Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages (with video)

by David Bordwell

Christopher Nolan is widely considered one of the most accomplished living filmmakers. The Dark Knight, Inception, and many other of his films rank high in moviegoers’ esteem. This book traces out some of his contributions to modern American cinema—particularly his unique experiments in narrative form.

More generally, his career offers us an occasion to think through some issues about creativity and originality in modern Hollywood. How innovative can filmmakers be without losing the audience? How to combine complexity with clarity? Nolan’s career offers some solutions to these problems.

Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages is derived from several popular entries on the blog, Observations on Film Art (http://davidbordwell.net/blog/). The book recasts these entries and integrates them into a continuous argument, while adding illustrations and new material written especially for the book. The result analyzes some of Nolan’s most challenging movies, including Following, Memento, The Prestige, and Inception. It gauges his command of editing and scene construction, and it goes on to consider his innovations in cinematic storytelling.

Table of Contents
Introduction: How to innovate
Chapter One: Style without style?
Chapter Two: Following, forward and backward
Chapter Three: Dream a little dream within a dream with me
Conclusion: Midcult auteur?
Appendix: Based on Uncle Scrooge? That’s rich!
References and further reading

You will get a PDF (274MB) file.

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