I think it's an undisputed fact that Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest filmic storytellers of all time. While his movies usually get headlines due to their scale, there is an intricate craftsman working behind the camera to capture the hearts and minds of the audience.
Nolan himself wants you to focus more on storytelling in general.
During an interview with The Telegraph , he expanded on this idea, saying, "Whether for budgetary reasons or reasons of control, studios now look at a screenplay as a series of events and say, 'This is the essence of what the film is,'" he said. "That's completely at odds with how cinema developed, right from the Lumière brothers ' train pulling into the station, as a pure audiovisual experience. But it's a very popular fallacy--sometimes with critics as well, quite frankly--that all that matters is the scale of the story being told."
With Oppenheimer opening this weekend, it's easy to see why scale is on his mind. But Nolan thinks this idea of tentpoles and huge movies has skewed executives and the business.
We've even forgotten why Star Wars became a megahit. It wasn't the size of the movie, it was its depth.
Nolan elaborated, "People will tell you that the success of Star Wars had nothing to do with its visual effects, and it was all down to its great story," Nolan continued. "But, I mean, clearly, that's not the case. It is indeed a great story, but it's also an incredible visual and aural experience. So this willful denial of what movies actually are has set in."
Going to the movies used to be a huge experience that you absorbed on the biggest screen possible. In a post-COVID-19 world, people have gotten used to being on their phones at home, not paying attention, and even skipping theatrical exhibitions.
Movies and going to the movies used to mean something more, and when we move away from that concept of taking people on a journey they'll never forget, we got worse cinema and we mortgaged great stories for cheap thrills.
Hopefully, we can change this before it is too late.
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