of his "stature" to do. There is clearly talent there, but it's being exercised in perpendicular ways, favoring the bigger picture over anything else. And I can live with that if it results in something as fascinating as Interstellar.

And while you don't feel like giving him the benefit of the doubt w/r/t alternate/deeper meanings, the guy certainly isn't an idiot savant. And while he can be on the nose with these more popular entertainments, I certainly wouldn't accuse The Prestige of being too literal.

Would be nice to see him do something on that "smaller" level again.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:08 AM   #576
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I haven't seen Interstellar yet, but I'm always a bit bummed Nolan-wise when I see Memento. There's a mood (enhanced by the excellent David Julyan soundtrack), a sense of cohesion and a looseness to it (not to mention the humour - it gets funnier every time I see it) that simply got lost somewhere along the way. Inception is especially problematic in this regard - I find it to be such a dry movie devoid of atmosphere and full of cheap exposition that never seems to relax and really immerse itself into the story and the fascinating world it tried to create. In retrospective, it really feels like such a missed opportunity. I hope Interstellar is more successful in this regard, but I do have my doubts.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:27 AM   #577
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I don't think Fincher is being forced to do this crap, to be honest. I don't think he's being very adventurous right now, for whatever reason. And like Soderbergh, he's looking at these projects as formal problems to solve.

Bordwell gets at the Nolan conundrum astutely, per usual. The main issue is that he doesn't do the things we expect a director of his "stature" to do. There is clearly talent there, but it's being exercised in perpendicular ways, favoring the bigger picture over anything else. And I can live with that if it results in something as fascinating as Interstellar.

And while you don't feel like giving him the benefit of the doubt w/r/t alternate/deeper meanings, the guy certainly isn't an idiot savant. And while he can be on the nose with these more popular entertainments, I certainly wouldn't accuse The Prestige of being too literal.

Would be nice to see him do something on that "smaller" level again.
Fincher has had high profile projects fall apart (20,000 Leagues, chiefly) and I have a strong feeling that he was hovering the new Star Wars series for a bit. Ironically, he's lambasted for projects outside of his perceived comfort zone like Benjamin Button... only for it to be his most successful film worldwide.

I think Interstellar's leanings are the right direction for Nolan. Grafting the Spielberg DNA onto his mode of storytelling (could this be Nolan's A.I.?), emphasizing wonder and human connections over narrative gamesmanship is just as ambitious as him turning in another insular, brooding puzzler like Inception. His films feature ideas but I don't think they particularly say anything or move the needle formally -- Interstellar and The Prestige are downright soulful. Jackman & McConaughey are perfect leading men for his house style: avuncular, charismatic leading men saddled with guilt & driven by purpose. Seeing DiCap handle similar material in Shutter Island vs. Inception tosses shade on how a performer can dive into similar material, and also how two filmmakers handle genre.

I find Nolan's entrenchment in "the literal" and believability of physical space limiting, and dismissive of genre though he's arguably the most critically and financially successful genre filmmaker working today.

Interstellar has moments where the limitless potential of his budget and vision come to fruition. I honestly don't think he forms coherent enough statements thematically or formally to register as a potent dramatist or stylist. That's not to say that moments or sequences in his films can't be affecting -- The shot/reverse shot of McConaughey watching his children's messages over time is heartbreaking; Dr. Mann's escape to the Endurance is his most thrilling (and borderline coherent!) action setpiece -- they're just in-service of I don't know what.

Good for him for doing what he does and motivating a dork to post critical assessments of him on a U2 message board at 3AM.

But really I'm upset that he cast William Devane in 2 movies as a background player. It's WILLIAM FUCKING DEVANE. Has Nolan not seen Rolling Thunder? Of course he hasn't.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:32 AM   #578
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RIP Mike Nichols
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:24 PM   #579
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I gotta say, looking at Mike Nichols' filmography is always one of my favorite things. Just what in the hell is going on there? The guy who made The Graduate made Wolf...
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:09 PM   #580
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Why does that seem weird?
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:18 PM   #581
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Do you like Wolf?
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:54 PM   #582
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Yeah it's remarkable.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #583
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Then we're not going to be feeling the same way about it, and a couple other films in his filmography. I love the guy, though, he made three of my all-time favorite films.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:21 PM   #584
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Wolf is straight-up bonkers. Been listening to a bunch of Nichols/May sketches today and they're a treasure.

Let's praise Elaine May while she's alive btw.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #585
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The Heartbreak Kid is a masterpiece.

The Birdcage might be my favorite Nichols film,as we'll. That or Catch-22, speaking of bonkers.
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