Dec. 19, 2012 | 5:30 p.m.

Christopher Nolan: ‘Following’ foretells ‘Inception,’ ‘Dark Knight’

This month sees the DVD releases of Christopher Nolan’s first and most recent movies. “Following” from 1998, out last week from the Criterion Collection, was made on a shoestring budget of 3,000 pounds (about $5,000 at the time). Shot on weekends over a year by a 28-year-old with a day job making corporate videos and a cast and crew that consisted largely of friends, it’s calling-card filmmaking at its most efficient, a savvy neo-noir from a young Turk with plenty of tricks up his sleeve. This year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” from Warner Home Video is, in the current Hollywood context, about as far as a calling card can take you: a superhero blockbuster that inspires cultish obsession and cost 50,000 times as much as “Following.” More than franchise movies, Nolan’s Batman films have become, for better or worse, cultural […]
Feb. 09, 2011 | 2:28 p.m.

VIDEO: ‘Inception,’ a behind-the-scenes look at the dream world

“Inception” is still trying to get into everyone’s brains, but this time it’s just to remind Academy voters that despite the “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” talk, the sci-fi film has its own bevy of nominations with eight and was also lauded by many critics, including the Times’ own Kenneth Turan. This morning the “Inception” team premiered a new five-minute online featurette, seen above, titled “Inception — An Extended Special Look,” that has interviews with director Christopher Nolan, producer Emma Thomas and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page. — Jevon Phillips RECENT AND RELATED Nolan is no lock for a directing Oscar Nolan: Hollywood takes too many shortcuts ESSAY: Nolan and his dark magic tricks Chris Nolan: “It won’t be the Riddler” “Inception” DP Wally Pfister: “That ain’t no CGI dust” “Inception” extras reveal stuff dreams are […]
Jan. 10, 2011 | 6:04 p.m.

Christopher Nolan is no lock for Oscar nomination

Steven Zeitchik weighs in on Christopher Nolan’s  chances in the Oscars race following his Director’s Guild nomination. Here’s an excerpt… The DGA is about an accurate a predictor of the best director category at the Academy Awards as you can get: It’s foretold at least four of the five Oscar nominees in all but two of the past 12 years.  That would seem like great news for those hoping to see “Inception” get some attention in front of the approximately 40 million U.S. television viewers (and many more around the world) at the end of February. To date, Christopher Nolan’s movies have been nominated mostly in technical categories, and he was nominated once as a screenwriter (for “Memento“), but he has never landed a prized best-director slot, a source of irritation for his many fans. This year, the DGA nomination […]
Dec. 25, 2010 | 11:35 a.m.

Christopher Nolan’s dark arts: ‘He thinks like a magician’

GUEST ESSAY Guy Hendrix Dyas is accustomed to working side-by-side with intuitive wizards. Before his Hollywood career as a production designer working with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Bryan Singer and Shekhar Kapur, the master’s program graduate from the Royal College of Art London was working as an industrial designer with Sony Corp. under the supervision of Akio Morita, the near-legendary co-founder of  the Toyko conglomerate. Despite the considerable experience with visionary souls and movies of the fantastic — he did production design on “X2: X-Men 2″ and “Superman Returns” — Dyas admits he was a bit awestruck while working with writer-director Christopher Nolan on “Inception,” the most celebrated sci-fi film of 2010 and a strong contender in marquee Oscar categories.  Dyas  (who is now working on Spielberg’s “Robopocalypse” for 2012 release) has written a guest essay for Hero Complex about why Nolan is a game changer in […]
Dec. 14, 2010 | 12:15 p.m.

‘Spider-Man’ stars, ‘Inception’ and ‘Walking Dead’ get Golden Globe love

GOLDEN GLOBES:  THE FANBOY PERSPECTIVE The nominations for the 68th Golden Globe Awards were announced Tuesday morning, and for fans of sci-fi, horror and animation, there is plenty to be excited about — especially for fans of the dream worlds of “Inception” and the nightmare visions of “The Walking Dead.” You can get a full report over at The Envelope, the awards-specialist site here at the Los Angeles Times, and up-to-the minute updates and reaction at Awards Tracker, our great sister blog that monitors the trophy pursuits of Tinseltown. A few of the tidbits you’ll find there are excerpted below with a Hero Complex emphasis on fanboy favorites: SPIDER-SENSE TINGLING: The two lead actors in the upcoming “Spider-Man” franchise reboot were each nominated, with Andrew Garfield (who will portray the bug-bitten Peter Parker) getting a supporting actor nod for his work in “The Social […]
Dec. 08, 2010 | 5:26 p.m.

Christopher Nolan: Hollywood takes too many shortcuts

The Envelope is the awards-season special section in the Los Angeles Times and tomorrow my feature of Christopher Nolan is on the cover. Here’s a longer version of that story. Christopher Nolan (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times) Think of Christopher Nolan as a man trying to write a novel while the neighbors – in this case, the rest of the world’s population – won’t keep the noise down. The  filmmaker doesn’t own a cellphone,  has no e-mail account and, in recent weeks, he’s been hiding out at the Paradise Cove trailer park in Malibu to focus on a new script while growing a Hollywood hermit’s beard. “I don’t really look at the Internet,” the 40-year-old said with an old-soul sigh, “because if I don’t, it gives me more time to think.” The deep thoughts of writer-director-producer Christopher Nolan have become massive business for Hollywood with […]
Dec. 08, 2010 | 11:54 a.m.

‘Inception’ cinematographer got down and dirty: ‘That ain’t no CGI dust’

This story will run Sunday in The Envelope, the Los Angeles Times special section dedicated to Hollywood’s awards season. It’s been 25 years since cameraman Wally Pfister left television news and followed a cinematic path, but last year on the set of “Inception” —  as he filmed a gun battle with a camouflage camping blanket over his head to protect him from flying shards of glass — he looked a lot like a battle-zone journalist. “Yeah, I’m in war-torn mode today, with my knee brace and a face mask on, but that’s sort of how we do it – put the camera on your shoulder and get as close to the action as possible,” the 49-year-old said with a proud grin. “In this scene, we drop some logs on people and they’re fake logs that we drop from a big […]
Dec. 06, 2010 | 11:20 a.m.

‘Inception’ Blu-ray extras reveal the stuff that dreams are made of

NEW ON BLU-RAY: “INCEPTION” Here’s what you won’t learn from the “Inception” Blu-ray combo pack due Tuesday: what the final scene of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi blockbuster really means. The director delivers no commentary track, and he has no intention of clarifying the “was-it-all-just-a-dream” debate inspired by the spinning top at the end of his film. Nevertheless, the Blu-ray does solve some of the production mysteries of “Inception.” There’s a featurette on dream research, a comic prologue to the movie called “The Cobol Job,” concept art, trailers and a soundtrack.  When watched in “extraction mode,” the Blu-ray’s making-of vignettes reveal details that will interest Nolanites, mechanical engineers and anyone who wants to send a train barreling down a city street. Now, for some key questions and answers… 1) Could you really build a staircase to nowhere like the one Arthur (Joseph […]
Oct. 13, 2010 | 5:45 p.m.

Batman film adds ‘Inception’ star

Tom Hardy, best known for dreaming big in “Inception,” will be a major character in the third Batman film, which begins filming early next year, according to a source close to the production. Will he be friend or foe to Christian Bale’s grim caped crusader? That’s not clear yet, although he might make an offbeat and darkly charismatic version of the Riddler or perhaps a smirking take on Black Mask, the crime boss with an ebony, statue-like visage. Hardy, who had memorable turns in “Bronson” and “RocknRolla,” was hardly a surprise addition; director Christopher Nolan frequently goes with familiar faces — “Inception” had three key actors from Batman films, with Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine and Ken Watanabe. Nolan is scheduled to appear Saturday at the Scream Awards taping at the Greek Theatre. That show airs Tuesday on Spike TV. — […]
Aug. 04, 2010 | 6:34 p.m.

‘Inception’ wakes ‘Up’: The best mash-up trailer of 2010

Genius. . — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Christopher Nolan’s dim view of 3-D SILLY: Wait, “Inception” stole everything from Scrooge McDuck? ‘Inception’ questions? Here’s the most in-depth article on the film REVIEW: ‘Inception’ dreams darkly with film noir soul Brad Pitt and Will Smith were early candidates to star in ‘Inception’ MINISTRY OF GOSSIP: The ‘Inception’ premiere in Hollywood Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page dream big ‘Inception,’ the only movie that matters?
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