No match for Nolan

Aug 12, 2012, 09:48 IST | Moeena Halim

The Enlighten Film Society is honouring Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan by screening two of his films today

The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in the Dark Knight trilogy, may have left theatres, but Christopher Nolan, the director, is still very much on most film aficionados’ minds. Especially so for the Enlighten Film Society, which is all set to screen two of Nolan’s fascinating creations today.

Ronak Dixit, who heads marketing at Enlighten Film Society, says, “We wanted to pay tribute to Nolan for two reasons. Firstly, it was his birthday on July 30 and secondly, because of the buzz around The Dark Knight Rises.”

A still from Christopher Nolan’s first film, Following 

The point of the festival is also to introduce Nolan fans to his first ever film. “Everyone talks about Nolan’s early work, but few have actually seen these movies. That’s why we picked Following,” says Pranav Ashar, founder, Enlighten Film Society. “In an interview I read recently, Nolan talked about how difficult it was for him to make this film. He didn’t have any help from production houses, and had to borrow money from friends and family. Memento, his second film, was a giant leap.” Produced by Newmarket films, Memento was nominated for both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for best screenplay. Today, it is considered a cult film.

“Following is a suspense thriller,” explains Dixit. Released in 1998, the film is about a writer who obsessively follows random people around. In typical Nolan style, the scenes in Following are completely out of chronological order. Interestingly, to save costs, Nolan got his actors to rehearse thoroughly before shooting the scenes to make sure that the first or second take was usable.

“We have a lot of literature about these films. We will give the audience hand-outs which will tell them more about the movies. Also, before we begin screening, we will give them an introduction to Nolan and his films,” reveals Ashar.

The second film they are screening is much better known, and is apparently Nolan’s most popular film — The Prestige. “We ran a poll on our Facebook page, which has close to 90,000 subscribers. We asked them to pick their favourite Nolan film and they chose The Prestige,” says Ashar, who finds it difficult to pick a favourite between The Prestige and Batman Begins. “Batman Begins sets the right tone for a great trilogy. The villain in the film is a worthy opponent; he is intelligent and philosophical. The Prestige, I feel, is the work of an auteur. It is classically done and the story really hits you,” opines Ashar.

“Nolan is extremely original,” adds Ashar, who is clearly a cinephile. “The biggest thing is that he has his own voice, which is rare for a filmmaker. He puts everything across in a naked manner. His ideas are so deep, but they’re put very clearly. His films are layered, however, so you are bound to go back and think about the complexities in the story,” he concludes.

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