***These articles contain spoilers for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
The final ballots have been cast, a sense of finality has overtaken Hollywood, and producers and publicists alike have taken on a steely Doris Day styled resignation to “whatever will be will be.”
The Oscars are Sunday, and the winners are already set—we just don’t know who they are yet. But before the cheers and jeers follow Sunday, as well as the uncorked champagne if you’re lucky enough to be at an Oscar Party, we thought we’d take these last few days before the big dance to put some focus on multiple films worthy of reflection, award or no awards.
And, quite intentionally, we are therefore beginning with one film that had lofty award expectations riding on it throughout 2014, but ended the year with a whimper of nominations. To be sure, Christopher Nolan’s highly ambitious space opera Interstellar is officially Oscar nominated in the categories for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, and several technical awards relating to sound. Whether you think the film deserved more or less recognition, it certainly left an impact in 2014 on viewers and—rather brilliantly—the scientific community alike, which is now using the film’s digitally created black holes for further research.
In any event, we realize this is not a contender for the “major” awards, which we will be spotlighting certain films of soon enough, but it is one more than work a look back.
“Haunting” is the word that keeps lingering as I reflect on Christopher Nolan’s new movie, Interstellar, over and over again in my mind. There is a somber tone to the film, an elegiac mood that is one of its most powerful assets. We feel the shroud of despair and apathy surrounding the people of Earth as it becomes clear that the planet is essentially turning against us…When Interstellar is at its best — which is frequent, but not constant — that mood has an emotional pull to it that bolsters the other plot elements which are designed to tug at your heart…Read more by clicking here.
Granted, there is a time travel paradox in this, like so much with science fiction, which ultimately suggests that humanity only survived because Cooper was sent by future beings into this black hole to communicate with Murph, thereby necessitating Cooper having already made the journey before “they” first summoned him with gravitational anomalies, but…does your head hurt yet? In the end, another Matthew McConaughey character from premium cable may have been right all along: time is a circle…Read more by clicking here.
End of Days, the Day of Judgment, Gozer the Gozerian or whatever else you want to call it, since the dawn of man we as a species have often wondered how that time would come to a close. As a result nearly every religion has had its end times narrative, usually culminating in a cyclical rebirth with Heaven on Earth. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is no different in its attempt to close the cinematic cycle that began shortly after 2001: A Space Odyssey’s opening overture. And indeed, the most remarkable facet of Nolan’s science fiction magnum opus is that it mostly succeeds in its audacity to create a 21st century parable that looks past the end of the world—finding true salvation without once invoking prayer….Read more by clicking here.
At the heart of Interstellar is the race to escape a dying planet. A fairly obvious Krypton analogy, I grant you. Earth may not be in any danger of exploding in Interstellar, but it does share similarities to the barren, depleted Krypton that was first introduced in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie and later picked up in John Byrne’s 1986 Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Elements of the latter found their way into the film of the same name. A film, by the way, that Christopher Nolan shares story credit on…Read more by clicking here.
This naturally begs an interesting question: what was Interstellar like when it was still a Steven Spielberg project? A draft of Jonathan Nolan’s script written in 2008 has the answer, and we couldn’t resist delving in to find out what secrets it holds…Read more by clicking here.
While the Dark Knight movies are still inscribed with Nolan’s signature, it’s arguable that The Prestige, Inception,and Interstellar are his more personal films. In each of them, it’s possible to see his changing style as a filmmaker, and the increasing latitude he was given between the release of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises…Read more by clicking here.
And yes, if Interstellar had come out closer to the time of the original screenplay, we may indeed have seen Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper interacting with his son Murphy. But where’s the fun in that? Murph’s bond with Cooper is more powerful because she’s his daughter…Read more by clicking here.
But when that moment comes, where does he go? Does he aim even bigger and grander? The director has indicated he is fond of making movies that fill the screen (IMAX or otherwise), so it’s not unlikely that he could reach for some new spectacle, sci-fi or otherwise. Or does he take a break from vast visions of multi-tiered dream realities, time-bending voyages through the universe and epic clashes between superheroes and supervillains? Can Christopher Nolan make something again as small as his brilliant breakthrough thriller Memento?…Read more by clicking here.
Love it or hate it, Interstellar is one of those movies that you just can’t get out of your head. Between the staggering gravitational vistas that Nolan realized in 70mm IMAX and that still controversial ending, Interstellar is the kind of grand epic that they don’t make anymore. It may fall short of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, but it has the same sense of majesty and a healthy reliance on practical effects, creating an unapologetically panoramic story that’s also in line with the sensibilities of David Lean.…Read more by clicking here.
Interstellar dares to dramatize time dilation and five-dimension theoretical physics in a “popcorn movie” about a humanist apocalypse. There are few movies that cling to the mind after a single viewing like Interstellar. In fact, I suspect it is still rattling around in your mental bookcase right now, pulling on so many threads that to focus on its top-heavy plot feels almost petty. Like its protagonist, this practical effects-reliant spectacle will hardly age in the coming years…Read more by clicking here.
Well look, I shouldn’t say this and he’s probably going to kill me. There are two Chris Nolans. There’s the Chris Nolan that you might encounter in an interview or you hear him speak publicly. He’s very deliberate and very thoughtful. I’ve created this environment in my studio which is very rock and roll and very collegial and, you know, musicians float in and out and people pick up instruments and start playing. And so when Chris comes down he’s part of the band…Read more by clicking here.
I think that people like Chris, like Tarantino, like Scorsese, like Spielberg that shoot a lot on film, whatever they feel is nice and they have provoked that discussion of whether film is now on its way out and digital is on its way up. I find that sad because you’re taking a favorite canvas away from some of the best filmmakers in the world and I want to feel that I can make that choice and can choose to shoot on film whenever I feel like it. I mean you can talk to me about resolutions or definition or this and that but it very often has nothing to do with the reason why I choose a certain medium, you know…Read more by clicking here.