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post #151 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

I didn't read that many reviews for INTERSTELLAR, so I don't know how frequently this point was made, but one of the things that I felt was the most refreshing about it was its secular-humanism. In sci-fi films, extraterrestrial intelligence is often used as an analogue for God, i.e., a "higher power". INTERSTELLAR completely bypasses that and makes the case that we are and will always be the shepherds of our own destiny. From the A.I. to the wormhole, everything in INTERSTELLAR occurs via hominis ex machina.


All while affirming the mysterious nature/power of LUVVVVV (but also sort of offering a pseudo-scientific explanation for that power)...

 

But that's what I'm saying, I really feel like Interstellar, thematically, should be a movie that speaks to just about everyone, regardless of your belief system, but instead it seems to really speak to very few, because so few people are willing to be inclusive in their belief systems of other systems that would, on the surface, seem contrary.

 

I really admire that the film tries to find that inclusion but does it in ways that are so broad and epic and sci-fi and yet also sometimes specific and intimate. I love that the movie's themes were basically born out of Nolan looking at his daughter (code name for the project was "Flora's Letter"), and admitting that he loves her, but what does love mean? it means Nolan gon' make a long, Spielberg-meet-Kubrick sci-fi adventure epic, that's what it means! wrote about that for Paste in a piece talking about how it and Under the Skin were being sorely overlooked by the Academy Awards.

 

I don't know if I like it quite as much as Memento or TDK, but Interstellar did nothing but boost my admiration for Nolan and his willingness to stretch himself, to be ambitious, to tackle complex but also essential themes, and to expand the horizons of how he makes films, as I really felt his collaborations with Hoyte and Zimmer on Interstellar yielded some downright poetically cinematic moments, even if exposition at times counteracted that effect (but that docking scene is a pure visceral symphony swell of art). I'm hoping he continues down that path with Dunkirk. So few current blockbuster directors push themselves or the thematic cogency of their movies at the level that Nolan does.

 

And I love that Nolan is an IMAX champion cuz I'm gonna watch the heck out of Dunkirk in IMAX. The IMAX stuff in TDK and Interstellar are some of my all-time favorite theater experiences.

post #152 of 344

(shrug)

 

god is pulling all the strings even when it's us why not?

post #153 of 344
I don't think so either. No film in Nolan's CV has a strict reading on politics (TDK Trilogy), religion (Interstellar) or even reality (Memento, Inception). He rides the line, but I feel he does it in a way that you can draw some soft logical conclusions. - in response to MichaelM.
post #154 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

I don't think so either. No film in Nolan's CV has a strict reading on politics (TDK Trilogy), religion (Interstellar) or even reality (Memento, Inception). He rides the line, but I feel he does it in a way that you can draw some soft logical conclusions. - in response to MichaelM.

 

Agreed. And I wouldn't at all be surprised if Nolan is an atheist, though I'd be surprised if he were hardcore about it.

post #155 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

Helps if you're an atheist, as I suspect Nolan is as well. INTERSTELLAR rejects the unfounded comfort of believing that we'll be delivered from destruction by external forces, but has faith that we'll get there based on our own ingenuity. I not only respect that Nolan went there, I also whole-heartedly agree with it.


In my more atheistic moments, I become more of a Kubrick-level cynic when it comes to humanity's future. Humanity could just be an evolutionary dead-end.

I'm not sure whether Nolan is an atheist or not. He did once make the comment in an interview that he believes we live in a "benevolent universe," but never nuances the idea further. That could be reconciled with an atheistic POV, but it also suggests that Nolan believes in something else out there (and the LUVVVVV thing in Interstellar suggests that that could be true, too), even if it's just a vague, New Age-y sort of take on evolution and the universe.

post #156 of 344

I like how Nolan stated that the decision for lots of organ in the film was because he wanted to inject a feeling of "religion" even though it is not at all a religious film. He said it was an acknowledgment of the metaphysical or the things beyond our understanding (and also a recognition of inherent value in aesthetics and beauty) even while the film makes it clear that there is nothing outside of science because, like, in terms of the fundamental nature of what science is trying to describe or explain, that wouldn't even make sense for something to exist outside or separate from it. in Interstellar Nolan is looking for how these different value systems actually coexist and the ways in which humanity can be an agency for that and also be saved/empowered by that, as opposed to the common thinking where people are looking to divide the systems or make them exclusive of each other.

post #157 of 344

I think if you considered Interstellar and Inception that you could make a correlation that Nolan is a huge advocate of simulation theory - which is that we and other conscious beings in this known universe reside in a virtual reality. And Love is the quantifiable purpose of life.  Love being - as physicist Thomas Campbell puts it - lowered entropy within a higher entropic system.  That's a pretty easy connection to make from Interstellar's ending.  As for Inception, Nolan said this not that long ago:

 

Quote:
 "But the question of whether that's a dream or whether it's real is the question I've been asked most about any of the films I've made. It matters to people because that's the point about reality. Reality matters."

 

Cobb is always questioning his reality and he's happier at the end when he lets go of that questioning, that side of his ego that's in fear of being fooled. The point about reality is that people think it matters. Quantum Physics says there is no matter, there's only information - just probabilistic distributions. There really is no difference between this reality and the dream reality other than different rule sets. 

post #158 of 344

I agree.

 

And while that is a scientific theory, it has something of a "spiritual" essence to it.

 

"Life is but a dream."

 

In a way, what is our reality matters no more or less than what is beyond it. There is a beautiful sort of equivalency there. What if "God is Love" means not that God is some loving person, but that lowered entropy that Campbell talks about is what some people have chosen to call "God," made in its image when we gained higher consciousness and hoping to be conformed or transformed further to its image. or maybe "God" is some agency of a higher dimension, what Nolan depicted humanity had become at the end of Interstellar.

 

this and the human example of love, compassion, acceptance, selflessness, service, and sacrifice that I try to follow in the person of Christ is sort of the basis of my approach to my Christianity.


Edited by wasp - 8/5/16 at 1:22pm
post #159 of 344

not to make this a religious derail, sorry! just trying to connect how Nolan can be coming from a materialist, secular humanist standpoint and yet resonating so strongly with a person like me who wouldn't necessarily classify myself that way but wouldn't necessarily call myself straight up religious, either.

 

Nolan's films appeal to a lot of the different ways in which I think about things and view the world and so I'm actually pretty excited to see how he might thematically tackle this Dunkirk movie, considering the only war movies I think I really rewatch and get much out of are Kubrick's (and that's only three if you even count Dr. Strangelove).

post #160 of 344

Don't apologize. It's been good discussion. Nobody's proselytizing.

post #161 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasp View Post
 

not to make this a religious derail, sorry! just trying to connect how Nolan can be coming from a materialist, secular humanist standpoint and yet resonating so strongly with a person like me who wouldn't necessarily classify myself that way but wouldn't necessarily call myself straight up religious, either.

 

Nolan's films appeal to a lot of the different ways in which I think about things and view the world and so I'm actually pretty excited to see how he might thematically tackle this Dunkirk movie, considering the only war movies I think I really rewatch and get much out of are Kubrick's (and that's only three if you even count Dr. Strangelove).

 

Nolan isn't a materialist, I don't think.

 

From HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/christopher-nolan-princeton-graduation-speech-799121
 "I feel that over time, we started to view reality as the poor cousin to our dreams, in a sense. ... I want to make the case to you that our dreams, our virtual realities, these abstractions that we enjoy and surround ourselves with — they are subsets of reality,"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasp View Post
 

I agree.

 

And while that is a scientific theory, it has something of a "spiritual" essence to it.

 

"Life is but a dream."

 

In a way, what is our reality matters no more or less than what is beyond it. There is a beautiful sort of equivalency there. What if "God is Love" means not that God is some loving person, but that lowered entropy that Campbell talks about is what some people have chosen to call "God," made in its image when we gained higher consciousness and hoping to be conformed or transformed further to its image. or maybe "God" is some agency of a higher dimension, what Nolan depicted humanity had become at the end of Interstellar.

 

this and the human example of love, compassion, acceptance, selflessness, service, and sacrifice that I try to follow in the person of Christ is sort of the basis of my approach to my Christianity.

 

Yes, Spiritual in a sense because it connects to something that is outside of this reality.  Mystical because that other overarching non-physical reality, the one running this program, is simply a mystery and would remain a mystery to us given it's a place we can't go - like a microscopic worm can't understand the reality outside our own bodies. That always runs the risk of sound like hooey from a religious angle, but from a scientific one it makes sense. Perhaps the big bang was somebody pushing the run button on their computer.

 

One of the reasons why people can't see truth within the frames of religion is because people typically take religion seriously, mistaken its dogma for truth instead of understanding it as just a model. A code. God is love.  We've just anthropomorphized it over the years. 

post #162 of 344

there was an article on The Dissolve that I read that made a strong argument that Nolan was a materialist/rationalist:

 

https://thedissolve.com/features/exposition/820-the-rational-wonders-of-christopher-nolan/

 

it's just an opinion, of course. it has some great points, though, and is a fascinating angle on viewing Nolan's oeuvre.

post #163 of 344

I will say that I think there are parts of Interstellar that serve as strong counterpoints to this article, though. Nolan might be predominantly a materialist, in one sense, but I think there's a bit of an openness to his line of thinking and also he is very fond at pushing at the edges of what we don't really know. The Cloud of Unknowing. like, he wants to know it, he wants to peer into its depth, to the bottom of the black hole, and he tries to take us there, but there's always some acknowledgment in his films that there is always more, there is always a meta, there is always a beyond to be our endless frontier.

 

also his TDK trilogy is basically a treatise on the power and significance of symbols and how they are key in holding back the tides of chaos, nihilism, anarchy, injustice--which some would say is nothing more than a theme born of social evolution and thus fitting to Nolan's materialist philosophies but I'd also say that that same exploration is also meaningful to people who are more religious or spiritual.

post #164 of 344

When I think of a materialist, I think of a staunch supporter of this reality being it - meaning that there is nothing else outside of it. We're just material, matter, hunks of flesh hanging around. I don't think Nolan makes that case in his movies. He's talked pretty openly about exploring the dream world in similar ways that I have. And when you're in those, you just know the physical reality isn't all there is. 

 

Now if you think this place is a virtual reality, that would mean that we're in a game. And all games like World of Warcraft have a purpose or goal.

post #165 of 344

yeah, I agree, but read The Dissolve article if you get a chance. I ain't saying it's totally right, I just found it a bit illuminating about some of the ideology going on throughout his filmography.

post #166 of 344

I did, but I think the writer, like most movie writers, tended to get politics mixed into Nolan's perspective. Like the Prestige being about the debate between rational thought and intelligent design. 

post #167 of 344

Fair enough!

 

And, yeah, there are definitely some stretches in it to make things fit in the framework he's providing.

post #168 of 344

The signature Nolan poster:

 

post #169 of 344

Batman's going surfing!

post #170 of 344
Nolan's Wanderer Over Sea Of Fog obsession is veering into self parody at this point.
post #171 of 344
Yeah, I laughed when I saw the poster.
post #172 of 344

Dunkirk Into Darkness.

post #173 of 344
Not a very original poster, but marketing-wise it's effective. Though they could've just written Christopher Nolan War Film (white text, Copperplate Gothic) on a black background.
post #174 of 344

cotdam that's a beautiful shot, though. I mean, I dunno if that's in the movie or anything but I feel like it probably is.

 

God bless Hoyte van Hoytema. God bless the crap out of him.

post #175 of 344
Wtf is that coming out of the water?

Is this another Godzilla movie?
post #176 of 344
Not realistic. It's a Skyscraper!
post #177 of 344
Seriously in the top right corner between the two stacks it looks like a street lamp.
post #178 of 344

Trailer looks great! Sweeping vistas! Men at war! Kenneth Branagh going full Oliver as the Commanding Officer Who Knows How Bad It Is (tm)! Tom Hardy in a Jet! Hey, kids, it's Harry Styles! Cillian Murphy as a coward! Mark Rylance as the personification of British keep calm and carry on...ness! 

post #179 of 344

Is there a new trailer?

post #180 of 344

"Home." 

post #181 of 344

Though I think the trailer lacks a true money shot or big "wow" moment, it looks like a fantastic production.  I'm totally in the tank for Nolan, so I'm excited about this.

post #182 of 344
Nolan is one of a few filmmakers making distinctive, personal films on a big scale. I could bitch about his style, but why bother? He's an oasis in a sea of impersonal mediocrity.

I'm in.
post #183 of 344

Oh damn, that is looking tremendous. 

post #184 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 

Though I think the trailer lacks a true money shot or big "wow" moment, it looks like a fantastic production.  I'm totally in the tank for Nolan, so I'm excited about this.

The scene of the soldier going into the sea i believe its an emotional moneyshot.

 

This looks fucking fantastic.

post #185 of 344

As if I wasn't already in for this. Looks amazing. First film to give Saving Private Ryan a run for its money, so to speak?

 

Forgot Branagh was in this. So happy about that. Too bad Nolan didn't bring Bale in with other regulars like Murphy and Hardy.

 

Obligatory snark: Nolan finally chose a film project that allows him to completely ignore scary females!

post #186 of 344
Thread Starter 
Wow. Hell of a trailer. Stirring stuff.
post #187 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post
 

As if I wasn't already in for this. Looks amazing. First film to give Saving Private Ryan a run for its money, so to speak?

 

Forgot Branagh was in this. So happy about that. Too bad Nolan didn't bring Bale in with other regulars like Murphy and Hardy.

 

Obligatory snark: Nolan finally chose a film project that allows him to completely ignore scary females!


That's Cillian Murphy on the boat saying he won't go back, right?

 

I'm fairly certain.

 

ETA: Sorry, misread you. Duh-doy.

post #188 of 344

MURPH

post #189 of 344

It's not possible.

 

No, it's necessary.

post #190 of 344

Hell yeah. All in on this. The missus isn't a huge fan of war movies, so might be catching this one solo, but damn, that looks good.

post #191 of 344

I rewatched the trailer twice, trying to figure if I liked it or not. 

 

I do like it, but maybe I was expected something traditionally more heady from him. Having said that, a simple Nolan survival tale could still be wonderful. 

post #192 of 344
I can take or leave Nolan about half the time, but I wouldn't deny he's a techically brilliant director. Pair that with one of my absolute favorite chapters in history and there was no way I wasn't going to see this. The trailer gets across the story and Nolan's acumen, so it more than does its job, even if it isn't the greatest trailer ever.
post #193 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

Trailer looks great! ... Tom Hardy in a Jet!

 

Ahem...

 

 

Decent trailer. Great human story. Shame it's going to be an opportunity for the average country Tory and meathead nationalist to swell with jingoism.

post #194 of 344

I'm still trying to wrap my head around "The event that shaped our world."  Was Dunkirk really this epoch-changing event?  I mean yeah, if the Brits don't get out of there, they're probably at least conditionally surrendering to Germany, but Japan is still going to attack the U.S., Germany is still going to declare war on us, and, while it might take a bit longer without the U.K. acting like a giant aircraft carrier and without its armed forces, the U.S. would still eventually manufacture the Reich into oblivion.  Granted, no Britain in the fight means Hitler can turn his full strength east towards Russia, which might tilt the outcome there.  And America might decide that with Britain out of things, there's no need to go to Europe and concentrate on Japan instead.  And if they DO still engage in the European theater, there's an occupied Britain to deal with on top of occupied France.  Would we still do North Africa first, given there'd be no British army there to help us out?  And without that trial by fire, would the US army have the wherewithall for Normandy, let alone a second Normandy somewhere on the British coast?

 

Okay, I may have just talked myself into wrapping my head around "The event that shaped our world."

post #195 of 344
Haha. You do have to look a a series of "what if" dominoes, and counterfactuals are always tricky. But I still think its safe to say that Dunkirk and, more broadly, the 1940-41 perood when Britain stood alone against the Axis are pretty damned vital.
post #196 of 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post

 

Okay, I may have just talked myself into wrapping my head around "The event that shaped our world."

 

Lol. Pretty much. ;)

 

I think the only thing I'd take issue on is that Churchill would be out, there would be 250,000 prisoners of war and we'd not just conditionally surrender. We'd become enthusiastic lapdogs. Significant portions of the British Establishment had no problems at all with Mr Hitler.

 

After that, yeah. Japan probably still does Pearl Harbour, I can't see the preconditions for that changing. You still beat them, but I can well imagine that America would simply not consider Europe to be worth the time anymore and come to an arrangement. The Man in the High Castle is cute and everything, but I can't see Hitler bothering to cross the Atlantic. Russia is always the weird one in this scenario. Fuck knows what he was thinking there. I can't imagine throwing more men into that frozen meat grinder would have helped.

post #197 of 344

I was gonna say... I kept nodding as I read your post, "And, yeah, see, there it is."

 

I mean, "event that shaped the world" could be considered a bit of an overstatement but it's not totally off the rails.

 

Anyways, I have yet to see this trailer with sound, but at this point I'd watch Hoyte shoot a dog food commercial and declare it a work of great beauty.

post #198 of 344

Sort of restating what Richard said, but you could argue that if the British army is wiped out at Dunkirk and Britain conditionally surrenders, that in turn emboldens Nazi-sympathizers/appeasers as well as isolationists in the United States, which leads to the US refusing to get into the war, even financially. The fall of Britain is almost certainly is used as a cudgel to possibly defeat FDR in 1940. It might even cause them to reconsider foreign policy with Japan, avoiding Pearl Harbor or something and putting off US involvement entirely. And with Britain under control, the Reich is no longer fighting a two-front war, which allows them to devote the full scope of their resources towards invading Russia, and perhaps eventually the whole of the Eurasian continent. 

 

And even if that's the case and for whatever reason the US  does get involved in the European war, they'd lack the ability to marshall resources on the ground without first retaking part if not all of Britain, which would be time-consuming and miserable...

 

...all of which means the war would be prolonged long enough for the Nazis to develop the bomb first (already well under way by 1940), and that's the game. 

post #199 of 344

Yeah, Hoytema definitely shot the heck out of this. Was surprised by the trailer's simplicity given it's Nolan, but still pretty stirring.

post #200 of 344

I just really hope we're not giving Harry Turtledove any more ideas.

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