The British-American director, Christopher Nolan is known for his distinctive and unique style of film making. His movies, be it any genre, bring to screen a different and fresh cinematic experience, which some are even unable to understand (Inception is perhaps the biggest example of it).
Nolan’s movies are dramatic, dark, mysterious, and above all highly philosophical. One unique quality of the movies of Christopher Nolan is that he wants creates his movies as if it’s a game between him and the viewer. Viewers in Nolan’s movies are never passive. Their participation is as important as that of the filmmaker.
Talking of the unique style of Nolan, the first and foremost thing that is his signature is his obsession with time and memory. You can say that Nolan is a trickster who likes to play with these concrete, yet not-so-concrete ideas of time and memory.
If we take into regard how Nolan deals with memory in his movies, we will see that he likes creating a sort of dream world for us. Be it Memento, Inception, The Dark Knight, or Dunkirk, every movie has a role for memory as if it is also a movie character. Bruce Wayne is haunted by the memory of his dead parents in the Dark Knight Trilogy and Dunkirk has soldiers whose limbs as well as minds bear the burden of memory, which keeps them going for the war.
Another distinctive quality of Nolan’s film making style is that he is more inclined towards philosophical aspects of human life rather than the emotional aspect. People have even criticized his movies for being devoid of emotions.
(Courtesy: Medium) -Movie Inception
And when it comes to time, Nolan loves to mess with it and bends it according to his own convenience. He is not interested in following the chronological order of time. He doesn’t go by the simple rule of beginning –middle- and end. Nolan bends and changes the order often creating the meeting points for different times at different levels.
(Courtesy: CinemaBlend) -Movie The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan is definitely not the follower of rules. It’s not just the rule of chronological time that he likes to debunk. He subverts the rules of popular genres very conveniently to re-imagine them to be something else. He can make a comic book adaptation into a political commentary, a detective movie into a psychological thriller and a science fiction into an apocalyptic drama.