Filmography of Christopher Nolan > Summary of all his movies

In a recent interview, filmmaker Christopher Nolan explained that, for him, cinema, above any other medium, is uniquely connected to time. And that is precisely what he says he wants to show the viewer. This is perhaps why time is a vital element in almost all of his films. In El Antequirófano we review his filmography.

Biography – Filmography of Christopher Nolan and his obsession with time

Christopher Edward Nolan was born in London on 30 July 1970. The son of an English father and an American mother, he began to show an interest in film at a very young age. He alternated his studies in English Literature at University College London with making several short films at a film school. An admirer of Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick and Terrence Malick, among others, Nolan achieved international success with the acclaimed Memento (2000) and is now considered one of the most famous and respected directors on the planet.

Christopher Nolan filmography in review

Following (1998)

Following  primera película de Christopher Nolan

Shot two years before his acclaimed Memento, Following is Nolan’s feature film debut. With Following, the director already gives us an idea of the importance that time will have in his filmography, as he already shows the typical apparently disordered narratives, like pieces of a puzzle that will end up fitting together. Following is a thriller, shot in black and white and in 16 mm, with a budget of only 6,000 dollars, which tells the story of a young writer without a job and without ideas who decides to start following people in the street to see if he can find inspiration.

Memento (2000)

Filmografía Christopher Nolan Memento 2000

Christopher Nolan second directorial effort and the one that brought him worldwide recognition. In this case, the 9 million dollar budget he had is noticeable in the excellent work of setting and staging. Based on the short story Memento Mori written by his brother Jonathan Nolan, Memento is the story of Leonard, a former insurance agency investigator who suffers from anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories).

The only thing he is able to remember is the rape and murder of his wife. Memento is a story of revenge in which the protagonist tries his best to remember and store these memories as clues to find the murderer and avenge his wife’s death. But the best thing about the film is not the story, but how the director tells it, thanks to the use of an inverted time structure. Starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Ann Moss, Memento is a film with a brilliant, intelligent, original and surprising plot that engages the viewer from the very first scenes.

Insomnia (2002)

Insomnio 2002

On this occasion Nolan departs a little from his personal style to direct, but not write, this film. The film is actually a remake of Insomnia, released in Norway in 1997 and directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg. Insomnia tells the story of Will Dormer (Al Pacino), a veteran cop who is sent with a partner to Alaska to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. There he enlists the help of a local investigator (Hilary Swank) to try to catch the prime suspect (Robin Williams).

The Dark Knight Trilogy – Christopher Nolan

Filmografía Christopher Nolan Batman

In 2005, Nolan reinvented the Batman character with his trilogy Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The Batman character was created in 1939 by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane. Over the years, the superhero has appeared in a multitude of films and television series, but what was new, what perhaps no one had done until then, was to delve into Batman’s origins. And this is precisely what Nolan achieved in Batman Begins, where half of the film takes place before Bruce Wayne puts on the mask. It shows us, then, the hard road that the billionaire heir has to travel from being orphaned to becoming a hero of the city of Gotham.

The Prestige (2006)

prestige 2006

Adaptation of Christopher Priest’s novel of the same name. Nolan now plunges us into the world of magic. Two magicians, starting from a common apprenticeship, live in permanent competition and begin to experiment with the new powers of electricity in 19th century London. All for the sake of fame and prestige. Attention to the excellent performances of Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman and the appearance of David Bowie in the role of Nikola Tesla.

Inception (2010)

Origen 2010

Science fiction thriller with which the director now introduces us to the complex world of dreams and the human mind. What is a dream and what is reality are two questions that the spectator will ask himself throughout the film. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief who is an expert at entering the dreams of his victims and extracting secrets from them to sell them.

Having become a spy on the human mind, he has one last mission before he can return home: to introduce, rather than steal, an idea into the subconscious of the heir to a large multinational company. But the mind almost always holds secrets that even we don’t know, and an undertaking as complex as this will not be without its difficulties. Inception is also the director’s first film with a completely original screenplay. It took Nolan eight years to write the screenplay for the film. With an intelligent and brilliant plot and an ambiguous outcome that is still talked about today, the film became one of the biggest box-office hits of 2010. The film also won four Oscars: Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.

Interstellar (2014)

interstellar 2014

In the not-too-distant future, the Earth’s ecosystem is in total disrepair and our species is on the brink of extinction. The planet is dying. Humanity is forced to look for an alternative planet in order to survive. With this sci-fi film Nolan seems to come closer to science than fiction. Exciting, meaningful and visually stunning, the work required a lot of hard research on the part of the team. In fact, the film relies on the work of theoretical physicist Kip Stephen Thorne (Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 and Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research the same year) who worked as a consultant on the film trying to translate wormholes and black holes, essential elements in the film, into images to try to explain time travel.

In addition, Christopher Nolan visited NASA and his brother, Jonathan, studied Relativity at the California Institute of Technology while they were writing the script. The result of these four years of hard research work was to try to make science the essential skeleton of the film.

Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkerque 2017

Christoper Nolan takes us away from science fiction for the moment and takes us into the Second World War, recalling one of the least represented episodes of the war in cinema. He places us in the spring of 1940, on the coast of Dunkirk, where hundreds of thousands of British and French soldiers are trapped and anxious in the face of the imminent advance of the German army that has invaded France. Faced with the capture and possible annihilation of their troops, the British launched a seemingly impossible rescue, in what became known as Operation Dynamo.

This operation resulted in the rescue of more than 200,000 British soldiers and more than 100,000 French and Belgian troops. Dunkirk is the story of a defeat, a portrait of a historic retreat. Dunkirk is a war film but it is also a story of perseverance, suffering and survival. It is a moving story that makes us reflect on isolation, danger, despair, fear, guilt, cowardice and bravery. Shot in the original location of the war event, the film was nominated for 8 Oscars, finally winning the statuettes for best editing, sound and sound effects.

Tenet (2020)

Filmografía Christopher Nolan Tenet

Tenet is an approach to spy films, a genre that the filmmaker admired as a child. A spy film to which he has tried to add something else, something different, something innovative. The aim? To try, perhaps, to make the spectator see this genre from a different perspective. Christopher Nolan translates this into a film full of fast-paced action, from which the viewer might get something more, but whose main objective is to make the audience relax and enjoy the journey. That the audience simply enjoys the film as entertainment. This is how, according to Nolan, we should approach his film.

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