Today I had an epiphany.
While trying to find a truly striking screenshot of Memento, I realized I might have discovered the reason why I'm not a fan of Christopher Nolan...
The man doesn't make memorable images.
But let me explain myself...Nolan is usually compared to Stanley Kubrick in terms of formalism and technical mastery, but truly, where Kubrick was a master at creating indelible images (almost all of his films have at least one truly iconic shot) Nolan has never achieved this.
Before the bashing begins, give this a thought.
What's really memorable about his films? In The Dark Knight it was Heath Ledger's larger-than-life performance, Inception was all about the cool factor and Memento, well, Memento was all about the mind fucks.
One can say that Nolan is much more of a cerebral filmmaker; his movies work because of the ideas behind them, not particularly because he knows how to execute said ideas in an aesthetically pleasing way. And by this I don't mean I'm expecting him to deliver three-strip Technicolor features or hire Wong Kar-wai as a visual consultant, because that's not really his thing. It's just that he's so worried about making a smart impression on people that he truly forgets that movies can be beautiful and smart.
He doesn't have to be the ugly chick who quotes Nietzsche and never puts out to preserve her dignity, he can be the big boobed blonde that surprises you because of her intellect.
Sure, his movie might've won an Oscar for cinematography this year, but that was actually a breakthrough for AMPAS. Usually they reward the prettiest movie; this year they remembered that cinematography is also about camera movement and technical mastery. Nolan's movies sure have that, but they rush so fast that their stream of consciousness like shots, make it tough, if not impossible to be haunted by any of them.
P.S: my favorite shot of Memento is this one...
...because if I was as hot as Guy Pearce I'd also take pictures of myself and be all like "who me?" whenever I found myself looking at them and sighing about how pretty I was.
This post is part of Nat's unforgettable "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series.