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John

FILM: Interstellar (2014)

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On 11/29/2018 at 6:42 PM, John said:

 

Interstellar gives us time to relate and sympathize with its main characters, while 2001 creates but one character with any type of personality or arc at all, who is not even human. 

 

 

That's a little harsh on David Bowman, don't you think? ;)

 

BTW, am I the only one who didn't sympathize with the characters of Interstellar? Or Inception? Or Dunkirk? Or Memento? Or The Dark Knight? I mean, not caring for the characters is almost a Nolan trademark for me.

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6 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

am I the only one who didn't sympathize with the characters of Interstellar? Or Inception? Or Dunkirk? Or Memento? Or The Dark Knight? I mean, not caring for the characters is almost a Nolan trademark for me.

 

Inception - definitely. Its just a heist film, and the characters are not only robbers, but they're one that invade other people's most inner of sancti. The film does try to form a connection with the characters, but ultimately its one I enjoy more for its spectacle than for its attempts at higher drama.

 

Dunkirk doesn't have characters by design: they're shells into which the audience is meant to pour itself, which is certainly not unheard of as a cinematic ploy. Its a form of an audience surrogate, really, but one's milleage may vary.

 

The Dark Knight is a tricky one, to me. Its certainly a more technically accomplished film than the other two Batman films, but its much more the superhero film. What I mean by that is that we spend the majority of the film with Batman, not with Bruce. As a result, one of my favorite dynamics of these films - that of Bruce and Alfred - kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Really, the relationship that rings most true in the film is the one between Rachel and Harvey, not Rachel and Bruce.

 

I relate to the characters' predicament in Interstellar just fine. I'm told its all the more affecting for those with kids. It just needed to be a tad shorter, and much less wordy.

 

Memento works because the non-linear progression of it brings the audience into the world of the character, even if he's not that good of a person.

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Well, I think it's fair to say that Nolan still has to make his first character driven movie. Except for his '"experimental' Dunkirk, all his movies strike me as very story-centered, to such a extent that the viewer is practically lost if he's not fully concentrated on the intricacies of the plot. Maybe the closest he ever got to making a character movie is The Prestige, which is also my favorite Nolan flick, but it's really a theme driven story about obsession.

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Batman Begins and The Dark Knight do seem to be good movies about characters swamped by circumstance and decisions.  

But, I will concede, Harvey Dent's sudden transformation, while not poorly set up per se, does betray a primary focus on the story over the characters.

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I feel character development and relatability is a recurring issue with Nolan, which is probably why I am left cold by many of his films, particularly his Dark Knight trilogy. Hence why I found Interstellar's more fleshed-out leads refreshing.

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It works for Bruce Wayne.  He is dark and cold, 'cause that night in his childhood was dark and cold.

For the other characters, save the Joker, it is a bit of a problem.  But, the films are, at a basic level, about impersonal forces anyway.

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2 hours ago, Steve McQueen said:

But, I will concede, Harvey Dent's sudden transformation, while not poorly set up per se, does betray a primary focus on the story over the characters.

 

I wouldn't know about "betrayed" but there is something about Nolan's action filmmaking, which to me reads as a lack of confidence in his storytelling, where he feels compelled to pile multiple subplots one upon the other come the climax.

 

It happens in the Dark Knight with Two-face, the Joker and the two ships all going down simultaneously; and it happens big-time in the Dark Knight Rises.

 

Its the Return of the Jedi effect! 😉

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6 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

 

You expected that while you knew it was a Nolan movie?

I was a fool. But remember it was originally going to be a Spielberg film.

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1 hour ago, Brónach said:

I think this movie lacks balls. It lacks balls visually, for example. Although it isn't obvious at first glance.

 

It felt like it was lacking balls while I was watching it.

 

Nolan is just...too restrained.

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59 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

It felt like it was lacking balls while I was watching it.

 

Nolan is just...too restrained.

 

I'm going to put the most obvious example.

 

See the rotating black hole? It would look much trippier. Nolan wants the audience to understand that the event horizon is like a sphere, so he takes out the deformation we would observe on one side (like it's cutoff). And then they take out all the red on one side and all the blue on the other side...

 

The other problem I have is the structure of the plot is endlessly unsatisfying to me. They take forever to take off, and then it goes in circles from planet to planet literally as the story doesn't make up its mind about what it wants at the other side.

 

The devastation on Earth is also so restrained. They probably felt like they were being realistic, but I'm here thinking how all of the details about the ennvironment in Blade Runner 2049 are like a gut punch (that film is hard to watch). There's some dialogue elements there for it, but in Interstellar that's almost always the main source of information...

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@John I don't want to quote you, but on the note of music: 

 

The volume fluctuations of the score are not all that bad. In fact, I quite like some of the more blaring and bombastic moments. The effectiveness of the score in the film is unbelievably good. And it's moments like that that call out and make it memorable for me, while the mellower cues provide a similar but different vibe that is just as resonant. Just a thought.

 

And I love the organ!

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55 minutes ago, John said:

There are a handful of instances in the film where dialogue is barely audible in the soundtrack.

 

It's a great, effective score, but often mixed overbearingly loud. Could definitely have been toned down a bit at times.

I suppose I think of the moments that are purposely loud in the score as opposed to those that simply end up being loud in the film.

 

I think of The Dying of the Light scene where it swells like nuts. That's not a bad one.

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11 hours ago, John said:

There are a handful of instances in the film where dialogue is barely audible in the soundtrack.

 

It's a great, effective score, but often mixed overbearingly loud. Could definitely have been toned down a bit at times.

 

This, or Matthew McConaughey should speak up more clearly.

 

BTW, isn't Christopher Nolan a Terence Malick fanatic? The balance between dialog and music was kind of problematic in The Tree Of Life as well. Maybe Nolan tried to make Interstellar with Malick in mind?

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6 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

Because he loves Malick, right? Of course, Nolan will never put it like that.

 

Nolan has actually been upfront with his inspirations taken from Malick. I believe his habit of cutting to a flashback without sound is explicitly and admittedly taken from The Thin Red Line.

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I agree that Interstellar lacks balls (although the interpretation of what that actually means I'm sure differs between us), however I thought the film as an original experience was terrific and refreshing, slightly overrated, but definitely a keeper for the hall of fame. Not as "stellar" as Memento or The Dark Knight, but much better than that "The Matrix wannabe" with that watanabe guy.

 

Actually, turns out I made this post just to segue into The Matrix. Great film. Has anyone seen it? Oooh, what if Guy Pearce starred as Neo? Just... entertaining that thought. A thought experiment. Guy Pearce makes everything better.

 

HB8orFL.jpg?1

 

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