Christopher Nolan Auteur Analysis

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To what extent can Christopher Nolan be considered as an auteur?


Considering the collaborative process of filmmaking, especially nowadays in most film production, the concept of there being a singular creative supervisor is debatable. Nonetheless one cannot deny the existence of directional motifs and instances of thematic and stylistic elements within the work of filmmakers like Tim Burton and Alfred Hitchcock. These directors indicate that within traditions and genres lies the overall definition of an auteur: a director whose inventive traits are listed throughout his or her work like a signature. Auteurism rose to the surface in the 1950s French New Wave criticism as an appraisal of Hollywood directors who were ready to deny
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Throughout the years, the auteur theory slowly ensconced itself as an essential key to film analysis, providing a specific guideline to evaluate a director’s film. Whether the approach based on this tradition may center on cinematic techniques or ideological themes, or the two, the analysis always takes place within the context of the auteur’s other films; hence, allowing critics to scrutinize the rudiments of the work based on the director’s stylistic traits. One of the most successful filmmakers in the 21st century that has been brought up as a rising auteur is British-American director Christopher Nolan, who has developed his artistic idiosyncrasies in his canon. Heavily inspired by acclaimed auteurs such as Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott, Nolan follows the grand tradition of film noir, and tells the tale of men that struggle with identity conflicts. Despite the incontrovertible fact that the director has a limited range of work to be qualified for the auteur status; with six of his nine feature films being either remakes, literary adaptations, or franchise films, extensive scrutiny has…show more content…
One of the many of his definable cinematic devices that Nolan presents in his work is the theme of splintered identity. In Nolan’s world, characters, often the protagonists, suffer from a form of existential crises, being unable to clarify their true self-image. Nolan’s obsession on this rather ‘unusual’ idea (in the Hollywood industry) was initially introduced in his primary feature film, following. In following, the protagonist who is simply known as the Young Man, frankly speaking, has no identity. Without a proper career or name, the Young Man finds himself spending his time by stalking ordinary people. This lack of identity allows the mysterious character, Cobb, to manipulate the protagonist through deception and inspiring him to adopt a different persona as a means of ultimately framing the Young Man for a murder Cobb committed. Influenced by Cobb’s guidance, the Young Man goes through physical transformations throughout the narrative, from an archetypical male to a besuited man similar to the image of Cobb’s. Cobb himself has no true identity, and creates himself a deceptive persona to approach the Young Man and become his mentor, which is later revealed to be a disguise to lure his prey. His deceiving features even fool the blonde, tricking her to believe that he is in love with her. Cobb fully exploits this
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